Predictions – Round 2

The Wild first round is over, with the top 3 seeds in the East eliminated, and 4 powerhouses still alive in the West, which should lead to 2 awesome match ups.

So let’s hear it HTR, who’s going on to the final 4?WEST:

San Jose vs Detroit – What a great match up, I will take the Red Wings, but if the Sharks do advance, they may have chased their demons. Joe Thornton will need to be a factor against the Red Wings for this happen.

Vancouver vs. Chicago II – Big rematch. This one will be a beauty, could go 7, I’m going to lean towards the Hawks, in this battle of western powers.

EAST:

Pittsburgh vs Montreal – I said that Montreal would get steam rolled by the Caps, but they’ve got the hot goaltending, can it continue against the defending champs? I’m taking Penguins.

Boston vs Philly – Two grittiest teams in the East in these playoffs. This series will be an all out war. The health of Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne could play a factor, and Savard will be back for Boston. I’ll take Philly, but flip a coin on this one.

So what’s your picks HTR???


38 Responses to Predictions – Round 2

  1. albertateams says:

    I'd take Detroit in 6, San Jose needs a big series from both Thorton and Nabokov if they want to pull it out, I just don't see it. The Wings are rounding into form and Lidstrom is back to his playoff self.

    Chicago in 7, tough one to call I picked Chicago to win it all so I'm going to stay with that, they do need their goaltending to hold up though, its been pretty good so far.

    Boston in 5, I really think Boston is rounding into form their defence and goaltending  is solid getting savard back even at 80% will be a huge boost for them. Philly is really beat up and I just don't see their goaltending holding up.

    Pittsburgh in 6, I'm hoping for Montreal but I just don't think they can ride Halak to a win against Pittsburgh.

  2. reinjosh says:

    Detroit over San Jose in 6 – San Jose did not impress me last round. Detroit played well but not well enough to be considered clear favorites. Still, I think the Wing will take it.

    Vancouver over Chicago in 7 – I'm calling Vancouver as going to the cup this year and I think they can take Chicago. It will be a hard match though. Still I wouldn't be surprised to see Chicago win either.

    Pittsburgh over Montreal in 7 – Montreal surprised everyone. Halak played amazingly. Cammilleri played amazingly. If they can keep it up I could see them win. But Crosby is already on a role. I don't think they can stop him (which will further prove Crosby as the better player).

    Philly over Boston in 7 – This will be a fun matchup. I'm still not overly convinced that Boston has the offense to match Philly but they have the luxury of playing against a third string goaltender. Philly obviously has the edge is scoring, but injuries and playing against Rask (who has looked great). It will be a great series to watch and I pick Philly only because I picked them at the start of the year to win it all and I need to stick to it. Still, just like every other series, either team has a realistic chance of winning the series.

  3. Kill_Yourself says:

    San Jose vs Detroit – SJ in 6

    Chicago vs Vancouver – Chicago in 7
     
    Pittsburgh vs Montreal – Pittsburgh in 6 (poni will solve halak lol)

    Boston vs Philly – toughest to pick savard coming back could spark the bruins but boucher will be fantasic. Im saying Bruins in 7. the team beat buffalo and miller without their best player and hes back. Also if rask loses some games tim thomas will do work. I still feel boucher could steal the series but i gotta say bruins.

  4. leafy says:

    Well I went 5 for 8 in the first round.  Interestingly I got all 4 West series correct, but only the Pittsburgh series in the East, which is strange considering I watch East games way more.

    Here goes for Round 2:

    Pittsburgh over Montreal in 6

    Boston over Philly in 7

    Detroit over San Jose in 7

    Chicago over Vancouver in 6

  5. Boston_Bruins says:

    Penguins in 5 – I think it'll take the perfect storm of Halak playing like he did in the last 3 games every game of this series, along with Montreal playing defense like they did in game 7 because Crosby isn't even human in the playoffs.

    Bruins in 6 – I like the way things matchup for the Bruins. All of Philadelphia's injuries could be costly, and I actually thin the refs surely hating Carcillo could come into play too. With Chara and Bergeron on Richards I think the guy that can make or break the series is Giroux.

    Blackhawks in 7 – Vancouver is great but the Hawks are just to deep at forward and defence to lose this one, but they need Niemi to keep his game where it's at right now, or maybe raise it a bit.

    Red Wings in 6 – The Wings have proven that winning hasn't gotten old for them, so I like their chances here. I do think that one of these years the Sharks will break out because the pressure is kind of off of them right now. It's not choking if it's expected. Not this year though.

