Well it's that time of the playoffs now, the fat has been trimmed and only the cream of the crop are left. We, the expert panel, are looking to provide our own thoughts on the second round, but before that we are going to look back at the first round....
Coming in fourth in the predictions in the first round, was none other than Troy. He scored six points by correctly predicting that Montreal, Pittsburgh, New York, Detroit, San Jose, and Colorado would advance.
Montreal vs Boston
After the first two games I was quite happy how this series was going but I must admit I was very nervous after game 6. Boston played very well but in the end Price came through and Kovalev decided to show up
Pittsburgh vs Ottawa
Well pretty much everyone knew this series was going to be quick (....yes...even Glen...he just didn't want to admit it) but we all gave Ottawa enough credit to win at least one game. Unfortunately that didn't happen and there should be some big changes in the off season for this team.
Washington vs Philadephia
This series was amazing. I really wasn't expecting it to be this close. A lot of young guns came through for both teams in this series.
NYR vs New Jersey
I really wasn't expecting New Jersey to be such a door-mat in this series. They couldn't score, and Brodeur wasn't all that good. Credit must be given to New York though. They were better than I was expecting.
Detroit vs Nashville
I was really hoping in my heart of hearts that Nashville would win this series but alas, no luck. This series never really seemed in doubt.
San Jose vs Calgary
After game 3 of this series when Calgary came back from being down 3-0 in the first 5 minutes, I thought for sure the Flames were going to win the series. Stupid JR had to go and ruin that. It was definitely a fun series to watch though and probably closer than most people expected.
Minnesota vs Colorado
This was a very enteraining series. The first 3 games went to overtime (all ending in 3-2 scores). Only 1 game in this series was decided by more than one goal. Theodore showed up in this series and that's why they won. Can he do it in the second round?
Anaheim vs Dallas
I did not see this coming. Marty Turco played amazing in this series and Dallas' offence was excellent. They were the hungrier team and it showed.
First Round MVP
This will probably not be a surprise to anyone but my first round MVP has to be Carey Price. Boston was the better team 5 out of 7 games against Montreal and in game 7 he stole the first half of the game until Montreal finally decided to play the way they can.
Coming in third in the first round with 8 points for correctly predicting all 8 series victories was none other than Mr. Coin...
Well I’ll be God-damned, did I ever shock the world!! Look at that, I got a PERFECT score during the first round! I think that Jeff copied my answers. Lord knows it wouldn’t be the first time!
I’ve always been great at predicting the playoffs. I know that I called the ’67 Leafs win, and how it would be the last time that would happen for a while. Plus, I was the only one that called the Vancouver Millionaires would win the Cup, no matter what the Kaiser had to say! I even flipped my way into saying that the 1919 and 2005 playoffs wouldn’t have a winner…and people think that I can just make binary decisions, ha!
As for the rest of the playoffs, I remain one of only two of the prognosticators to still have both of my predicted Cup Finalists survive the first round. However, in a move characteristic of my crotchety old age, I have completely changed my mind. While I still like the Red Wings to make it out of the West, I am going to go with everyone else’s prediction and have the Penguins come out of the East. I’ll even copy Jeff and have the win, but I’ll do him one better…they will sweep!
Coming in 2nd is none other than the man who owns this very blog....ME!!! I got 6 right, correctly predicting Montreal, Pittsburgh, New York, Detroit, San Jose, and Colorado would advance. To top it off, I correctly predicted how many games it took for New York, Detroit and San Jose to all win, giving me a total of 9 points...well at least I beat the coin :)
Stupid Dallas! Stupid Philadelphia! Stupid everyone!
I must say, that the first round had no major surprised. Pretty much every team that should have won ended up winning. Yeah you can classify the Rangers, Flyers, Avalanche, and Stars and victories as “upsets”, but are you really that surprised by any of them? The Rangers beat the Devils all season long. The Flyers had more points than the Capitals. The Avalanche are only healthy now for the first time all season. Really the only ones that was any surprise was the Stars, and that’s really not that big of a shock, especially when you consider that the Ducks have played 7 playoff series in the last two seasons.
