Apr 242007
 

Time for the second round predictions. Like the first round, the second round features some intriguing matchups and also like the first round, none of those match ups are divisional rivals.

  1. NY Rangers at Buffalo

    NY Rangers (road) Buffalo (home)
    Predicted Winner Buffalo (Good)
    Fair Odds +135 -155
    Overall Record 42-30-10 53-22-7
    Home/Road Record 21-15-5 28-10-3
    Last 10 Games 7-2-1 7-3-0
    Past Games
    • 2006/10/14: NY Rangers 4 at Buffalo 7
    • 2006/11/05: Buffalo 4 at NY Rangers 3 (OT)
    • 2006/11/26: Buffalo 3 at NY Rangers 2 (OT)
    • 2006/12/01: NY Rangers 3 at Buffalo 4 (SO)

    My Opinion: Buffalo has been my pick to win the east before the season and they are still my pick though I think the Rangers could give them a challenge. With Jagr, Straka, Nylander and Shanahan the Rangers have 4 legitimate threats offensively, Sean Avery has given them a valuable boost in the ultra-pest category and he has also played great hockey too. The Rangers also have a servicable group of defensemen that are more of the stay at home defensvie minded variety which is probably better against a deep and talented offensive team in Buffalo. And most importantly what the Rangers have is some of the best goaltending in the NHL over the past 2-3 months.. With Buffalo having a deeper set of forwards and a better group of defensemen the Rangers are going to need Lundqvist to substantially out play Ryan Miller if they are to win. Problem is Miller is a very good goalie too so I think Buffalo will win this series. My Prediction: Buffalo in 7

  2. Ottawa at New Jersey

    Ottawa (road) New Jersey (home)
    Predicted Winner New Jersey (Some)
    Fair Odds +110 -111
    Overall Record 48-25-9 49-24-9
    Home/Road Record 23-12-6 25-10-6
    Last 10 Games 6-2-2 6-3-1
    Past Games
    • 2006/10/21: New Jersey 1 at Ottawa 8
    • 2006/11/17: Ottawa 2 at New Jersey 3
    • 2007/01/06: New Jersey 3 at Ottawa 2
    • 2007/04/03: Ottawa 1 at New Jersey 2 (SO)

    My OpinionOttawa looked very good in defeating Pittsburgh relatively easily but I think the Senators are going to be in tough now against New Jersey. The defense first, rely on exceptional goaltending style of play the the Devils play seems to be a challenge for Ottawa to overcome. In the first game of the season series Ottawa trounced the Devils 8-1 but only mustered 5 goals in the final 3 games. Ottawa has also struggled to generate offense against other defense-first, top goaltending teams losing 1-2 to Calgary and 2-1 to Vancouver. As for the Devils they looked off their game early in the Tampa series but rounded into form late in the series winning 3 straight games to take the series in 6 games. Ottawa has a lot more secondary scoring than Tampa did so that should be a bigger challenge for the Devils but Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley didn’t have good series against the Penguins either. That has to change if the Senators are to have any chance against the Devils. The Devils also have two lines producing goals which bodes well because you know that Volchenkov and Phillips will do a good job at shutting down one of them. Getting that second line scoring will be key and if the Devils get that they should win this series. My Prediction: Devils in 6

  3. San Jose at Detroit

    San Jose (road) Detroit (home)
    Predicted Winner Detroit (Some)
    Fair Odds +120 -125
    Overall Record 51-26-5 50-19-13
    Home/Road Record 26-14-1 29-4-8
    Last 10 Games 7-1-2 5-1-4
    Past Games
    • 2006/10/19: Detroit 1 at San Jose 5
    • 2006/10/25: San Jose 1 at Detroit 2
    • 2006/12/02: San Jose 3 at Detroit 2
    • 2007/01/04: Detroit 4 at San Jose 9

    My Opinion: I was not sold on the Red Wings going into the playoffs but the way they dominated the Flames at both ends of the rink was very impressive. If it weren’t for Kipprusoff it could have been a sweep for the Wings. But San Jose looked very good against a strong Nashville team as well so I think this might be a dandy of a series. San Jose will provide more of an offensive threat than the Flames did, but their goaltending isn’t near as good. The Wings are better defensively than the Predators and more experienced but may not have the raw talent than Nashville had. But I don’t beleive that raw talent is what wins in the playoffs. Smart team play, hard work, dedication, depth and experience is what wins in the playoffs and I think the Wings have a bit more of that than the Sharks. My Prediction: Wings in 7

