Friday, April 27, 2012

Round Two Predictions (Because We Did So Well In Round One)

Is this the defining image of the first round? What story will the second round tell?

Before we delve into round two, let us go ahead and see how Link and I did in round one of the playoffs. Let's just say Brendan Shanhanon got a higher percentage of his suspensions right.

Western Conference:

Vancouver vs. Los Angeles - LA wins series in five games
  • Link - Canucks in six - miss
  • Justin G. - Canucks in five - miss.  Um. So I missed on that whole "Kings don't have a chance" thing.
St. Louis vs. San Jose - St. Louis wins in five games
  • Link - Sharks in five - miss
  • Justin G. - Sharks in six - miss. What we meant was that the Sharks are waiting for NEXT YEAR's playoffs.
Phoenix vs. Chicago - Phoenix wins in six games
  • Link - Hawks in six - miss
  • Justin G. - Hawks in five - miss.  I live in Chicago. Who was I supposed to pick?

Nashville vs. Detroit - Nashville wins in five games
  • Link - Predators in five - hit - dead on for the Linkinator
  • Justin G. - Predators in six - hit. I'll take it.

Eastern Conference

New York vs. Ottawa - New York wins in seven games
  • Link - Rangers in five - hit
  • Justin G. - Rangers in five -hit. It took a little longer, but the Rangers found their game late in the series.

Boston vs. Washington - Washington wins in seven games
  • Link - Bruins in six - miss
  • Justin G - Washington in seven - hit.  Yeah, baby! So what if Alex basically was a non-factor.
Florida vs. New Jersey - New Jersey wins in seven games
  • Link - Devils in five - hit
  • Justin G. - Devils in five - hit. I watched 1 and 1/2 periods of the series. Brodeur looked old.

Pittsburgh vs. Phildelphia - Philly wins in six
  • Link - Flyers in six - hit. The Penguins fan knows his team.
  • Justin G. - Penguins in seven - miss. Eh, I didn't realize the Flyers would have a 98.4% power play.

So final totals:
  • Link - 4 and 4. He wins the tiebreaker by guessing the series length correctly in more games.
  • Justin G. - 4 and 4.  I apparently know nothing about the Western Conference.

Now on to Round 2!

Western Conference

St. Louis vs. Los Angeles
  • Link - Los Angeles in six games. He has a hard time going with the Brian Elliot/Jaroslav Halak tandem. Playing musical goaltenders doesnt work. Jonathan Quick is as good as any goaltender left in the playoffs.
  • Justin G. - Los Angeles in six games.  In what should be an extremely low-scoring affair I think the Kings have the slight edge in offense. We may see more than one 0-0 after regulation games.
Nashville vs. Phoenix
  • Link  - Nashville  in six games. Pekka Rinne is the better goalie
  • Justin G. - Nashville in six games.  The Mike Smith experience comes to a crashing end.  Phoenix did an excellent job of bottling up the Blackhawks offense in the first round, Nashville has a few more grinders than skill players and will find ways to score dirty goals.  My unsolicited (and unseen) advice to them - make Smith play the puck.
Totally unrelated note - if Phoenix somehow wins the Cup, do all of the owners in the NHL get a ring?

Eastern Conference

New York vs. Washington
  • Link - Rangers in five games. Can Washington win 2-1 games. The Rangers have the better goaltending in the matchup. Can Ovechkin, Semin and Backstrom succeed in Dale Hunter's system. If Washington opened up they can beat them. 
  • Justin G. - Rangers in seven games.  The Washington Capitals exist to break the hearts of their fans.  All two of them. New York looks like they've found their feet in the post season and Lundqvist is the best goalie left in the East. He'll be the difference

Philadelphia vs. New Jersey
  • Link- Flyers in seven games. Bryzy plays a few good games (but there will be a Bobrovsky appearence). New Jersey doesn't have enough balanced scoring to beat Philly.
  • Justin G. - Flyers in five games.  There is usually a team that looks like world-beaters in the first round that falls flat on their face in the second round. The Flyers are not that team.  New Jersey won't give them as many power play chances, but Claude Giroux and his boys are lethal.
Pre-round 2 Stanley Cup Finals Matchup
  • Link - Philadelphia vs. Nashville - I think Link is in a Philly-induced coma right now. He's a Sad Panda because his team lost.
  • Justin G. - Rangers vs. L.A. - the TV Market Matchup!

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