First, the results from the first round of the 2010 playoffs… I was bound to do worse than I did last year (7/8). This year, I only got 5 out of 8, though I did get 4 of the series exactly right (winner and number of games), so I guess I could have done worse. I definitely don’t know many people who picked the Canadiens or the Flyers to win and who would have guessed that the Flyers would be the first team to advance to the next round?
I can’t remember a first round of the playoffs that was this interesting. Almost all the series went to 6 games or more. I hope that round two is as interesting and that this doesn’t mean we’ll have a boring second round.
Here are my predictions for round two…
Bruins vs. Flyers
Flyers in 6 – I know I didn’t pick the Flyers to beat the Devils, but they did it well from what I hear (I didn’t get out to the bars to see any of their full games, so I can only judge on what I read and heard from others in addition to the clips I saw). They split their regular season match-ups, but for the playoffs I have to pick Philly.
Penguins vs. Canadiens
Penguins in 5 – The Canadiens looked good against the Canadiens and coming back from being down in the series 3-1 will probably give them a good boost, but I don’t think they’re much of a match for the Penguins’ fire power. Sidney Crosby has 2.33 points per game so far. He has 4 more points than the Habs’ Michael Cammalleri, though Cammalleri played in one more game. The Pens won the regular season series and I think they’ll advance in the playoffs, too.
Sharks vs. Red Wings
Red Wings in 6 – I predicted that the Sharks would lose in the first round as they had last year against Anaheim. They managed to beat the Avalanche, but I can’t see them doing the same against the Red Wings. Though the Red Wings had to fight to get through the first round, they proved in game 7 that when it comes down to the wire they are a great playoff team. They know how to battle through and play well when it counts. The Sharks have years of experience at buckling under pressure and leaving the playoffs before the conference finals. Everyone keeps saying that one of these years the Sharks are bound to break through. I’m sure it’ll happen at some point, but I don’t think this is their year. The Red Wings won their regular season series and I think they’ll advance to the conference finals.
Blackhawks vs. Canucks
Blackhawks in 7 – This is the hardest series for me to predict. The Canucks have the top scorer in the NHL and he seems to have started to score a bit in the playoffs now. They also have the second highest scorer of the 2010 playoffs in Mikael Samuelsson. I think before the playoffs started I would have picked the Canucks to win this one, since Luongo is such a great goalie. However, Luongo has looked a bit shaky in the playoffs this year. Though the Hawks don’t have the most solid goaltending, I think they’ll get past the Canucks.