  4. Vancouver at Anaheim

    Vancouver (road) Anaheim (home)
    Predicted Winner Anaheim (Some)
    Fair Odds +117 -120
    Overall Record 49-26-7 48-20-14
    Home/Road Record 23-15-3 26-6-9
    Last 10 Games 6-3-1 5-3-2
    Past Games
    • 2006/11/09: Anaheim 6 at Vancouver 0
    • 2006/11/30: Anaheim 2 at Vancouver 1
    • 2007/02/20: Vancouver 3 at Anaheim 2 (OT)
    • 2007/03/11: Vancouver 2 at Anaheim 4
  5. My Opinion: I am still not sold on Anaheim being a typical Stanley Cup winning team as I think they lack depth on defense and have a lot of young and relatively inexperienced forwards. But, they fairly easily defeated Minnesota and I think should relatively easily defeat the Canucks. The reason is, those two teams are ideal match ups for the Ducks. With a high dependence on just a few defensemen I think they are better suited to play against one line teams like the Wild and Canucks than deep, talented teams like Nashville, San Jose or Detroit. As we saw in the Dallas series, if you can shut down the Sedin line you go a long way to completely shutting down Vancouver’s offense. I think the Ducks can mostly do that just like they shut down the Wild’s offense. The Ducks should be able to generate more offense against Luongo than the Stars did so I think this is the end of the line for the Canucks. My Prediction: Ducks in 5

  14 Responses to “Second Round Predictions”

  1.  

    Ottawa 1 -> New Jersey 0

    How come you are biased against the Sens?
    You need to look more towards your statistical inferences :))

  2.  

    I should have taken Ottawa in the first round but I had to take some upsets so I decided to take a stab on the Penguins. As for being biased against Ottawa, well, they have to prove to me that they can win the tough series before I’ll have much confidence in picking them. They have proven the be playoff dissapointments year after year. Just look at tonight. They almost blew that game and I can assure you that they won’t get 4-0 first period leads against the Devils very often.

  3.  

    It is interesting how many people raise the false statistic about OH this team played so and so 3 playoffs ago. eg. The Leafs PWND you the last 3 times you met in the playoffs, so OBVIOUSLY you will loose the next time.

    Each playoff year is a unique event. Look at the Oilers last year. Every year the team make up is different and in some cases the differences are substantial.

    So labeling a “team” as having a bad playoff record is just black magic. It has no basis in fact. It implies an inate prejudice that will always cause you to lose your bets.

    To predict the likelyhood of success in the playoffs, you need to look at the current makeup of the team (the players, coach etc), the PLAYERS previous performance post season and regular season, and IMHO the trend in the final 1/2 or 1/4 of the year of the team vs significant opponents.

    Only then can you make a reasonable assessment of the likelyhood of a particular team winning in the playoffs.

  4.  

    Fair enough. Let’s go ahead and do that analysis (BTW, I assume you were talking about Ottawa):

    “current makeup of the team (the players, coach etc), ”

    No player other than the backup goalie has a Stanley Cup rin and of the rest only 4th Saprykin has even played in the Stanley Cup. As for the coach, he has coached some good teams but never had any playoff success either.

    “the PLAYERS previous performance post season and regular season”

    OK, generally score lots of goals and perform well in the regular season but don’t score much in the playoffs. A lot of people blame goaltending for past playoff losses but lack of scoring was a huge reason too. Last year their offense was shut down vs Buffalo and for the most part since the first period of this series against New Jersey Ottawa’s offense has struggled to score (just 8 goals since then one being an empty net goal).

    “final 1/2 or 1/4 of the year of the team vs significant opponents.”

    Ottawa generally played well this season after the first 20 or so games but they struggled against defensive teams like New Jersey.

    In the end, I think it was perfectly fair to question if Ottawa could beat the Devils or not and to be honest, if some of the bounces went the other way New Jersey could just as easily been up 3-1. It has been a pretty close series. All that said, Ottawa has played some very good hockey and they deserve some credit for that. But they still have some big hurdles to get over yet.

  5.  

    GO SENS GO! I HAVE WAITED ALONG TME FOR THIS TEAM TO HAVE HEART. U KEEP SAYING THEIR GOING TO LOSE. MAYBE YOU SHOULD STOP VOTING AGAINST THEM. GO SENS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo

  6.  

    WELL?
    Will you step up?
    Just because a team and players did bad last year and years previous OBVIOUSLY THEY WILL NEVER SUCCEED.
    Methinks your analysis is faulty.

  7.  

    WOW UR 0 for 2 when it comes to the sens. Not only that, but ottawa has won both in 5 games. GO SENS GO!!!!!!!!

