Friday, April 27, 2012

Second Round Predictions/1st round post mortem

1) Wow, what an exciting conclusion to the first round last night that saw 2 game 7's with one going to double OT before the NJ Devils advanced along with the NY Rangers earlier in the evening. That concludes the first round. A surprise for sure, especially in the East where we saw the 2nd, 3rd and 4th  (and almost the 1st) seeds bite the dust. WE were 50:50 as far as our predictions were concerned. WE saw the Bruins and Penguins winning. Only the Caps winning was a shocker to us as we felt the Philly-Pens series was pretty evenly matched.  The Bruins never seemed able to get on track and didn't exploit what appeared to be a very beatable Washington team (despite Holtby's heroics)

2) In the West we were also 50:50 but we weren't shocked at the Kings upset of the Canucks.  We saw that series going 7 if Vancouver was going to win. It was surprising how rather easily the Kings beat them. The surprise for us in the other series is how Mike Smith continues to play better than we expect. He's not the sieve he was the past few seasons in Tampa bay.  He's looked down right amazing.  We're still not fans, but give him full credit for propelling the desert dogs into round 2 for the first time. Clearly the Black hawks need to do something about their goaltending.  Only the Flyers in round 1 were able to win despite getting crappy/mediocre goaltending.

3) On to round 2:
  First the East:
NY Rangers (1) vs- Washington Capitals(7): Third meeting in 4 playoff seasons. Caps have won the last 2 but we don't that to continue.  They won't roll over, but these Rangers have something past teams lacked, character.  WE don't see this squad falling to the upstart Capitals. Yes, all the games will be close but the rangers will prevail this time.
Rangers in 6

Philadelphia Flyers(5)-vs- NJ Devils:  Won't quite be the war the penguins gave the Flyers but will be a battle nonetheless.  The key will be in net ofcourse. The Devils will need Marty to play like Marty of 5+ years ago and steal games as the Flyers offense is much more potent than what the Devs saw in Florida. Can Brygalov play the way he's paid?  If he plays the way he did in the first round the Flyers will be in trouble, but if he plays even decently, the Devils will have trouble keeping pace with the Broad street Bullies.
Flyers in 6

Next the West:
(2) St Louis Blues-vs- (8)Los Angeles Kings: This series, like the other West series will feature stifling defense and great goaltending if the teams' regular seasons are any indication.  Both teams allowed the fewest goals in the first round of the playoffs with only eight against apiece in five games. There certainly won't be any blow outs and probably a couple of OT, but we feel the Blues have a slight edge overall and will advance.
Blues in 6

 (3) Phoenix Coyotes-VS- Nashville Predators: The upstart Yotes are where few expected them before the season.  Count us among the non believers who have been impressed with the job Tippett has done with this bunch.  Mike Smith as we mentioned earlier deserves considerable credit as well.  That said, we don't believe that they will be much of a hindrance for the Predators destiny to be in the Finals. 
Predators in 5

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