Yeah, I know, I predicted Anaheim to win the Cup, but I figured that their biggest challenge (like Ottawa’s) was to get out of the first round, and with the way the Turco, and the rest of the Stars, played, I can’t say that I’m all that surprised. I guess I’m going to have to jump on the San Jose to win the West bandwagon that everyone else has.
In the East, I don’t know what disappoints me the most, no Ottawa in the second round, or no Ovechkin-Crosby showdown. I guess if I couldn’t have had one, I would have wanted the other, and alas, I got neither of them. I guess I’m happy that Montreal got the preferred match in the second round, but it is nothing compared to what could have been for a Pittsburgh-Washington series. I’m sticking with Pittsburgh out of the East, and I honestly think that they could beat San Jose for the Cup.
In the first round there were three players in particular that stood out with MVP type performances. Daniel Briere currently leads all playoff scorers with 11 points, and proved to be the best player in a series that features one of the world’s best hockey players. While Carey Price had two shaky games against Boston, he still managed to get two shutouts in the first round and looked damn near unbeatable for most of the series. But my pick for MVP of the first round, I think that it is none of other than the other player drafted in 2005, Mr. Sidney Crosby. Sure he’s not at the top of the playoff scoring chart at the moment, but you have to remember that he only played four games, yet managed an incredible 8 points. More importantly, he played hard every game and proved to be a clutch player, after people spent a great deal of time this season talking about Malkin, Crosby reminded people who the real star of that team is. I’m certain that he can keep it up, and should end up with a Conn Smythe soon enough.
And coming in first place is well...let's allow the video to do the talking...
That's right, like the coin, Jeff got all 8 right, and to top it off, he correctly predicted how long it would take for New York, Colorado, and Dallas to win.
Well, here we are in round, and I have already established my dominance over Glen once again in all things hockey. I even beat Maggie the TSN Monkey. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Leafs call me about the GM job now that Burke is staying put.
Anyways, the first was awesome! If only all series can be like the Washington-Philadelphia series.
Here are my thoughts on the 1st round.
New Jersey vs New York
Pretty much what I expected. Although I was a little shocked Brodeur didn’t play a bit better. Sean Avery proved to be the pest that he is and gave announcers and Off The Record something to talk about for weeks. New Jersey is still a few pieces away from a complete puzzle, but they have Brodeur in net so those few pieces could be easily added. Lunqvist will have to continue to play amazing if the Rangers are to be successful in the next round.
Montreal vs Boston
Turned out to be more of a barn burner then I and I am sure many other people thought it would be. Boston showed a lot of heart and proved that they deserved to be in the post season. Montreal needs to stay focused or they are in trouble. If they would have lost, Montreal would have been burnt to the ground, in a riot, as opposed to a celebratory burning to the ground.
Pittsburgh vs Ottawa
Ummmm, was Pittsburgh even playing another team? Gerber stood on his head. The rest were on the gold course already. Much work to be done in Ottawa. Pittsburgh needs to hope for a tougher series in the next round. To much rest is not always a good thing. Malkin, Corsby, Hossa, and Fleury all played great. This is good news if you are a Pens fan.
Phili vs Washington
Called it! Washington showed up, that is for sure. They can hold their heads high as they did better then Pittsburgh in their first try. Next year, everyone better watch out. Washington is not far off from a contender. Ovechkin is as Pierre McGuire would say, an absolute monster. He is simply the best all around player a team could have. But, like I said, Phili is better then 6th place.
Detroit vs Nashville
A little bit of a surprise, as well as a disappointment. Good to see Nashville show up. Maybe they can try and not injure their own players next year. It always helps in the playoffs. Osgood should be the starter.
Colorado vs Minnesota
Hard fought series. Minnesota needs to realize that to win, you need to score. Colorado could be a surprise team this year. Forseburg paid off and Sakic played great.
San Jose vs Calgary
Had a feeling this one would be an adventure. Most series are with San Jose. San Jose showed up when it mattered most, but it was their veteran player that did it for them. The big guns need to step up.
