In the first round, I was 6 for 8 on which teams would advance. I only missed Vancouver and our dearly beloved Wings. 75%? I’ll take it! Due to the quick turnaround and me being insanely busy at work (and trying to finish Archer season 3 so my friend can being quoting things tomorrow), here are my round two picks.
(1) Rangers vs (7) Capitals
Both teams survived a seven game series and had plenty of OT to deal with. The Capitals had an extra day off which might help themearly, but won’t matter much in the long run. I don’t think the Rangers defense is as good as the Bruins, so that could be an advantage for Washington. However, the Rangers go balls out in their own zone (even Gaborik…sometimes). As far as the Rangers go, they shouldn’t have needed seven games to beat the Sens. Washington has more firepower than Ottawa and are now playing very disciplined. I think the biggest factor is whether Alex Semin shows up. If you aren’t aware, he’s basically Johan Franzen – can be a dominant force in a game, or can be a friggin’ sloth out there and look like it’s an exhibition game.
As far as goaltending goes, Lunqvist doesn’t have much playoff experience. He was good in the first round, but wasn’t spectacular. Holtby was solid, but let in a few softies. I think King Henrik will outshine Holtby in the long run here.
Rangers in 7
(4) Flyers vs (6) Devils
The Devils have to face a team that can actually score and the Flyers are facing a team with an actual goalie. I think you know what you’re getting with the Devils – above average goaltending (these days) from Marty and a solid group of players that aren’t going to do anything major but aren’t going to fold easily. The Flyers are the complete opposite. As you saw during the series against Pittsburgh, they can score, but their team defense and goaltending was pretty..um…bad until game 6 when Bryz shut the door. I think Philly has too much firepower and Claude Giroux is just really awesome. Plus, if Philly wins, more chance that Parise comes to Detroit? Please?
Flyers in 6
Western Conference (goals? We don’t need to stinkin’ goals out west!)
(2) Blues vs (8) Kings
If there are any games with more than three goals total in this series, I think we will all be surprised. If you think about it, LA has the better team on paper, but the Blues play so well defensively it evens it out. I can’t even analyze this one. I’ll go with St. Louis I guess.
Blues in 6
(3) Coyotes vs (4) Predators
Pretty much the same as the Blues/Kings only the Predators have a little more offensive capabilities. I think getting Radulov back is way bigger than anyone could have imagined. I didn’t see much of the Coyotes series against the Hawks, so hard for me to judge exactly. I’m leaning Nashville in this one.
Predators in 6