Stanley Cup 2nd round matchups

April 30, 2010 |


     For those readers that still care about the NHL playoffs now that the Caps are out; here is a small description of what is coming up next. The Western Conference is full of the powerhouses, while the East has become the Penguins and a bunch of flawed teams. As the Caps stunning first round loss has proven, the Stanley Cup playoffs are the least predictable of the 4 major North American leagues. So, of course I will try to predict it anyway.You will notice a pattern in my series picks.


                                           EASTERN CONFERENCE

    #4 Pittsburgh Penguins    vs.      #8 Montreal Canadiens

Top scorers:  Sidney Crosby                           Michael Cammalleri

                           Evgeni Malkin                               Tomas Plekanec

                           Sergei Gonchar                            Scott Gomez

Goalies:         Marc-Andre Fleury                       Jaroslav Halak

                 For getting past Alex Ovechkin, the Canadiens get the pleasure of meeting up with Crosby and Malkin. If Halak continues to be impenetrable and the Montreal defense holds Pittsburgh to 2% on the power play, then the Canadiens will be okay. I just can’t see their luck (and incredible play)holding up for another series.

                                PENGUINS IN 6

       #6 Boston Bruins              vs.        #7   Philadelphia Flyers

Top scorers:  Patrice Bergeron                        Mike Richards

                          David Krejci                                    Chris Pronger

                            Mark Recchi                                   Claude Giroux

Goalie:          Tuukka Rask                                       Brian Boucher

             One of these two very flawed teams will be in the Eastern conference final. Both teams are dealing with injuries to key players. That makes it a very difficult series to read. In the end, I can’t see Boston generating enough offense to get it done; but if Rask soars or Boucher stumbles…it’s possible.

                                      FLYERS IN 6


                                        WESTERN CONFERENCE

     #1   San Jose Sharks                 vs.             #5 Detroit Red Wings

Top scorers:    Joe Thornton                                 Henrik Zetterberg

                           Ryane Clowe                                       Pavel Datsyuk

                             Joe Pavelski                                    Niklas Lidstrom

Goalie:           Evgeni Nabokov                                   Jimmy Howard

                 I picked the Sharks to take home the Cup this year back in October. I am going to stick with it. I think this team will finally get over the hump. The Pavelski/Clowe/Segotuchi line has been on fire. If they can get Thornton and Dany Heatley to step up their games, they will be almost unstoppable. The Red Wings are still formidable, but they are not the Red Wings of two years ago. Injuries and age have seen to that.

                                               SHARKS IN 6

        #2    Chicago Blackhawks     vs.      #3  Vancouver Canucks

Top scorers:   Patrick Kane                                     Henrik Sedin

                           Johnathan Toews                            Daniel Sedin

                            Duncan Keith                                   Mikael Samuelsson

 Goalie:            Antti Niemi                                        Roberto Luongo

                This series brings alot of animosity to the table. The teams don’t like each other and that will bring an extra dimension of toughness to the series. The Blackhawks will be better able to handle that part of the game in my opinion. Their skilled players are just a little bit meaner. And Luongo hasn’t really been dominant post-Olympics.

                           BLACKHAWKS IN 6