And we’re back for round 2 of the NHL playoffs! As we called it last year.. “In an effort to embarrass ourselves further” we’re making more picks. We’ll even try to make sure we get the right teams in the header for each matchup this time. We got in the quick picks for Vancouver/Nashville with the recap post yesterday but we’ll expand on it here as we do our picks for the rest of them.
Before we get to the actual picks, Kingkielbasa had one other prediction. And no, it wasn’t “Pain“.
“The one predication I can make is that the second round can not be as exciting as the first round. I heard a crazy stat that the final nine days of the first round featured an overtime game. That is pure nuts. I think I also watched more hockey playoffs this year then in a long time. Now if we could just do something with every hit now being called a penalty and being “reviewed”…hockey may be back!”
Washington (1) vs Tampa Bay (5):
King: This is a tough one for me to call. I’ll admit it, I’ve got a huge mancrush for Ovechkin. I also have nothing but respect for Yzerman. In my heart I want the Bolts to get to the finals, but I think King Ovie’s team might be poised for that move this year. The only thing that might stop them is Rollie. This one is my tough one… Capitals in 7.
Beer: I was rooting for the Bolts, but I fully expected the Pens to grit out the win. That being said, I’m glad the Bolts are here. An amazing job being done by Steve Yzerman down there. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and I think the Capitals will prove too much for the Lightning. That isn’t to say their time won’t come, but even Yzerman’s Red Wings went through some (in)famous playoff disappointments before really making a run. Washington is a bit more talented, a bit deeper, and a bit better rested. Capitals win.
Philadelphia (2) vs. Boston (3)
King: As much as I want to go with my other favorite team, the Bruins…what I saw them do in the first round makes me very nervous. How do you go 0 for 21 on the power play!? There defense looks pathetic and I’m guessing Kaberle will not be resigned. He looks even worse. Sigh…Phillie in 5.
Beer: Wow, in round one I went with Buffalo over Philadelphia saying “Pronger is banged up/out. Goaltending is unsettled”. Now here the Flyers are in round two and… Pronger is back, but banged up and the Goaltending is unsettled. However, The bruins didn’t look like world beaters, either. Still, I guess I’ll sit on the other side of the fence and root for an Original Six team. Bruins win.
Vancouver (1) vs. Nashville (5):
King: I told Beer that I was picking Nashville and I’m sticking to that pick. I really could care less for either team, but I got some bad vibes from that Nashville team this year. Nashville in 6.
Beer: I get that same bad vibe the King mentions from the Canucks. in fact it seems to eminate from the area of their goal crease. Yes Roberto Luongo, I’m talking about you. Still, by all rights Vancouver is the better team. The top team in the league in the regular season. I like their chances barring another mid series meltdown like they had against the Hawks. You only get to do that maybe once in the playoffs. They got away with it once. Not twice. Canucks win.
San Jose (2) vs. Detroit (3):
King: The Sharks did not look that impressive against the Kings. The Wings looked good, but not great against the ‘Yotes. This one is all heart pick. Wings in 7.
Beer: Gotta agree with the King on this one, the Wings did look great. For stretches of the game at least. Then they seemed to lose focus a bit. But the way they played in the first round at times, after sleepwalking into the playoffs had to make the rest of the league a little nervous. The “Oh crap, not THOSE Red Wings again. Not the motivated guys” type of nervous. That being said, will it be enough? This is the second year in a row these teams will meet in the second round, but this year it’s almost the reverse of last year. Last year the Wings went 7 against Phoenix and were out of gas. This year the Sharks went to overtime in 6 games to advance, and although they still have home ice they may be a bit empty in the tank. Wings win. Sorry to disappoint all the people who politely asked me to continue picking against them.
There we go! And just to help out with the whole “hitting” issue raised by the King up top, let’s head out with this. After all, the playoffs were when this guy did some of his best (worst?) work…
Beer & King