Round 2 of the 2009 NHL playoffs start today. I was 6 for 8 in my first round predictions; let’s see if I can be 3 for 4 in my second round picks.
Series: Detroit Red Wings (1) vs. Anaheim Ducks (4)
My Prediction: Red Wings in 7.
Thoughts: The underachieving Ducks–who finished 8th in the Western Conference–knocked off the Sharks in 6 games. Can they repeat their success against the Red Wings? Nope! I don’t know why the Sharks keep sabotaging themselves each year, but the Red Wings don’t seem to have this self-destructive tendency. I’m not saying the Ducks will go away that easy; this series will go down to the wire.
Series: Vancouver Canucks (2) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (3)
My Prediction: Blackhawks pull UPSET in 6.
Thoughts: Yes, I’m pulling for my team here, but they’ve won two and lost two against the Canucks during the regular season. The Hawks will win if they can steal a road game early–if it goes to seven games, then the Canucks will draw upon the power of playing on their native Canadian soil and win the series.
Series: Boston Bruins (1) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (4)
My Prediction: Bruins in 5.
Thoughts: If you use your imagination, you can pretend it’s a Bruins-Whalers matchup (there I go again, living in the past). While Carolina upset the Devils, the Bruins averaged 4 goals a game against the Canadiens. Tim Thomas is having a hell of a playoffs (1.50 GAA so far), so the Bruins will make it to the Final Four.
Series: Washington Capitals (2) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (3)
My Prediction: Penguins UPSET in 6.
Thoughts: This one will be interesting. Capitals rookie goaltender Simeon Varlamov kicked ass in goal against the Rangers. Can he continue to do so against the Penguins–a team who will push him to his limits. I think Alexander Ovechkin is a better player than Sidney Crosby, but I think the Penguins have the better team.