Thursday, April 29, 2010

2010 NHL Playoff Predictions: Round 2

A lot of pundits on NHL Home Ice and others around the Internet are scratching their heads at the way the first round playoffs unfolded. I called a lot of series wrong, but that is what I get for leading with my head. I am having a schadenfreude moment with the Capitals losing the way they did. Look for this round to increase in intensity 5 fold!

Western Conference

San Jose v. Detroit

Once again, my predictions get punked out by an unpredictable San Jose Sharks team. Detroit took a Phoenix team that is young and growing to 7 games - which will now figure in to the rest of the next round. Look for Jimmy Howard to stand tall, but not be able to shut down the Sharks for the entire series. Don't look for Thorton and Heatley to show up in this series either - the Wings will keep their post-season lethargy in check.

Prediction: Sharks in 7

Vancouver vs Chicago

Last year, the Canucks were already looking for a parade route and now the city proclaimed Canucks day in Vancouver after winning the first round. Chicago has a young core group still learning what it takes to win. Look for "20 Cent" Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to rack up a lot of point totals in this series as well as the Sedins for Vancouver.

Prediction: Vancouver in 7

Eastern Conference

Boston v. Philadelphia

Both these teams surprised me to have lasted this long, but only one team will move on from here. Both teams possess a strong defensive core that can shut down opposing forwards. Perhaps this whole series may be a low scoring one. Look for Zedeno Chara and Chris Pronger to hit anything that moves. Marc Savard coming back is a step in the right direction, but pundits say it could screw up the developed chemistry without him. Look for Tuuka Rask to steal a game or two in this round.

Prediction: Boston in 6

Pittsburgh v. Montreal

Pittsburgh had better figure out how to get consistent in team defense and an offensive presence that doesn't put all the load on Crosby. Montreal proved they can shut down the Capitals with their redwood trees on defense. Look for Halak to stand tall once again. Also, look for how many times the media mentions that Crosby's dad used to play goal for the Canadians. Malkin should catch more chances in this series.

Prediction: Pittsburgh in 5
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