Dallas vs Anaheim
Called this one as well. Dallas is a solid team. No worse, no better then Anaheim. They played tough, and capitalized on their power play chances. When you play a team like Anaheim, if you score on the power play, you are going to be successful, cause you are going to get a lot of power plays. It’s hard to repeat.
So now we need to move forward to the second round, as we have some pretty interesting match-ups.
#1 Montreal Canadians vs. #6 Philadelphia Flyers
Troy Says: Well Montreal was 4-0 against Philly this year....but Montreal was also 8-0 against Boston so that goes to show you the regular season has very little to do with the post season. This will be a tough series for Montreal. Philly is another tough team and Boston played the habs very hard in the first round but the Canadiens are a different team with Koivu in the lineup and I think they got a good scare from Boston which should wake them up. Also their power play finally started to click a little in game 7 and if they can keep improving on that and if Price can keep playing well then Montreal should be able to win this series. The sooner the better because playing to hard- hitting teams in a row will take it's toll. Philly has a lot of young talent that can skate so this series should be very interesting.
Prediction: Canadiens in 6.
Mr. Coin Says: I think that the Broadstreet Bullies will take it to Howie Morenz's injured leg, giving them the edge...I suppose we haven't seen a good riot in a while!
Prediction: Philly in 5
Glen Says: Whacky Playoff Fact About this Series: Since winning the Cup in 1993, the Montreal Canadians have won a grand total of four playoff series, three of which were against the Boston Bruins.
This series is a blessing and a curse for Les Canadiens. Sure they avoided the Rangers in the second round, but on the other hand they got the Flyers. While they have a much better chance of beating the Flyers, they will get hit hard throughout the series. While I don’t doubt that the Habs can outdo Philly with all of their depth, I do worry that they will be in rough shape when it comes to the third round, after playing the only two teams in the East that really know how to hit.
Prediction: Montreal in 6
Prediction: Philadelphia Flyers in 6
#2 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #5 New York Rangers
Troy Says: This is going to be another sweet series. Two very good offences going at eachother. Pittsburgh has the edge in offence, but New York has the edge in goal and in experience. This is going to be a very fast series and there will be a lot of room on the ice so I think this will come down to which team's superstars come though in the clutch. Being able to perform in the clutch has a lot to do with experience and being able to handle the pressure and the veteran players on New York have shown they can handle the pressure. Jagr, Shanahan, Gomez etc. This is going to be an exciting series with lots of ups and downs for both teams and I'm giving the edge to New York based on experience, and goaltending.
Prediction: Rangers in 6.
Mr. Coin Says: I've been reading up on this whole curse thing, and I've got to say...I don't like the Rangers chances now...
Prediction: Pittsburgh in 7
Glen Says: Whacky Playoff Fact About this Series: Despite being in the same division for many years, this is only the fourth playoff series between these two teams. The Penguins have won the previous three meetings, with a very lopsided 12-3 combined record.
Montreal’s mixed blessing is certainly Pittsburgh’s curse. You know that they were praying for Washington to win. Not only because of the attention (and TV Ratings) they would get from a series with Ovechkin, but from the fact that they would have a much easier time with Washington than they will with the Rangers. I thought that they may end up rusty when it comes to the second round, but the Rangers eliminated the Devils only a few days later, putting them both on essentially the same playing field here. And well, the last thing that you want when playing against Crosby, Malkin, et al. is a level playing field.
Prediction: Pittsburgh in 6
Jeff Says: This series is interesting as New York have a great goalie and Sean Avery. Bob Mackenzie stole my thunder when he talked about Ruutu going after Sean Avery before he can go after Sidney Crosby. I thought exactly that not 30 minutes before I heard him say that. However, bugging a goalie is different then bugging a forward. The goalie plays the whole game, Sidney will be on the bench and the Pens will have Malkin, Malone, Sykora, and Hossa stepping over the boards. One can’t bug them all. I really hope Gary Roberts plays because I would love to see him battle with the likes of Jagr and King Henrik. This will be a fun series.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Penguins in 5
#1 Detroit vs. #6 Colorado
Troy Says: Well it's been a while since we've had an installment of Detroit vs Colorado and I am definitely looking forward to this one. A lot of changes to both teams since they last met, but a lot of similarities as well. I would say these teams are pretty evenly matched since Detroit is overrated thanks to playing in the Central Division, and Colorado had to tough it out in the Northwest Division. I think a big advantage may come to Colorado with goaltending. Glen will tell you that Theodore has historically sucked balls in the second round, and boy is he right, but Detroit's goalie situation is up in the air as well. Hasek has been mediocre and Osgood is well....Osgood.
