by PuckStopsHere on 05/14/12 at 12:42 AM ET
I am back from a weekend offline and am posting my semifinal playoff predictions before I find today’s game on my PVR. So far I went 2-2 in my second round predictions and struggled to go 2-6 in the unpredictable first round. Thus this season I am now guaranteed to have more series predicted wrong than correctly no matter how the remaining series go.
Here are my predictions for the third round:
Los Angeles defeat Phoenix Los Angeles has been the best team so far in the playoffs. They are scoring now that they have two solid offensive forward lines with the addition of Jeff Carter. They have had some strong goaltending from Jonathan Quick. This team looks better now than they did at any point in the regular season. Phoenix has been outshot and outplayed in most of their games but nevertheless beat Chicago and Nashville. They have made it this far on strong goaltending from Mike Smith despite facing better offences and better defences than they have. This series will be one where they are unlikely to have an advantage in goal. I think LA will show themselves the better team. Phoenix only finished two points ahead of LA despite a big seeding difference and the Kings are a much better team than they were in the regular season.
NY Rangers defeat New Jersey New York is the only team in the top half of the 16 playoff teams by regular season points that remains. They have a goaltending advantage in Henrik Lundqvist over a 40 year old Martin Brodeur. The Rangers also have an advantage in the quality of defencemen. Marek Zidlicky, Andy Greene and Bryce Salvador do not match up well to Dan Girardi, Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto. New Jersey had a two goal offensive advantage in the regular season and may have bigger offensive stars in Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise, but they don’t have much on Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. The Rangers are the most talented team left in the playoffs.
This would leave a New York vs. Los Angeles final series which is a dream idea for the NHL. We may get to see if it brings in the ratings they think it will.
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