Sunday, April 25, 2010

NHL Playoffs - Round 2 *FIGHT!*

It is the advent of the second round of the NHL playoffs, and I feel absolutely rotten about my picks.

But before I dive into my second round predictions, we must interrupt this program for a little message about the Capitals...

...Aside from the fact that my bracket's all messed up, my heart is broken as a Capitals fan. Of course. Yes. Throw it at me that the #1 team in the NHL lost to the absolute last team in the playoffs. I've already thought about it and it kills to know that the Flyers and the Bruins/Penguins would have only been demolished by Washington had they gotten past this round.

As I mentioned in the playoff preview article in The Hockey Writers, the Caps would need to make their playoff series short and sweet. A four or five game set with the Canadiens would have been ideal, as the Habs were not seen as a threat to advance anywhere in the NHL playoffs, so the top tier squad of the Capitals should have been able to trounce the Canadiens.

The Caps, however, began the series poorly, losing Game 1 and barely winning Game 2. Games 3 and 4 displayed the kind of dominance the Caps were capable of, as they won 5-1 and 6-3 respectively. But the instead of using this game to send Montreal golfing, the Caps lost that one 2-1.

Game 6 was the most pivotal and deciding factor in this series as to who was going to move on. Washington had every chance to keep the game close. And had they even won 4-3 instead of the final score of 4-1, they would have been in better shape to beat Halak and the Montreal defense in Game 7.

I already talked about Game 7 though, and it's all in my Game 7 reCAP on The Hockey Writers. So let's not dwell on here about it...

...As a result, my predictions of the first round winners were almost shot to hell. Besides Washington's epic fail, the Flyers did, in fact, beat the Devils like I said on the radio show, but not like I said on my Crashing the Net bracket. The Ottawa Senators didn't pull off the upset over the Penguins like I had thought/hoped, and the Boston Bruins' attack was too much, even for Ryan Miller of the Sabres, as Buffalo lost in six games. Thus, all top three seeds in the East were eliminated.

Out West, I almost had it, except for I predicted that the Coyotes would be able to be a nice story throughout the playoffs, especially after beating Detroit, but that didn't happen. The Red Wings let the series go to a Game 7, only to embarrass the Yotes 6-1 in the final match. So much for "throwing the snake" in Phoenix.

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Nonetheless, here we go again, with an updated version of the playoff predictions:

Eastern Conference Semifinals (Round 2)
#4 Pittsburgh Penguins defeat #8 Montreal Canadiens in 5 games
#6 Boston Bruins defeat #7 Philadelphia Flyers in 6 games

Western Conference Semifinals (Round 2)
#2 Chicago Blackhawks defeat #3 Vancouver Canucks in 6 games
#5 Detroit Red Wings defeat #1 San Jose Sharks in 6 games


Eastern Conference Finals (Round 3)
#6 Boston Bruins defeat #4 Pittsburgh Penguins in 7 games

Western Conference Finals (Round 3)
#2 Chicago Blackhawks defeat #5 Detroit Red Wings in 7 games

Stanley Cup Final
#2 Chicago Blackhawks defeat #6 Boston Bruins in 5 or 6 games

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Any remarks, comments, criticisms, or condolences, place them in the comments section or hit me up via Twitter @LadyHatTrick.

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