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April 29, 2010

NHL Playoffs - Round 2 Edition

As of Sunday night, my Round 1 predictions were actually going very well. I had all but one correct, with two series remaining. Then two disastrous Game Sevens happened and I came crashing back down to Earth like the supposed Balloon Boy (if, you know, he had actually been up in that balloon).

Still, I went 5-3, and got two of the rounds exactly correct! I picked Vancouver in six games and San Jose in six games. Not too bad for somebody who doesn't know what he's talking about (no, I'm not talking about Barry Melrose).

So on to Round 2! Let's see if I can stink the joint out any more than I did last time. When I say that I suck, I really shouldn't lie like that. That's what my drill sergeant always said.

"Damn it, man! If you're going to say you suck, you damned well better back it up and suck, goddammit!"

What was I saying?

Oh yeah, round 2!

Here we go.

As before, all rounds are best of 7 games. All seedings are the original seedings for round one (the top 3 Eastern seeds all went down, so their highest is 4th)

Western Conference

#1 San Jose vs #5 Detroit

Ho hum. Another NHL postseason, another virtual no-show by Joe Thornton and his crew. If it wasn't for the 3rd line pluggers on the team showing up, like Joe Pavelski (8 points in 6 games), the Sharks would have lost to the Avalanche. Craig Anderson stood on his head for the Avalanche, but when you're facing these guys, that's not too hard. The top Sharks line had a combined 10 points in 17 combined games. I made the milk carton joke in my Round 1 post, but I think we have to escalate to putting their faces on the Goodyear blimp as it flies over the city. "Have you seen these men? If so, please call 1-800-IVANISH."

Meanwhile, the red hot Red Wings blew Phoenix off home ice in Game 7 of their series, but it did take them 7 games to take the Coyotes out. They have very suspect goaltending. They also have a high-powered offense with some great skill players. It seems they can score at the drop of a hat. Hopefully they don't waste that ability on a snazzy hat, like this:

I think the Red Wings shut down the red-hot Pavelski line and the Thornton line looks as talented as it usually does in the playoffs.

Red Wings in 6

#2 Chicago vs #3 Vancouver

This is it! Revenge will be sweet for the Canucks in this rematch of last year's 2nd round playoff matchup. Last year, Blackhawk forward Dustin BigButtlin (or something like that) crashed Roberto Luongo's crease with impunity, getting him off his game and agitated. There were also lots of other little stories in the series as well. These two teams don't like each other, and if this weren't happening on the hockey rink, it would result in a really nasty game of Red Rover, Red Rover on the school playground.

The Canucks are faster than last year, and they have much more offensive confidence. I can't see them sitting back like they did before. Also, Luongo appears to be finding his game at just the right time. Who can forget this save from their 1st round series with the Kings?

I don't think he'll allow the distraction to bother him this year.

The penalty kill was the main story in the Canucks-Kings series, with the Canucks PK floundering early.  It almost seemed like if the Canucks took a penalty, they should just give the Kings a goal and go back to 5-on-5 play.  But it picked up later in the series.  That's the PK they need to show the Hawks.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks have weaker goaltending this year (while Niemi did shut out the Predators twice, he also allowed four goals in three other games, and when you say "Predators," you don't really think "offense"). They also have Marian Hossa, which means they suffer from the "Marian Hossa Curse." However, since that only affects the Stanley Cup Final, it doesn't mean much in this series.

Don't think this will get you to the Finals, Hawks fans. This year, the curse doesn't apply, as it will end early.

Canucks in 7

Eastern Conference

#4 Pittsburgh vs #8 Montreal

Wow, what a comeback for Montreal! Down 3-1 in the series against the high-powered Washington Capitals team led by Alexander (Why Can't I Score Making the Same Move All the Time?) Ovechkin, they knuckled down and stymied them for 3 games, coming back to win it. That took a lot of gumption! Halak, their goalie, stood on his head in a remarkable performance. His ability to stop rubber was reminiscent of Ken Dryden, Patrick Roy, or any girl I tried to date in high school. I was in awe, especially in Game 6, where he faced over 50 shots and allowed one goal.

Unfortunately, Pittsburgh is not as one-dimensional as Washington was, as they don't have Alexander Semin on their team (how can you be a goal-scorer and not score on almost 50 shots over a series????) I really don't like Sidney Crosby. He's super-talented, but he's cocky, with this smug expression that reminds me of most of the women I tried to date in college (are you recognizing a theme here?).

Halak is good, but he has to be god-like to beat the Penguins this year. Can he do it? Is he the Moses the Canadiens need to lead them to the promised land? And most importantly, will there be any stone tablets in the locker room when they get to Pittsburgh?

"The Fourth Commandment is: Thou Shalt Not Apply Thy Elbow to Thy Opponent's Head, Unless Thy Opponent is Matt Cooke. Then Thou May Use Both Elbows if Available."

I just don't think it will happen (though I wouldn't mind seeing that happen to Cooke).

Penguins in 6

#6 Boston vs #7 Philadelphia

Two more big surprises coming out of the East. Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that either the Bruins or the Flyers would be in the Eastern Finals? But it's true! One of these teams will make it.

Philly shut down a surprisingly mediocre Devils team in 5 games (I thought it would take 7 for them to do it), but they've lost their two leading scorers (or two of them, anyway....research? Is that a Greek word?). Both Simon Gagne and Jeff Carter are out for a long while. That didn't seem to bother them against the Devils, but can the Bruins defense hold the rest of the team off? Meanwhile, asshole-defenseman Chris Pronger has yet to elbow somebody in the head in this year's playoffs (or at least he hasn't been caught for it). Is this the series where he snaps and does it? Or does he elbow himself and knock himself out for 4-6 weeks? One can only hope.

Meanwhile, I still haven't watched Boston much (I followed my vow to watch the highlights diligently, though!), so I really don't know how well they're doing. Did Buffalo just suck or were the Bruins that good? I did see them knock out the Sabers' top scorer, Vanek, with a vicious slash that didn't get called. Do they do the same thing to Daniel Carcillo's face? And will it improve his looks?

I just have a hunch that this is going to be a hard-fought series, where neither team gives an inch, there are lots of battles, some heated play after the whistle, that sort of thing. Also, I predict that the anthem singer will get booed by the Philly crowd in Game 3, and then get speared by Pronger as he skates by.

What a nasty thing to do to a talented 12-year-old girl.

Flyers in 7

There wasn't much response to my first round picks, but I decided I would do Round 2 anyway. Come on, my hockey-loving friends. Get in here and trash talk! Tell me I'm full of shit!

You know you want to.


  1. canucks in 7? you suck. in five. go hard or go home.
    - the wife

    ps: did i mention you suck?

  2. Yes, you have mentioned that before, yes.


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