Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Playoffs, Round 2 -- FIGHT!

Well maybe now that we are into the second round the fighting will subside a little.

I was absolutely stunned by the Carolina Hurricanes comeback yesterday; even to tie it up was a miracle. I went and got my laptop, a snack, and was all ready to settle in for some game 7 OT (which I have never seen before...) when Stall scored? What? Really? Its over! So long NJ! So Long Brodeur and Shanahan!

As it dawned on me, that I had just witnessed a miracle, I also began celebrating because I think the matchups are now way better in the East! So here are my thoughts:

Washington Capitals v. Pittsburgh Penguins
Pens in 5
A bold prediction perhaps. I would much prefer the Washington Capitals to go through; I love the way they are playing right now! And I know the Caps have won most of the regular season meetings between the pair. The difference will be playoff composure. The Penguins went to the finals last year; they know what it takes. Their defence and goaltending is solid right now, and obviously there is the Crosby / Malkin scoring factor. The Capitals just went 7 games; they had trouble containing Gomez/Avery/Antropov, and they still have a rookie goalie (and a rattled veteran). This is gonna be an awesome series -- and I'd love for the Caps to go through, but I think Pittsburgh is too prepared. The games will be close, but Black-and-Gold will win most of them. Enjoy this series!

Boston Bruins v. Carolina Hurricanes
Bruins in 6
Boston is gonna get surprised. They really didn't have a first round, rolling over an already dead carcass. They have had a bunch of time off. They might think they aren't even in the playoffs at this point, having not played hockey in May in ... 10 years! Carolina, on the other hand, is rocking. Ward is playing great, Staal and Whitney are clicking, and they are ready to play a tough series and will not be pushed around. Think Anaheim v. Sharks. I do believe, however, that Boston will sort itself out -- put Chara on Staal, get a good power play, tell Savard to shoot more... and eventually the Bruins will move on, as the Canes sputter out.

Vancouver Canucks v. Chicago Blackhawks
I dunno! Lungo v. Krappyboolin? Toews / Sharp / Kane v. Se(un)dins? I think this has the makings of another great series!! But I think it will be done in five or six; I can't see it going the distance. Neither of these teams have the testicular fortitude to rally from being down a couple games... but this is gonna be a good one to watch. I can't even decide who I want to win, as I would like to see a Canadian team go further, but watching the young up-starts in Chicago, backed by a revitalized Boolin would be fun to see also. Coin toss!

Detroit Redwings v. Anaheim (once mighty) Ducks
Wings in 6
Upsetting the top ranked team is very exciting and fulfilling. Further, the Ducks are playing the same game they played when they won the cup; tough hockey, stiffling, with a vicious counter attack. They are like Cobras; tightly coiled in a defensive position, tough to get, and strike quickly and deadly. If they were playing Chicago or Vancouver, I'd give the series to them. And if anyone can upset Detroit, its Anaheim... but... Detroit has seen this beast before. They are an all round team that can quickly adjust to any opponent. They won't fall into the trap of chainging their game to meet Anaheim on their own terms; they'll play their game, eventually break the rookie goaltender, and the Ducks, content in their first round upset, will call it a season.

Its almost better that my team isn't involved; these playoffs are shaping up to be awesome! Enjoy the games everyone!

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