The second round of the NHL playoffs start tonight, also known at the semis, and we might as well talk about it. No use in having an elephant in the room, right? Actually, that analogy doesn't really apply here, but what it does do is fill space in the intro.
I've already made my picks for the entire playoffs, but since those got destroyed in the first round, I'll readjust them a little bit as we go along.
So enjoy the games tonight, folks. I know it was hard to go an entire day without hockey, but after that long and arduous night (I slept two hours and that was because I huddled in the corner), we can all settle down and watch some hockey!
- No playoffs are complete if they don't feature an Avs/Wings matchup at some point.
- Can someone find Patrick Roy and bring him back for this series?
- The Avs are your Overlords of the Known Universe.
- The banning of octopi throwing does not please Red Wings fans.
- These teams haven't met in the playoffs since 2002.
- The Avs are 3-2 in playoff series against the Wings since they moved to Denver in 1996.
In a nutshell:
Wow. I don't think playoff hockey gets any bigger than this. If you're wondering why I say this, then you should probably check out this link. They haven't met in the playoffs in quite sometime, but these teams still don't like each other. There are also a lot of players left over from when these two teams used to beat the hell out of each other every spring. Sure, they're different teams now despite some similarities, but I still think this series is going to kick some series tail. Hell, it's at least better than a Nashville/Minnesota matchup... Unless, of course, you're a fan of those teams. But for the rest of us, this is going to be fun to watch for the next two weeks.
Wings in five. While they are talented, I don't think that this Avs team is going to be able to compete. It won't be a washout -- far from it -- but I'll take the Wings in six. Their defense and goaltending are just too good.
- OK, now we have actually bullet points for this series. They will be just as subpar as all the others.
- Give the puck to JR. All the time. I don't think I need to say any more.
- The over/under on bloggers using Debbie Does Dallas references during this series is set at 600.
- Mike Modano is all that is man.
- This series makes my head hurt (read on for that explanation).
In a nutshell:
This series... I have no clue how it's going to end up. The Sharks were my Stanley Cup pick, and they had to fight tooth and nail through seven games with Calgary, getting by thanks to a little help from a friend (JR). This series bewilders me. The Sharks were the hottest team in the league coming into the playoffs, while the Stars were the coldest. How the Sharks almost didn't get to this point and the Stars took out the defending champs fairly handily, I have no idea. I'm just really, really confused so I think I'm going to sit down, be quiet and let this series unfold as it will.
I'm taking the Sharks, and that's only because I'm sticking with my Stanley Cup pick. No flip flopping here. In how many games, you ask? I'll say seven. I have no idea.
- Daniel Briere is the real deal.
- Does anyone out there known if the dancing guy is still getting his groove on in Philly?
- No Flyers got suspended during their first round series... Did anyone else not see that coming?
- The first round was a coming out party for the Kostitsyn brothers.
- Battles to watch: Carey Price vs. Marty Biron. Whoever wins this battle will likely win the series.
- Will we have another George Feeny sighting?
I wrote up a series preview for this one over at Fanhouse this morning. If you're looking for a more indepth response, that would be something you should check out. Here's how I look at this series. Both these teams have great offenses. There's not much separation there. There are, however, three main keys to the series.
1) How will the Habs stand up to Philly's physical style of play?
2) As said, the winner will likely also be the winner of the goaltender battle.
3) Special teams will be a HUGE factor.
During the regular season, these were the #1 and #2 teams in the league when they had the man advantage. Montreal's power play was a little rusty in round one, while the Flyers were running on all cylinders. The PP/PK units are going to go a long way in deciding this one.
Sticking with what I said at Fanhouse, I'll take the Habs in seven.
- These are two Atlantic division rivals who both housed their first round opponents.
- It's hard for me to root for either of these teams, so I'll root against both of them.
- Sean Avery gets to hang around for at least a few more games. That's going to be worth at least 7 posts next week.
- Pensblog should be epic during this series. Do us proud boys.
- For all your Rangers needs, there's Scotty Hockey.
- Jaromir Jagr is looking a little creepy these days.
It's hard for me to say much on this one. I don't like either of these teams. I do, however, like their bloggers. Obviously the Pens goaltending is going to be something to keep an eye on in this series as it has been all year long. Whether or not Jagr shows up will also be a major factor in determining a winner.
Sigh... I guess I sort of have to pick a winner here. If you put a gun to my head (please don't, by the way) I would take the Rangers in six. I don't know. Don't ask.