by PuckStopsHere on 05/15/10 at 12:16 PM ET
The second round of the playoffs came to an end last night. I went 2-2 in my second round playoff predictions, which combined with my first round predictions give me a 7-5 record. It is interesting, that the predictions most challenged in the comments in the second round were San Jose and Chicago (the correct ones) and not Pittsburgh and Boston (the incorrect ones). At this point, I have been perfect in West Conference predictions and only had one correct prediction (Pittsburgh over Ottawa) in the East Conference. I guess that is to be expected when the 1 and 2 seed have survived in the West and the 7 and 8 seeds in the East. My strongest prediction at this point is that a West Conference team will win the Stanley Cup. In the regular season, San Jose finished 2nd, Chicago 3rd, Philadelphia 18th and Montreal 19th. It doesn’t take much to see that the talented teams are in the west right now and that the western final is likely the de facto Stanley Cup championship.
Here are my third round predictions:
San Jose defeats Chicago San Jose is the better team. The biggest difference is in goaltending, where Chicago has rookie Antti Niemi, while San Jose has a much more proven Evgeni Nabokov. It is more likely that Nabokov is the better of the two goaltenders going forward. The narrative in many fan’s minds is San Jose is a choker, which really only means San Jose didn’t win in the past when i really thought they could. San Jose has been the most consistent of the remaining playoff teams. They have looked like the team least likely to choke so far. I think they should be able to win this playoff series and make the finals.
Montreal defeats Philadelphia We have a series between two teams that nobody imagined would make the semi-finals. At times, people thought they might not make the playoffs at all. If they were West Conference teams they certainly would not be playoff teams. I am picking the hot goalie. Jaroslav Halak has been the playoff MVP so far. The most common way for a team to have an upset playoff run is to have a really hot goalie. Montreal has that and that should be the difference. Both teams are beaten up and come with injury issues. It is unlikely that either team will be likely to win the Stanley Cup.
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