Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Second Round Playoff Predictions

My first round predictions went pretty well this year. I was correct in seven of eight series. I am now guaranteed to do no worse than I did last year when I only made seven correct calls in the entire playoff.

Detroit Red Wings defeat San Jose Sharks My lone incorrect first round prediction was that Detroit would lose to Calgary and that prediction was made in part due to the questionable health of several wings stars including Henrik Zetterberg, Todd Bertuzzi, Chris Chelios and Dominik Hasek. Each played consistently enough in the first round and are likely as healthy as anybody in the playoffs (ie hurt but capable of playing hurt). Detroit will have to stop some high powered players in Joe Thornton, Jonathan Cheechoo and Patrick Marleau, but I think they have the defence to do that well enough. Meanwhile the San Jose defence is not as deep and relies on rookies Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Matthew Carle along with mid-level talents in Scott Hannan and Craig Rivet. I think Detroit has enough offensive stars in Zetterberg, Bertuzzi and Pavel Datsyuk to exploit this.

Anaheim Ducks defeat Vancouver Canucks Vancouver defeated Dallas is the longest battle of the first round series and it took a lot out of them. If Vancouver had trouble scoring against Dallas, how will they do when they are facing Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer on every shift? Anaheim has a deeper offence than Dallas had and although they shouldn't beat Roberto Luongo often, they should beat him enough to win the series.

Buffalo Sabres defeat New York Rangers Buffalo is the deepest team in the NHL right now (though they lack a Hall of Fame calibre talent and should be able to shut down the Rangers who are too dependant upon one line (Jaromir Jagr's line) offensively and lack any game breakers on defence (Paul Mara, Marek Malik, Fedor Tyutin etc could all be exploited by Buffalo).

Ottawa Senators defeat New Jersey Devils Ottawa has more offensive game breakers (Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson) and has a solid defence led by Wade Redden and Chris Phillips. New Jersey's biggest strength is goaltender Martin Brodeur, who did not have a particularly strong first round. If Brodeur significantly outplays Ray Emery in Ottawa, New Jersey can win this, but I think the difference in goal will not be so huge.

No Way Wings are going to beat the Sharks. Check out my blog. I was 8-for-8 in my first round predictions.

-MSG.com's RinkRat

It's a pity about Calgary, too. Kiprusoff was unreal in that series. Even in Game Five, he stopped 33 of 38 shots. It was truly a superb performance.
Sorry Puck, Sharks in 6
Rhyno41 sez,
I believe the wings will only go as far as the Dom will take them.His contract is playoff loaded so lets hope his cloths line isnt doing to good!
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