NHL 2013 Playoff Picks: Round Two


I went 8 for 8 in Round One, thanks to luck, Tomas Vokoun, West Coast bias (pro-Kings, anti-Canucks), and Craig Anderson (now 9-9-2, .938, 2.16 with 2 SO career playoffs). Round Two offers even fewer bad goalie matchups, with Fleury presumably now the Pens’ backup.


Chicago/Detroit: The wild card here is goal, where Howard could steal a win or two for the Wings. I don’t think he will, and I don’t think once you take away Toews/Kane and Datsyuk/Zetterberg the two teams are as close as it may appear, especially on defense, where broken glass is as fragile as Carlo Colaiacovo. Chicago in five.

Los Angeles/San Jose: The Kings have home ice! They won’t need it either; San Jose is a tough opponent with arguably the better goalie, despite Quick’s defending Conn Smythe Trophy, but the Kings are that much deeper and scarier a possession team. The Kings’ leading playoff scorer is Mike Richards (0 goals, 5 assists), and he’s tied for 26th overall. His team just won 4 straight against the goalie who went 11-2, .948, 1.28 in April. Los Angeles in five.


Pittsburgh/Ottawa: Iginla, Morrow, Murray, and Jokinen (who was benched the last two games) are all useful, but the missing piece may have been Tomas Vokoun. Even with Vokoun, Ottawa has the better goalie, but Pittsburgh has the better offense with a far longer track record; the same for their defense. The Pens scored 7 PPG (33.3%) in Round One (true, it was Nabokov); Ottawa scored 6 (24%) (true, it was Carey Price). Sad Calgary Flames fact of the day: only once (2004, of course) did Iginla previously exceed his 2013 playoff point total of 9. Sadder Calgary Flames fact: after tonight, 2004 will be the only season Iginla played more playoff games (tonight will be his 7th). Pittsburgh in six.

Boston/New York Rangers: Boston Game Seven goal scorers: Bartkowski, Horton, Lucic, Bergeron, Bergeron. Rangers Game Seven goal scorers: Asham, Pyatt, Del Zotto, Callahan, Zuccarello. Guess which one of these things is repeatable. Neither team will outscore you to death– the Bruins only scored 22 goals over seven games and still outscored the Rangers by six; the two teams have combined for five PPG in 58 attempts so far. Lundqvist has the longer track record as a top goalie (did you know Marty Biron is still around?), but Rask won’t lose any games for Boston. New York is better than the Leafs, but Boston will be better than they were in Round One, and Krejci/Lucic/Horton plus Marchand is better than any Rangers top four. It’s close, but Boston in seven.

Photo courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pavel_Datsyuk_2008.jpg.


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