    The Eastern Conference Final is almost guarunteed to have an epic matchup. Pittsburgh/Philadelphia goes without saying, Montreal/Boston goes without saying, and Pittsburgh/Boston because of the Cooke/Savard incident, especially with Savard back. Only a Philadelphia/Montreal matchup (which would still be great) would be lagging behind a bit. 

    In the West I think the best matchup would be the Blackhawks/Red Wings because we might witness another changing of the guard if that happens, similar to the Wings/Pens.

  6. 93killer93 says:

    WEST
    San Jose vs Detroit – Detroit in 6
    Vancouver vs. Chicago- Chicago in 6

    EAST
    Pittsburgh vs Montreal -Pens in 6

    Boston vs Philly – Philly in 5

  7. mojo19 says:

    3 game 7's? That would be awesome.

  8. Boston_Bruins says:

    6 for 8 here, I missed on the Flyers and Canadiens.

  9. mojo19 says:

    lol, you got all in the west and only Pittsburgh correct in the east? In other words you picked all favourites (if you count Detroit as a favourite over Phoenix).

    Nice to see you pick one upset in the 2nd round (if you count Detroit as an upset. lol)

    nice picks though, I hope you're right about Boston over Philly for the purposes of my hockey pool, but there's something about Philly, even without Carter. So much truculance, and pugnacity, etc.

  10. mojo19 says:

    haha, no one wants to pick first place Sharks. If they go out in 4 or 5, I will love to hear all the story lines going into the summer. Thornton trade? Marleau let go? Nabby? Rob Blake retire? etc.

  11. DannyLeafs says:

    I went 7 for 8 in the first round, I only missed the Caps upset.

    But to be perfectly honest I originally had all consensus pre-series favourites picked, and figured it was too predictable and looked at the series that I thought had the best chance of being upsets, so it wasn't really any incredible insight that lead me to pick Boston and Philly, just basically figured "there has to be at least a couple of upsets, so who seems most likely?".

    Here are my predictions for this round:

    Pittsburgh over Montreal in 5: Montreal may have beaten the capitals, but it took a lot of things going right for it to happen. Green and Semin had to be no shows, Halak had to be absolutely amazing, and Montreal had to get a few lucky bounces and calls to go there way. They get full credit for the victory, but one bad bounce or bad call in game 7 and they could very well be out. Pittsburgh has no perennial no shows, they are a versatile team that can do everything well when needed. They score skilled goals, gritty goals, garbage goals, off the cycle off the rush, you name it they can do it. They have a weird combination of youthful energy and veteran experience all rolled up into one.

    Philly over Boston in 6: I don't think Boston will have as much a physical advantage in this series, and I think we will get to see if Rask can be rattled when a few guys start to take liberties in his crease. Philly has a much more crash and bang improvised style of offense that seems harder to contain with a good defensive system.

    Detroit over San Jose in 6: Both skilled, but I think experience will make all the difference. If Detroit faces adversity, they shrug it off, come back hard next game. If San Jose does, they seem to really feel the pressure. Also, if Thronton, Marleau and Heatley can't contribute better than in the last round, I don't think they match up well offensively.

    Vancouver over Chicago in 5: I think I may be going way out on a limb here, but I think that Vancouver's offensive attack may get Niemi of his game even if Chicago's defense is stellar. Also, I don't think Chicago offense has exactly clicked thus far in the playoffs, and as long as Luongo is solid, I think Vancouver could jump out to an early lead and put all the pressure on the Hawks. I think last year they played really care free because they weren't supposed to win that early, but now that they are favourites I think the pressure is on. Especially since this team won't be together as is next season.

    Anyway, here's hoping its as exciting as the first round.

  12. leafy says:

    Funny thing is I hate picking only the favorites, but this year was strange. I was looking at all the 1st round matchups and said to myself, wait a minute, no way this team is beating that team.

    Still, if you look at the East upsets, two weren't really upsets, when you think about it. At the beginning of the season, everybody expected Boston and Philly to have strong teams.  It was just surprising that they had weaker regular seasons.

  13. leafy says:

    Ya, I think anybody who predicted the Washington upset should probably play the lottery.  Like Boudreau said, "I would have bet my house that they couldn't beat us 3 times in a row".

  14. leafy says:

    Detroit is one of those underdogs that aren't really underdogs.  I could think of 2 classic examples from the past:

    In 1988, the Oilers were the "underdog" against Calgary, but how can a team with Gretzky, Messier, Kurri, Anderson, Coffey, Lowe, Fuhr, etc, be an underdog?

