Friday, May 02, 2014

Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round Predictions 2014

Wow.

That was a wild first round with three game 7s played on the same night.  If you are a San Jose Sharks fan, I feel for you.  Being up 3-0 then losing four straight has to hurt.  Let’s quickly recap, see how our experts did in round one, then move on to round 2.

Experts Standings                                                                        
Clarence “Screaming Buffalo” Swampton                               7
Tim “Dr. Hoo” McCraken                                                            6
Me                                                                                                   6
Throb Longpenis                                                                           5

The good news is we all beat the monkey score (for those of you who did not have Mr. Ploplys for high school physics, the money score is the score a monkey would get by randomly choosing an answer).  Swampton also picked the correct number of games in 6 of the 7 series he correctly called, McCraken got 3, Longpenis 2 and I correctly got 3.

The NHL’s new playoff format was intended to foster rivalries in the playoffs, and did just that for three of the four series.  Let’s start in the East
Eastern Conference

Montreal Canadians vs. Boston Bruins

Montreal eased their way to a four game sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning, although 3 of 4 were decided by a single goal.  They will have a much tougher matchup in round 2 against Boston, who spanked the Detroit (sucks) Red Wings.  The Wings gave their fans hope by winning game one, but that’s all they could muster.   It’s great to see two Original Six teams match up against each other. Tukka Raask was magnificent in the first round and Boston is still the best of the East.  Boston in 6.


Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers
Wait, Crosby hasn’t scored a goal yet and the Penguins advanced past the first round?  Oh yeah, they’ve got plenty of scorers.  The Rangers survived against Philly even though they were maddeningly inconsistent.  The team who plays better defense will most likely win the series.  Fortunately for Pittsburgh, they have a larger margin of error.  A lot rides on the stick of Rick Nash for New York but Sid and the rest of the Penguins should win out.  Pittsburgh in 6

Western Conference

Minnesota Wild vs.  Chicago Blackhawks
Well, so much for seeding.  I’m still trying to figure out how Minnesota improbably rallied down 3-2 to beat Colorado in overtime last night.  So much for being cannon fodder.  Wait, I take that back.  They will be second round cannon fodder this year against the Blackhawks, instead of first round cannon fodder.  The Hawks rallied back from a 2-0 hole and beat the Blues four straight to move on and in this round they have home ice.  Anyone know who has been the best goaltender in the playoffs so far?  Well, its Rask, but Corey Crawford is a close second.  He stole game 3 for the Hawks and it looks like the Hawks forwards remembered how to put the puck in the net in game six.  Hawks in 5.


Anaheim Mighty Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings
The series will the least amount of travel.  I never wavered in my belief that the Kings were going to beat San Jose, not even while down in a 3-0 hole.  The Ducks were trailing by two goals with less than three minutes left when they stunned the Dallas Starts by scoring twice to send the game to OT then winning early in the OT.  It’s going to be a long off season if you are a Sharks fan or a Stars fan.  This is the first post-season meeting between these two teams.  Two deep teams who are good on both offense and defense.  This will be a great series, but it will come down to goaltending and Jonathan Quick is the man.  Kings in 7.
Here are the expert's predictions.

Series
Clarence "Screaming Buffalo" Swamptown
Tim “Dr. Hook” McCracken
Throb Longpenis
Mike Smolarek
Round 2        
Eastern Conf        
NYR vs Pittsburgh Rangers in 7 Pittsburgh in 7 Pittsburgh in 6 Pittsburgh in 6
Boston vs. Montreal Boston in 6 Boston in 6 Boston in 6 Boston in 7
         
West Conf        
Anaheim vs. Los Angeles Anaheim in 7 Anaheim in 7 Anaheim in 6 Los Angeles in 7
Chicago vs. Minnesota Chicago in 5 Chicago in 5 Chicago in 5 Chicago in 6