NHL Round Two playoff picks

Belatedly, my take on Round Two:

West

San Jose/Detroit: The Sharks beat the Wings in five games last playoffs but were actually outscored 17-15, winning four one-goal games and being blown out 7-1 in Game 4 (somewhat 2011 Canuck-esque, without the other two losses). In other words, pure puck luck. San Jose is better now, offensively and defensively (Nabokov to Niemi is a wash); Detroit probably slightly worse in terms of both health (Zetterberg’s knee, Franzen’s ankle) and Howard, among other X factors (Lidstrom turned 41 yesterday). Datsyuk may be the best player on either team. Despite that, as a Canucks fan, I would rather face Detroit, and will take San Jose in six here.

Vancouver/Nashville: Never in doubt. Nashville won’t be as tough an opponent as the Hawks were (nor as the Sharks or Wings would be, I think), and probably won’t score enough often enough to win this series, but with Rinne and Weber and Barry Trotz behind the bench, it will be close. Odd note: the Canucks are scoring 2.12 goals/game so far this postseason (and allowing 2.75); Nashville is outscoring them by 1.02. That won’t last. Bonus points to Shea Weber’s playoff beard, a.k.a. the guy from Iron and Wine, but Vancouver in seven.

East

Philadelphia/Boston: I probably would have stuck with Bobrovsky longer, at least as the backup for Boucher over Leighton, but whatever, it worked (or rather, worked out despite not working). I doubt the Flyers will be as lucky against Boston, who has two good goalies and decent depth up front and on D, and who went 3-1 vs. the Flyers during the regular season. Health (Carter, Pronger) is one obvious X factor and probably worth more than the difference between Boucher and Thomas, or even Bobrovsky and Thomas. Bruins in six.

Washington/Tampa Bay: The Caps went 4-1-1 vs. Tampa during the regular season, outscoring them 19-10 (the two non-wins were Roloson shutouts, 1-0 in OT and 3-0, meaning Tampa was outscored 19-6 in the other 4 games). Roloson was good in Round One (4-3, .949%, 1.77 with a shutout), Neuvirth was arguably better (4-1, .946%, 1.38 with a shutout). Even without Knuble and Wideman, I doubt this will take more than Caps in five.

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One Response to “NHL Round Two playoff picks”

  1. […] I went with Buffalo in six for the opening round, more optimistically as it turned out with Boston in six the next round– enjoying Bobrovsky’s brief blown shot at being a playoff savior, or van […]

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