    In 1983, the Islanders had a poor regular season by their standards, and were deemed "underdogs" against Boston and Edmonton.  But then they turned it on in the playoffs and dominated as usual.

    Another example is Detroit versus Dallas in 1998. 

  15. Boston_Bruins says:

    What would be worse for Hossa, losing to the Red Wings in the Conference Finals or losing to the Penguins in the Finals? I think you can make a good argument for both.

  16. leafy says:

    Hossa reminds me of some dudes at the supermarket who are constantly hopping from one lineup to another in order to find the shortest line to the cashier to get served first, but somehow end up in the wrong line and are served last.

  17. leafy says:

    Truthfully, the only reason I picked Jersey over Philly was because of the goaltending.  I never expected Boucher to play that well.  Otherwise I never saw Jersey as anything special, honest.

  18. mojo19 says:

    That's true, actually in my hockey pool more Flyers players were picked than New Jersey, so I don't really consider that to be an upset either. If everyone hadn't jumped on Philly I would have maybe gone with some Flyers too.

  19. DannyLeafs says:

    Yeah, although I did not have that as the highest probable upset before the round began. I don't know how many of my other posts you have read, but if you have read many, I really try to avoid saying something is certain to happen because I realize that there is always the possibility of an unlikely outcome. I had the Sens as the most unlikely upset winner.

    I didn't have a statistical number for how unlikely each team was, I just picked the probably winner in each series, and tried to rank the upset winners 1-8 in terms of how likely they were to upset the favourite. After that I just looked through some old first round results and figured that it is pretty rare that there aren't at least a couple of upsets, so I just chose the two most likely upsets and went with them as my picks. I ranked the favourites 1-8 with the first team being the most likely to win their series, so my list looked like this:

    Pittsburgh
    Detroit
    Chicago
    Washington
    Vancouver
    San Jose
    Buffalo
    New Jersey

    So this was my list of favourites in order from most likely to go on, to least likely, then I just switched the bottom two to account for the fact that a couple of upsets always occur. I ranked Pittsburgh so high not just because of experience, but they really had a good match up. Not that the sens are awful, but they just aren't as good as pittsburgh in any area. With Montreal and Washington, everyone knew that Montreal had to have a huge goaltending performance to win the series, but at least they had an edge in that, and a goalie that has shown he is capable of doing it, but what was Ottawa's recipe for a win? they never really had an edge in any area.

  20. mojo19 says:

    ahaha, great analogy

  21. futurebruin says:

    Eastern Conference:

    Pittsburgh vs Montreal: Pittsburgh in 6
    To be honest, I really, really hope that Halak continues to stand on his head and Montreal comes through, but I just think that the Crosby, Malkin, and Staal lines are just too much to handle, even for Montreal's defense.  I expect it to be a bitter battle, but Crosby seems like he's a man on a mission.

    Boston vs Philadelphia: Boston in 6
    I'm trying to look past my bias on this one.  The Bruins have really come around lately, a late-season scoring surge even without Savard, the defense really coming together against Buffalo, despite the losses of Stuart and Seidenberg, and Rask standing on his head(did you see the superman save?!) looks really good heading into the semis.  as for philadelphia, they're a great team, don't get me wrong, but I don't think Boucher will play as well as he did against Kovalchuk and the Devils.  Don't get me wrong, i expect him to still stand on his head, but i think the Bruins offense, especially with Savard and their confidence back, will find ways to get the puck in the net.  And the losses of Carter, Gagne, and Laperriere(sp?) don't bode well for Philly.

    Western Conference:

    San Jose vs Detroit: Detroit in 6
    To be honest, i was surprised the sharks managed to get by Colorado.  They are pretty good team, and they were playing very well heading into the first round.  Somehow, the sharks managed to make it through even with Thornton no better than invisible and a hobbled Heatley.  I still think experience is the best advantage any team can have in the playoffs, and the Wings have tons of it.  I'm sticking with my original pick, at least up to the Conference Finals, with Detroit.

    Chicago vs Vancouver: Chicago in 7
    I'd love to see Vancouver go into the Conference Finals, but Chicago didn't stack their team just for fun.  Their on a mission to bring the Cup back to the Windy City and, even though they had a tough time against Nashville, I think they'll really show up to play this round.  The only factors that could really steal the series for the Canucks is the Sedins and Luongo, but Luongo has looked a bit shaky as of late, especially in the Olympics.  I think the Sedins will really give Kane, Toews, and sharp a run for their money, but I just think the Hawks will be able to outlast Vancouver in this one.

