Thursday, April 30, 2009

Second Round Picks. Or, Why I'm Not a Bookie

On to the second round of the play offs, and it's time for the View's Pre-View of the match ups and his bold predictions. Without further ado, here goes...

Boston versus Carolina

The Canes stunned the Devils in a thrilling game 7 to advance to second round. Their reward is getting to play what I believe to be the best team in hockey right now. Cam Ward has been outstanding in net for the Canes, and he will have to continue his exemplary play for them to have a chance in this series. Boston possesses three talented lines and can produce goals from any of them. The D corp for the B's should dominate the Carolina forwards, especially the second and third lines.

The View's Pick- Boston in 5

Washington versus Pittsburgh

The brass at NBC and the NHL headquarters must be beside themselves about the marquee value of this matchup. Crosby against Ovechkin. I bet if the game next Saturday goes to overtime, NBC won't even cut away to the Kentucky Derby pre-race coverage. While this game brings the spotlight on two of the best young players in the game, this series will be won by the team that can get consistent second and third line scoring and solid goaltending. Can Varlamov continue his stellar play in net? Can the Pittsburgh D contain the explosive Caps offense? Lots of questions, but the fact that it took the Caps 7 games to take down an overmatched Ranger squad does not bode well for them in this series.

The View's Pick- Pittsburgh in 6

Detroit versus Anaheim

This is the series that I think offers the most intrigue as the smooth skating Red Wings meet the crash and bang Ducks. We all know the Wings can score, but often overlooked is how well they play D. The Ducks come into this series with a swagger and edge, having knocked off President's Trophy winning San Jose and having been the hottest team in hockey for the last two months. To win this series, Jonas Hiller must stand up against the shot barrage that will come from the Wings, and Anaheim has to stay out of the box. The Wings have to play their game and make Anaheim pay for the penalties we all know they are going to take. Osgood looked good in the first round win over Columbus, but frankly, was not challenged until the deciding game of the series, giving up five goals in that contest.

The View's Pick- Anaheim in 7

Vancouver versus Chicago

Bad blood between these teams, as their last meeting of the regular season resulted in a good old fashioned line brawl. It will be interesting to see if the animosity carries over into the playoffs. I expect Chicago to be physical and try to wear down the Canucks during this series. Vancouver enters any series with a high degree of confidence because Luongo is in net. Key for Vancouver is production from their scorers- the Sedins, Sundin, Burrows, and Wellwood. Bobby Lou does not want to be in a lot of one goal games. Expect the Hawk's to be firing the puck at him all series. Where Khabibulin owned Calgary from a career standpoint, Vancouver has owned him, compiling a 16-6-1 lifetime record when he has been in net.

The View's Pick Chicago in 7

There you have. Any of you that are the betting type would be wise to go exactly opposite of my picks. This should be an interesting and exciting second round. It starts tonight at 8:00 on Versus.

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