May 022006
 

I am going to be (mostly) without internet access over the next week to 10 days so I figured I would post my thoughts on the playoffs so far now as well as some thoughts on the potential second round matchups.

Eastern Conference:

Moving on: Ottawa, New Jersey

Carolina-Montreal and Buffalo-Philadelphia series are still yet to be decided but as of right now I think Carolina and Buffalo are looking in good shape to move on. If that happens Buffalo will play Ottawa and Carolina will play New Jersey. I like Buffalo and New Jersey to win in the second round in that scenario. Buffalo has too much talent and skilled depth up front and I think they will be able to poke holes in the defensive play of the bottom half of Ottawa’s defense and their young forwards. And I expect Miller to match or better the goaltending that Emery provides Ottawa. I would also expect New Jersey to continue their hot streak should they happen to play Carolina in the second round. As good as Cam Ward has been he is out classed by Brodeur and the Hurricanes defense will have fits with the speed and skill of Elias, Gionta and Gomez.

In the other potential scenarios Ottawa could play Montreal or Philadelphia and I would expect they would win either of those series fairly easily. The Devils would also likely beat Philly if they should meet but if the Devils and Sabres met in the second round we would be in for one dandy of a series. As good as New Jersey has been the Sabres could definitely give them a big challenge. I’d predict the Devils to win but it could go either way.

Western Conference:

Moving on: Colorado, San Jose, Edmonton

If Calgary wins, and I expect they will, the second round series will be Calgary vs Edmonton and San Jose vs Colorado. I think San Jose would defeat Colorado relatively easily but the Calgary-Edmonton series would be a hard fought battle that either team could win. These rivalry series are always hard to predict because you never know how each team will react to all the off-ice distractions associated with them. If I had to predict the series I would predict an Edmonton upset win over Calgary. I am just not convinced that Calgary has the offense to get it done and it is costing them against the Ducks.

If the Ducks win then Edmonton will play San Jose and the Ducks will play the Avalanche. In this scenario I think the Sharks and Avalanche would win. I hope Calgary wins though because I think the hockey world would be in for a real treat with a Calgary-Edmonton series. Of course I am sure the NHL is routing for the Ducks because of wanting the Los Angeles market represented but honestly I just don’t think the hockey would be near as interesting. I can’t get too excited by a Ducks-Avalanche series.

Ok, that is the best I can do for now. If I get an opportunity I may drop in and expand on some of this once the second round matchups are finalized but either way feel free to use the comments of this post to discuss your thoughts on the rest of the first round and the upcoming second round of the playoffs.

  3 Responses to “Early second round preview”

  1.  

    Good post for what you can do for now David. I still think the Habs will pull out a 7 game win over the Carolina Hurricanes…optimistic? yes…to say the least. Calgary will win game 7 as well vs Anaheim. I believe Philadelphia with the return of Forsberg will force a game 7 as well but will fall short to Buffalo in game 7. So, if my predictions are correct here are my game selections:

    Possible Round 2:

    Eastern Conference:

    1 Ottawa vs 7 Montreal ….Ottawa in 6 games
    3 New jersey vs 4 Buffalo ….New Jersey in 6 games

    Western Conference:

    3 Calgary vs 8 Edmonton ….Calgary in 7 games
    5 San Jose vs Colorado ….San Jose in 6 games

    Conference Semi-Finals:

    1 Ottawa vs 3 New Jersey
    3 Calgary vs 5 San Jose

    Should some of my predictions not come true in the 1st round I will re-post my thoughts once the 2nd round is set for certain.

  2.  

    I have a theory, in practice mostly… When a team plays and defeats the Red Wings, they almost always seem to lose their next game… So My money will go against Edmonton the first game of the series and maybe for the whole series at that….

  3.  

    Since we don’t know what is to be made of the western conference scenarios, I’ll just post my thought for the Eastern Conference semi-finals

    Buffalo/Ottawa- This is a good series in my opinion, as Buffalo, throughout the entire year, has been second to Ottawa in the division. If they can knock off the one-seed, Buffalo, NY will be at its highest level of enthusiasm since several years ago in that controversial 2001 Stanley Cup Playoffs (Of course, I’m talking about Brett Hull’s goal to knock off the Sabres). I think these teams are really evenly matched, but I expect the fatique to get to Ray Emery. I am going to pick Buffalo now for no real reason.

    New Jersey/Carolina- This is one of the best match-ups we’ve seen all year. New Jersey is currently riding the NHL’s longest winning streak of the season, but with a solid defense and good goaltending for Carolina, this could also go either way. Before the playoffs began, I picked New Jersey to go all the way and win the Stanley Cup. Even though they’re playing such a competitive team in Carolina, I still take Martin Brodeur to lead the Devils to the next round.

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