    Round 3:

    Eastern Conference:

    Pittsburgh vs Boston: Pittsburgh in 6
    I just don't see any humanly way the Bruins solid D-Corp could ever stop Crosby.  It would be an all out war, especially due to the Cooke-Savard incident a couple of months ago, but I thinkt eh Bruins will be a bit too focused on taking out Matt Cooke for the first couple of games, and that could cost them dearly.  They could stop the Penguins and win it in 7, but that's an extremely difficult task and I just don't see the Bruins being up to it.

    Western Conference:

    Chicago vs Detroit: Chicago in 7
    Detroit will really play their best hockey of the year against Chicago, but kane and Toews is just too deadly a combination for Detroit's old D-corp to handle.  It would be the most entertaining series yet, but Detroit will fall just short.

    Stanley Cup Finals:

    Chicago vs Pittsburgh: Chicago in 7
    Somehow, someway, Chicago will manage to contain Crosby just enough for them to steal the series.  Niemi is really hot right now, and he could pull of a Boucher-Rask esque series and shut down the Pittsburgh offense.

  22. Boston_Bruins says:

    I agree with those picks completely. Only thing I'd change would be the Penguins in 5 over the Canadiens. I have faith that the Bruins would be able to beat Pittsburgh but my head tells me Penguins in maybe 6.

    The superman save was crazy. Same with Miller's save against Satan later that game. I love how there's a Tuukka cult developing in Boston. With all of the media hype and chants at the Garden you'd think he was the only player on the team. Not sure if you caught Tuukka on Felger and Massarotti but it was pretty epic with the Tuukka Time song and his reaction. Felger's man-crush is pretty obvious too. But I guess if you don't have a massive man-crush on Tuukka you probably aren't a bruins fan.

  23. Boston_Bruins says:

    Haha that pretty much sums it up.

  24. Redwings3019 says:

    WEST:

    Detroit vs San Jose – Obviously (forum name) Im a Detroit fan but this match up is clearly in Detroit's favour. San Jose struggled against the Avs, but that could be them just being nervous and moving on to round 2 will shake that. The top line for San Jose didnt produce, it was all the second line. Detroit just learned how to play a team with a similar style of play. The big difference here is goaltending, Nabokov is one of the last goalies you would want to face the Wings. He is a smaller reaction based goalie, not ideal when facing a team that is so efficent at screening/tips. Detroit's top players are in solid form right now and San Jose's are not. Detroit in 6.

    Vancouver vs Chicago – This is a hard match up to predict because I know how tough Nashville is to play against and its hard to say if Chicago has the experience to go further. Nashville focuses on the body a lot so they could be sore from last round. Vancouver was able to get around LA, I was hoping Vancouver wouldnt realize that fast offensive attacks would break down LA's D but they did in the last two games…Chicago is probably a little more solid on the blue line and they have more depth up front. Kane/Toews wont be stopped as easily this round because Vancouver cant play them as effectively as Nashville. Chicago in 7

    EAST

    Montreal vs Pitsburgh – If Montreal plays the way they did against Washington I think they can win this series. The Pens were able to get passed the Sens because their offence was better. Fleury didnt do anything that round and the Sens didnt have goaltending (when they did, they won) With the goaltending and shot blocking Montreal has working right now theyll win in 6. The Penguins cant dominate like Washington did, theyll be more equal scoring chances and Montreal seems to know how to stop 40+ scorers right now.

    Boston vs Philly – Philly never really impressed me and NJ is my favorite team in the East. I called it perfectly as to why NJ could loose the series and thats because every time Philly scored or pushed hard NJ would fall further into their defensive shell. Boucher played good but he wasnt truely tested. NJ played horribly, Philly deserves some credit but only some. Its another goalie match up, Boucher vs Rask…Boston in 5

    What I hope to happen is Detroit vs Chicago and Boston vs Montreal, because an all original 6 show down would be epic. Then Montreal vs Detroit for the cup.

  25. leafy says:

    Claude Lemieux was the total opposite of Hossa. The Stanley Cup followed Claude wherever he went.

    First he wins a Cup in Montreal. Then he joins New Jersey where he wins another cup in '95.  He gets traded to Colorado that summer and wins a third cup in '96. Then later, he gets traded back to New Jersey where he wins yet another cup.

    Claude could do no wrong.