  8.  

    You’re all fairly biased in favour OF the Sens apparently, so lets stop spouting stuff about “biases”.

    When you’re pinning your hopes on an untested goaltender, a number 1 centre who hasn’t carried the load to the Cup before, and two top line wingers that have faltered in the playoffs before, is it really that shocking if people don’t expect them to succeed?

    Lets not forget their Defence actually wasn’t IMPROVED this season. Everyone goes on about Volchenkov and Phillips but last I checked they were on the team last season. Corvo and Preissing didn’t add to the D in Defence. Redden had an off year. Still is frankly.

    SO lets review. Buffalo has more depth up front, and has had more RECENT success in the playoffs than the Sens have. Plus one of their top Centres has actually won the cup, more than once. Lets add in that their Goalie won a LOT of games in the playoffs last season, unlike Emery… I think the smart money would be on Buffalo for the next one guys.

  9.  

    I’ll also add that the Sens-Devils series was essentially 5 one goal games which could have realistically gone the other way had Fisher not interfered with Brodeur and/or Brodeur didn’t let in a few uncharacteristly weak goals. That said, Ottawa essentially had 10 goals (not counting the empty net goal) after the first period of the first game. When you factor in the double overtime that is a goals scored rate under 2 goals per game. Hardly a dominating performance by the Devils. Now, the Senators did hold the Devils to just 11 goals in the series but the Devils were the 4th lowest scoring team in the NHL during the regular season so that isn’t anything exceptional.

    The Senators are going to be facing the top scoring team in the NHL next and if the Senators can only score at a pace of 2 goals a game, they will lose the series pretty quickly. They are also going to be facing a goalie with a better goals against average and save percentage (in the playoffs) than Brodeur so it isn’t safe to assume things will get easier.

  10.  

    Steve you stated “and has had more RECENT success in the playoffs than the Sens have”

    2002 – Ottawa loses in 2nd round – Buffalo missed playoffs

    2003 – Ottawa loses in 3rd round – Buffalo missed playoffs

    2004 – Ottawa loses in 1st round – Buffalo missed playoffs

    2006 – Ottawa loses in 2nd round – Buffalo loses in 3rd round

    2007 – Ottawa and Buffalo meet in 3rd round.

    You are so right, 1 extra round in last year’s playoffs after missing the playoffs for many years prior does sound like overwhelming playoff success. Look at the facts not the perception.

  11.  

    David says “I’ll also add that the Sens-Devils series was essentially 5 one goal games which could have realistically gone the other way”

    Sounds like last year’s Sabres-Sens series in which Ottawa was “thoroughly dominated” as some have said.

    2006 playoff series:

    Game 1 7-6(OT) Buffalo win
    Game 2 2-1 Buffalo win
    Game 3 3-2(OT) Buffalo win
    Game 4 2-1 Ottawa win
    Game 5 3-2(OT) Buffalo win

    Again perception outweighing fact.

  12.  

    Let us recall that the Sabres made it to the 7th game of the round AFTER they beat Ottawa last season, with half their D corps injured, their record in the playoffs was 11-7, Ottawa’s was 5-5. Then lets think about the fact that this season the Sabres won the President’s trophy. Then let’s consider the idea that in all those seasons the Sabres were finishing out of the playoffs they didn’t have Ryan Miller in net (not that Biron was bad, but Noronen wasn’t winning and Miller wasn’t done developing). Afinogenov, Vanek, and Roy weren’t helping out. They were relying on Miroslav Satan.

    What’s new for Ottawa this time around? Ray Emery in goal? Jason Spezza actually playing D? no Chara? Alfredsson can suddenly hit? I don’t see this team being amazingly different from the one that Buffalo beat last year… and guess what… they lost games in OT because they couldn’t score when it mattered… Buffalo has dominated in OT again this season and if it comes down to it they’ll probably beat the Sens in OT again.

    Recent success means RECENT… not over the past 5 seasons. I’m talking the past year or two. If you want to go back to when Buffalo was missing the playoffs regularly we might as well go back to saying the Leafs are a dominant NHL franchise with over 100 points in a season. Do you REALLY want to do that? because frankly that would be asinine.

  13.  

    You’re splitting hairs now. If you want to play that game, here we go.

    Last year’s Senators had 5 Rookies – Emery, Mezaros, Kelly, Schubert and Eaves. Also it was Heatly’s first playoff and Spezza had 3 playoff games under his belt.

    If you don’t think that equates to a more prepared, mentally tough team, then you just don’t want to see it.

  14.  

    aha! Found you.

    Yeah, whatever David says.

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