28 April 2011

2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs: 2nd Round Predictions

The second round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs starts tonight. Eight clubs are still standing, their dreams of holding Lord Stanley's Cup still intact. Which teams do I think will advance to the Conference Finals?
Conference Semifinals TV Schedule

(1) Washington Capitals vs. (5) Tampa Bay Lightning
The Capitals were able to hold those pesky Rangers in the opening round without too much of a struggle but they are in for a tougher test with the Lightning here. This Lightning club will be able to keep up with the Capitals offensively but the Caps have a big edge in goal. I can't trust Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson that much against the vaunted Capitals offense while Semyon Varlamov seems to be tapping into his immense portential and was very good against New York. I think he gives Washington the edge.
Capitals in 6

(2) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (3) Boston Bruins
This may be the most even series of this round of the playoffs. Both teams are strong on the offensive and defensive ends of the ice. But I think this series will be decided by the netminders in goal. Tim Thomas has had a fantastic season and came up huge when the B's needed him against Montral while Philly struggled to get consistent play from their goalies, Brian Boucher and the now injured Michael Leighton. I think that Boston's major advantage in goal will tilt the series towards them.
Boston in 7

(1) Vancouver Canucks vs. (5) Nashville Predators
The Canucks survived a scare from the eighth seeded Blackhawks in round 1 as they choked away a 3-0 lead as Roberto Luongo nearly imploded. But they came around and won game 7. But I don't think their struggles will continue with the upstart Predators. Barry Trotz has got a very good club but they are not as deep from top to bottom as Vancouver is. And that will show this series. 
Canucks in 5

(2) San Jose Sharks vs. (3) Detroit Red Wings
The Sharks got past the young L.A. Kings but they are certainly in for a tough test in the next round. Detroit looked awesome against the Winnipeg Jets Phoenix Coyotes and this veteran club always comes to play come playoff time. They will have no problem exploiting the defensive defiencies of the Sharks and will survive and advance. 
Red Wings in 6

1 comment:

  1. Still no love for the Sharks....I guess they won't have you convinced until they're hoisting the Cup. Of course, you picked Kings in 6 (and it was Sharks in 6) for the first round--so maybe, you should keep picking against them. Sharks in 6 against the Wings?