After careful review and actuarial calculations were completed, and verified by the offices of The Rat Trick LLC, it was determined that our first round predictions didn’t quite go as planned. Eastern Conference was a terrible 0-4. Western Conference however was a celebratory 4-0! What does that say? I like the West and don’t know crap about the East? Ah, that’s why we call them predictions. But c’mon, show of hands, how many you thought that Montreal was gonna upset top seeded Washington? Who knew that Buffalo wouldn’t get past Boston? Philly over New Jersey? My picking Ottawa over Pitt was more out of spite and dislike than for anything else. Promise to take the next matchup with more hatred seriousness than before.
Detroit vs. San Jose: A matchup that could be as good as any that we’ll see, but could have a ton of disappointments too.
Detroit Scum is the team that just won’t go away. After getting all their players back from injury, they’ve now become the force that everyone was afraid they would be earlier in the season. Finishing the season with 102 points isn’t too shabby either. They hold the season advantage over the Sharks 3-1, and have a gozzilion players with at least one Stanley Cup ring. Hank Zetterberg has 11 points, and Pavel Datsyuk had eight in the opening matchup against Phoenix. Puck control is their game, and they do a pretty damn good job of it. If they falter, it will be because of goalie Jimmy Howard who is in his first ever playoff hunt.
As for San Jose, I’m thinking that Manny Malhotra scores more than Joe Thornton. Look if the big three line doesn’t come through, this series will be over. Detroit isn’t physical. San Jose can be, and they’re a fairly big team, but if Joe, Heatley and Marleau don’t get on the board, the Sharks won’t be able to compete. Now’s the time when you’re best players have to be your best players. PREDICTION: SCUM IN 7.
Vancouver vs. Chicago: This matchup will be even better than last year as both teams hate each other more now than before. Season matchup 2-2.
The Canucks will try to help Bobby Lou from having nightmares about Patrick Kane and hat tricks and the number seven, which is the amount of goals Louie gave up in the final game last year. The “Nucks” are a bit nastier than last time, and of course have the Swedish National team on their roster with Samuelsson, and the Twinkies, Sedin Twins. Their defence however leaves alot to be desired and are missing Willie Mitchell, which hurts.
As for the Hawks, they got themselves a pretty good scare from Barry Trotz the Nashville Predators in the first round. Not a good matchup for them, but this one promises to be better. The free wheeling Hawks are more suited to play against the Canucks and use their speed an offence as an advantage. Rolling four lines and keeping shots to a minimum works to their favor, and Antii Goal Niemi in net has been solid. Looks like Big Buff is being switched to forward for this one, as the Hawks plan on using his big body/arse to get in Luongo’s way and be disruptive. Here’s hoping that Buff has beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Prediction: Hawks in 6
Boston vs. Philadelphia: The makings of a brutal matchup since the history of these two is complete dislike for each other. Season matchup: 2-2.
Boston will get Marc Savard back for this one and that makes them significantly better. Add that to the play of wily veteran Mark Recchi and the stifling defence that head coach Claude Julien insists they play, and it’s easy to say this is going to be a tight machup. Boston won’t score alot of goals and isn’t giving up too many either as Tukka Task will be difficult to penetrate. Also, dontcha just love the name Johnny Boychuck?
Philadelphia will be the same old nasty and snarly bunch of dudes they always are. No matter how much the roster changes they still love gettin’ under your skin . Missing Jeff Carter, Simon Gagne and Ian Laperriere is gonna hurt. All three out with various injuries, certainly changes the macho factor here a bit. But when you still have Mike Richards, Scott Hartnell, Chris Pronger and Dan Carcillo, you’re no pushover. Will Brian Boucher continue his wild ride? If so, these games will be close, low scoring and brutal. Nothing wrong with that. Prediction: Flyers in 6 (just a hunch)
Montreal vs. Pittsburgh: David vs. Goliath? Maybe. Season series: Pittsburgh 3-1.
Montreal coming off an extremely emotional trouncing of the Washington Capitals has to hope that they aren’t spent from that seven game series. Let’s face it as good as Halak was, if he faces 576 total shots again, this thing is over in four. Montreal’s “D” has to be better. That said, Cammy, Tomas Plekanec ,Gomez and Gionta can score. There just has to be less shots against. I mean how many shots can Hal Gill block? We will now find out if size matters. As well as the experience of our old friend Uncle Jack behind the bench.
Pittsburgh got themselves a bit of a rough ride from Ottawa and if they play with that haphazard attitude in this series, they could lose it. If Marc-Andre Fluery is off, it’s over. The Crosby and Malkin show might be too much for the Habs,and it doesn’t stop there. Guerin, Gonchar, and even that pain in the ass Matt Cooke are game changers. These are the defending Stanley Cup Champs after all. Dan Bylsma keeps this unit on their toes and has them playing hard too. But let’s face it, and please everyone don’t get all bent outta shape here, but I hate Pittsburgh. I can’t stand them. Prediction: Pens in 6. Although I reserve the right to actually feel that Montreal pulls it out in 7.
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