Well, not bad for the first round... 4/4 in the East, but only 2/4 in the West; having picked Anaheim and Minnesota to move on.
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So I will recap my predictions and update them for the 2nd round!
Detroit vs. Colorado... Oh, NBC must love this. I'm sorry to say this series won't have the same guts as the ones in the late 90s used to, but it should be a good one nonetheless. The first round gave me the impression that Detroit can be taken out by any team in the playoffs with a well-executed plan. As true as this is, I feel Detroit made the right decision in goal by going to Osgood, and Nik Lidstrom is still back there. I just don't think that Colorado will have enough to get by the Wings, with home-ice advantage meaning a lot to the Wings (not because of the crowd, which was easily the lamest of the 1st round) but because of the other advantages like last change.
ORIGINAL... Detroit over Anaheim
UPDATED... Detroit over Colorado in 7.
San Jose vs. Dallas... A match-up of the two teams who took advantage of the officials clasping down on rough play. Which benefits... of course, San Jose. Dallas can't expect to spend the whole series on the PP like they did against the Ducks. They're facing better goaltending and more forward depth. We'll see some of the first round surprises go back to their normal selves... IE, Mike Ribeiro.
ORIGINAL... San Jose over Minnesota
UPDATED... San Jose over Dallas in 5.
Montreal vs. Philadelphia... wow, I think Philly couldn't have asked for a better draw in their quest for the cup. Montreal showed their vulnerability in the first round and exposed themselves to several weaknesses, including everything... when the PP isn't working. They have a tough time scoring goals, but nothing better to solve that problem than to have Marty Biron roll into town. In order to beat the Flyers, they're going to have to get under Biron's skin and let him make mistakes like he does when he gets frustrated. Daniel Briere is the next guy on my list that I think goes back to his normal playoff self and does nothing here in the second round. This is a tough series to predict for me, I would have taken Montreal, no doubt, before the first round. Did they show in game 7 that they can bounce back? Or did they give everyone the ticket on how to beat them?
ORIGINAL.... Montreal over Philly in 7
UPDATED... Montreal over Philly in 7... Can't convince myself otherwise.
Pittsburgh vs. New York... Malkin or Crosby, Crosby or Malkin... really, who do you put your shut-down pair against? I think the biggest variable in this series is how the NYR defense adapts to the Pens. Can Staal be a young shut down guy? Or is it even going to matter... will Sean Avery just pester them so bad that it gets them off of their game. Just a reminder, Jaarko Ruutu will be pestering right back, and Georges Laraque will have something to say if someone's getting bothered too much. To me, it boils down to goaltending. Who would you rather take in the 2nd round, MA Fleury or Henrik (3 straight Vez nom's) Lunqvist... easy question.
ORIGINAL... New York over Pitt in 5
UPDATED... New York over Pitt in 6.
To be honest, i'm perfectly happy with the set-ups in the East and they're most likely going to be the games I watch the most. I'm a little bored by the Western Conference matchups. Especially the SJ/Dal series.
A couple of things to look for in the 2nd round.
-look for Peter Forsberg to slow down a little in the 2nd round.
-we'll likely see Hasek before the round is over
-Nabokov is going to get at least 2 shut-outs
-Brad Richards will disappoint
-Andrei Kostitsyn will continue to spend A LOT of time flailing about on the ice, and will likely see a cut in his ice time
-Daniel Briere will disappoint, Richards will shine.
-Malkin continues to benefit from facing the 2nd D pair.
-Chris Drury doesn't get many points, but quietly does a lot of important things.
Can't wait for it to start.
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