Prediction: Avalanche in 7.
Mr. Coin Says: As great of a coach as Don Cherry is for the Rockies, he's no Scotty Bowman that's for sure...
Prediction: Detroit in 7
Glen Says: Whacky Playoff Fact About this Series: These two teams have met 5 times since 1996, with Colorado having a very narrow 3-2 series edge. However, when these two teams have met in the second round, Colorado has won both series, with a combined 8-3 record.
So I used to be a big time Colorado Avalanche fan in the last 90s, and so I watched all five of those series with great anticipation. I am fully expecting this one to be a fun series to watch, which will help me feel very nostalgic. While I have been very critical of the Red Wings all season, I think that they will pull this one out, for one key reason, Jose Theodore. While Theodore returned to old form in the season, and the first round, there is one key stat that needs to be addressed. In the second round of the playoffs, Theodore has an abysmal 2-12 record, with 11 straight losses. While I don’t think that streak will go to 15, I do think that his loss column will move up to 16.
Prediction: Detroit in 5
Jeff Says: All everyone is talking about is the renewal of an old rivalry. Not really the case in my opinion. Most of the trouble makers if not all are long gone. So it won’t be the same. This will however be a good series, and an even tougher test for Detroit who I believe will step up more then ever this round. They let Nashville get back in it last round, they should be more the wiser and ready to play this round. Jose Theodore will need to play amazing to give the Av’s a chance.
Prediction: Detroit Red Wings in 5
#2 San Jose vs. #5 Dallas
Troy Says: I definitely underestimated Dallas coming into these playoffs. Richards has been huge for this team and they have a decent amount of firepower upfront thanks to a rejuvenated Mike Modano. As far as San Jose goes, I hate them because they eliminated Calgary. But the fact is this team is damn good. And unfortunately for the rest of the league it seems as though Joe Thornton has finally decided to show up in the playoffs for the first time.....well....ever. Combine their insane offence with a solid backline and San Jose is going to be very hard to knock off and I don't think Dallas quite has the stones to do it.
Prediction: Sharks in 6.
Mr. Coin Says: Didn't I tell you this Pat Falloon kid was good?
Prediction: San Jose in 6.
Glen Says: Whacky Fact About this Series: Since their inception in 1991, the San Jose Sharks have made the playoffs 11 times. Of those occasions they have advanced to the second round a shocking 8 times. However, they have only made it to the third round once.
This should be the best playoff series, since well, San Jose’s first round series. I expect an all-out war between these two guys with a lot of hits, great saves, and clutch performances from the whole roster. Both Turco and Nabokov played their hearts out last round, and should continue to excel here. I think that this series just may go the distance and come down to who wants it more, and well, since the Sharks have been so close for so long, I think that they may just have the edge in desire.
Prediction: San Jose in 6
Jeff Says: This is a very tough one to call. San Jose is a solid team, and Dallas has heart and depth as well. Turco played well last round, and San Jose has (the soon to be Vesna winner) Nabokov. Dallas didn’t surprise me by beating Anaheim as I knew it was going to happen. Dallas is good, and they have Brett Hull as their GM. How can you lose in the second round when playing under such excellence? Two things are going to happen in this series; 1) Dallas is going to keep the solid play going and fight hard with the Sharks on way to victory, or 2) Dallas is going to suck it up for 3 games prompting Brett Hull to come out of retirement to lead them to 4 straight wins. I kid I kid, but series, this is going to be a tough series to call. I’m sticking with Hull’s boys.
Prediction: Brett Hull, I mean Dallas Stars in 7
Well that concludes our look back at the second round, be sure to check back to see if the Coin and Jeff can stay perfect, or if me and Troy can gain some lost ground...should be interesting to say the least...
Until next time,