2011 NHL Playoffs: Round 2
Friday, April 29, 2011 Leave a comment
We’re already one game into Round 2 of the 2011 NHL playoffs and our San Jose Sharks begin their series against the Detroit Red Wings tonight. I just want to say: DAMMIT I LOVE PLAYOFFS HOCKEY! Every game that I’ve been able to watch, I’ve been glued to my TV and they’ve all been great games. All of the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into every game and every series is so addicting. I had my phone set to send me updates for pretty much every scoring change for nearly every game, which made me sound very popular for the past week and a half.
Round 1 was absolutely incredible. Home ice advantage seemed worthless and some match-ups seemed like they were just meant to be: Chicago and Vancouver (because of the last two playoffs), Pittsburgh and Tampa (because of Crosby and Stamkos, the “goal scorers”), Boston and Montreal because of their history and what went on this season. It was entertaining hockey to the fullest but it’s also bittersweet as well because I know it will all be over soon. Then what, football? Yikes.
Before we dive into Round 2, we need to take a quick look at how our staff here did on their Round 1 predictions:
Vancouver vs. Chicago: Vancouver won 4-3
Sean’s Prediction: Chicago
Ivan’s Prediction: Chicago
Ben’s Prediction: ChicagoSan Jose vs. Los Angeles: San Jose won 4-2
Sean’s Prediction: San Jose
Ivan’s Prediction: San Jose
Brad’s Prediction: San Jose
Ben’s Prediction: San Jose
Anaheim vs. Nashville: Nashville won 4-2
Detroit vs. Phoenix: Detroit won 4-0
Washington vs. New York: Washington won 4-1
Sean’s Prediction: Washington
Ivan’s Prediction: Washington
Brad’s Prediction: New York
Ben’s Prediction: New YorkPhilladelphia vs. Buffalo: Philladelphia won 4-3
Sean’s Prediction: Philly
Ivan’s Prediction: Buffalo
Brad’s Prediction: Buffalo
Ben’s Prediction: Philly
Boston vs. Montreal: Boston won 4-3
Tampa Bay vs. Pittsburgh: Tampa Bay won 4-3
We did far better in the Eastern Conference. Damn, you’d think we’d be better in our own conference. Now that bullshit is out of the way, and Brad doesn’t have a job for getting the least amount correct, onto Round 2!
San Jose vs. Detroit
Holy crap, I’m excited for this series. Pretty much the fate of the Western Conference boiled down to game 7 of the Chicago/Vancouver series (DAMN that was a good series). We were either going to play Detroit or Chicago, which is a win/win in my opinion; we either get a chance for redemption against Chicago who swept us last season in the finals, or we get to go up against Detroit, who is seemingly becoming more of a bitter rival with a lot of playoff history, and the fact coach McLellan having won the cup with them as their assistant coach makes this a sweet match-up. Last season, we got Detroit after they played a grueling 7 games against Phoenix: they were tired, injured, and then had to fly directly to San Jose to prepare for the Sharks, who had just beaten Colorado in 6 games, had a chance to rest, and were ready. This season, Detroit is a whole ‘nother beast. They swept Phoenix and are well-rested and prepared. We’ll definitely have to be at the top of our game to knock out Detroit.
Vancouver vs. Nashville
I honestly don’t know what to expect from this series. Nashville has been playing amazingly, they were able to find the offense when it was needed, Pekka Rinne has been incredible, and they were able to hold back the Ducks top scorers enough to beat them in 6. Vancouver, on the other hand, is a powerhouse and, now that Chicago has been taken care of, is the team to beat in the West. Nashville has their work cut out for them.
Washington vs. Tampa Bay
In the regular season, Washington won 4 of the 6 matchups they ha against Tamp Bay, and out-scored them 14-7. Despite these stats, the regular season doesn’t meant shit in the playoffs. The two losses the Caps had in the regular season were both shutouts by goalie Dwayne Roloson, who has been playing very well this postseason, even ending the series against the Penguins with a shutout. It will be interesting to see Tampa take on a team that actually has all of their top scorers healthy, rested, and confident after knocking out the Rangers in 5 games.
Philadelphia vs. Boston
IT WAS MEANT TO BE! Last season, they Flyers came back from a 3-0 deficit in the series against Boston and knocked them out, so Boston will be looking for redemption. The Flyers will be looking to…try and win the cup? That’s what everyone is doing. I think this series will boil down to how awesome Tim Thomas can be and how much support his defense will give him. Montreal, during the regular season, had only three players get 20+ goals and none reached the 30 goal mark. Philadelphia had two 30+ goal scorers and five more to break 20, so they’ll be dealing with a lot more firepower. Boston and Buffalo (who were just knocked out by Philadelphia in 7 games) are similar in goal producing: both have four 20+ players, both have a couple of 30+ players, but Buffalo managed to take Philadelphia to game 7, even with Pronger back, who is a huge presence. It will be very interesting to watch who comes out on top of this one.
Ugh, I can’t wait…it’s time to put meat on fire, drink, and watch hockey. TONIGHT!