Well it was a great first round of the Playoffs and with round two set to begin tonight, here are my picks:
#1 Montreal Canadians vs. #6 Philadelphia Flyers
Both took their first round series to seven games and had tough time putting the other team away. The Canadians struggled in games 5 and 6 against the Bruins and looked to be down and out before game 7. Then they came alive and beat Boston 5-0 to take the first round. The Flyers had a tough time with the Capitals but eventually knocked them out in overtime of game 7 when Lupil push a loose puck past the Capitals helpless goaltender. In the Capitals series the Flyers had to focus on one player in particular, this time they have to stop an entire team. Montreal is the number one seed for a reason and they can beat almost any team, even when they look to be beaten they can surprise you. The trick is figuring out young goalie Carey Price. Against Boston he had a few bad games but bounced back strong. The flyers feature a little better attack than the Bruins, but are in the same boat as them as far as the injury’s go. Montreal is healthy and ready to go. However because of my home grown Boston heart, I have to pick the upset here. Flyers in six games.
- 2 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #4 New York Rangers
This will be perhaps the better of the two eastern conference series. Both teams have super stars and both teams feature great goaltending. The Rangers had a rough start to the season, but turned it around nicely and put themselves in a good playoff position. The Rangers knocked out the New Jersey Devils in five games and the Penguins wept the defending Conference Champs in the first round. I believe the Penguins Sidney Crosby, Marian Hossa and Evgini Malkin are just better scoring threats the Rangers big three, in Jagar, Gomez and Drury. The Penguins have a guy or two that would not be afraid to pop Sean Avery in the face if he try’s the tactics he pulled against New Jersey. And for those reasons I am picking the Penguins in a close hard fought series. Penguins in seven games.
- 1 Detroit Red Wings vs. #6 Colorado Avalanche
The rivalry will be renewed in this series, and it promises to be a good one. The Red Wings have some goaltending issues, deciding between Hasek and Osgood, and the Aves have perhaps the hottest goalie of the playoffs, in Jose Theodore. Aside from that. I wouldn’t look for this series to be a series of fights and penalty’s, like back in the 90’s. This is going to be a talent filled series. I look for the home team to take every game in this series. Detroit in seven games.
- 2 San Jose Sharks vs. #5 Dallas Stars
The Sharks showed me that they have what it takes to get through the playoffs with a game 7 win over Calgary. But those blown leads in that series scare me. As far as Dallas, they surprised some people with the win over the Ducks, I picked them to pull off the win, but I do not think they can do it again. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are playing extremely well and Evgeni Nabokov will out play Marty Turco in between the pipes. San Jose in five games.
from my blog www.sammonroe.net