  26. zackman13 says:

    semis
    san jose over detroit
    san jose in 6

    vancouver ovr chicago
    vancouver in 7

    pittsburg over montreal
    pitsburg in 5

    philly over boston
    philly in 6

    conf.

    philly over pittsburg
    philly in 6

    san jose over vancoucer
    san jose in 7

    finals

    san jose over philly
    san jose in 7

  27. mojo19 says:

    to Cam and reinjosh (and leafy if you wanna weigh in)

    Spectors hockey is reporting that JP Dumont is unhappy in Nashville about his lack of ice time, and that the Preds could consider shopping them to free up $ for Dan Hamhuis. Also consider that Nashville does not spend right up to the cap.

    Would you want the Leafs to make a play for this guy? I would imagine he'd lead our team in scoring next year if he were on the team.

  28. zackman13 says:

    yeah, hed be a pretty decent pick-up, but at what cost? grabovski?

  29. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Good question. I think he's a top 6 guy…

    Playing for Nashville guarantees he's a good defensive player, and must be good because that is a smart team…

    Can provide some O, so two-way

    Is he a top line guy. I don't really think so

  30. JustYouW8 says:

    i say detroit vs vancouver in the west
    and pittsburgh vs boston in the east..

    pittsburgh vs vancouver in the final with pittsburgh taking it again.. ts a tough call though..

  31. lukeleim says:

    San Jose over Detroit in seven

    Vancouver over Chicago in six

    Pittsburgh over Montreal in six

    Boston over Philadelphia in six

  32. lafleur10 says:

    habs in 7 over pittsburgh nobody gave us a chance against the caps we beat them ,nobody is givin us a chance against the pens but once again we will surprise verybody and win this series.

     boston over philadelphia in 6

     west
     blackhawks over canucks in 7

     redwings over sharks in 6

  33. Kramer says:

    The Washington loss was a mob hit. When the Caps were up 3-1, the unions and bookies intervened. All the bets were placed on the Caps. Washington threw the last 3 games. The airbrushed video replays were ready just in case.

    I predict more phony video replays in round two. This is only the beginning. More phantom calls to come. This is harvest season for underground bookie joints and speakeasies.

  34. reinjosh says:

    He would be an interesting pickup. He is a tad expensive at 4 million a year for two season, but he is easily capable of 60 plus point in a season (he scored 65 plus, 3 straight before this one). I'm not sure Burke would go this route because Dumont's older than what Burke seems to want but if Burke can't get a trade done for a young top 6 guy, I woulf be all for it, especially because he might be cheaper to get than other guys.

    If he hasn't been happy with his playing time in Nashville, and as long as he got top 6 minutes, he could be the veteran leader for the forwards (or the top 6). I think it could be an interesting option for sure. Nice one two punch at right wing, not something many teams have. Actually, the more I think about it, I think it would be a good option to consider.

  35. HABSSTAR says:

    SJ vs Detroit – Detroit in 6.  The Sharks get no benefit of the doubt from me.  I refuse to believe they won't find a way to choke until such time that they prove it.

    Chicago vs Van City – Van City in 6.  Chicago should have tried to do someething about their goaltending prior to the trade deadline.

    Boston vs Philly – Boston in 7, Philly makes it interesting but Boston is the better team I believe. 

    Pittsburgh vs Montreal – A part of me wants to believe this is one of those magical seasons along the lines of when Calgary and Edmonton made it to the cup finals, but that's a lot of talent in black and gold and Pitt's game is not suited to Montreal as Washington's was.  Washington will shoot from anywhere, but was a team of individuals.  Montreal beat them with a team game and super man goaltending from Halak in the last 3 games.  Pittsburgh on the other hand plays a team game and I doubt they'll get caught having their players try to win games all by themselves. 

    So it pains me to say it but I'll say Pittsburgh in 6.  I however cling to hope that two long runs in the playoffs in a row for Pittsburgh works against them and Montreal, after parting the Red Sea, can find another miracle and maybe walk on water through this series. 

  36. leafy says:

    I was watching last night's Wings-Sharks game. Even though they lost, Detroit looks like a far better team. I'd be really surprised if the Wings don't take this series.

  37. mojo19 says:

    Ya he put up 65+ points the last three years and then this season his ice time was slashed and he was off the PP. But even going way back to the Buffalo days he was good for over 50 points every year. He's definitely a top line guy in my opinion, and what I like about him is that he makes things happen out there, not like a support winger who posts 60 pts but is mostly benefitting from a great centre, JP is a B-level go-to-guy. He even led the Preds in scoring a couple years ago, had over 70 pts.

  38. mojo19 says:

    Ya its true. Everyone on Detroit seems to handle the puck so well and they make so many quick passes. I have to think that if Howard can hold up, Detroit will maybe only lose 1 more game in this series, take it in 6.

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