On Thursday, April 30, teams resume their quest for Lord Stanley’s Mug and begin their second round of the 2009 NHL Playoffs. All of the series are best-of-seven. The first two games are played at higher ranked team’s home, then two at the lower ranked team’s ice. After that, they alternate venues. Using my hard-gained and great NHL knowledge, the following are my predictions for the second round of the NHL playoffs.
For the first round of the 2009 NHL playoffs I was 7/8 which gives me an amazing 87.5% accuracy. However, if you factor in my predictions of game numbers, I didn’t do nearly as well.
1 Boston Bruins v. 6 Carolina Hurricanes
This is probably going to be one of the quickest finished series in the second round. The Hurricanes struggled against the Rangers during all of their games, and barely came back in Game 7 to win it Tuesday night. They are tired, weak, and probably feeling a bit dejected. After sweeping through Montreal in the first round, Boston has had time to rest and relax. This has allowed them not only to get the much needed boost of energy, but it also let them study Carolina fully. I believe that this knowledge and energy will be there for Boston, and that Carolina will not show up for even one game.
Boston in four
2 Washington Capitals v. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins
This is sure to be an exciting series as we will see three of the best and brightest NHL scorers facing each other. The Penguins have two, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, which should give them an edge over Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals. That said, however, the goal tending of both teams has been superb throughout the first round, so I expect this to be a long and drawn out series. Expect the games to be home ice winners, and so the Caps get the edge in the fabled seventh game.
2 Detroit Red Wings v. 8 Anaheim Ducks
While it looks like Detroit should have this series in the palm of their hand, I expect the Ducks to come out shooting and playing amazingly well. Detroit swept threw the Blue Jackets and dominated in all but one of the games. On that final game, however, they showed that they were stoppable and almost lost to a team far below their caliber. Detroit had sloppy puck handling, bad passes, and just a general tired feeling about them. The Ducks played extremely well in all of their games, and they handily beat the best team in the entire NHL. We can expect Detroit to look weak and confused while the Ducks will look strong and fired up. Whoever gets the first win of this series will be the overall winner.
Anaheim in six
3 Vancouver Canucks v. 4 Chicago Blackhawks
This is bound to be the toughest of the four series in the second round. Though it will not be as entertaining as the Washington-Pittsburgh battle, the Vancouver-Chicago fight will be full of close finishes and amazing saves. Both teams have good special teams, both have good fore checking, and both have stunning goal tenders. With this in mind, I expect a low scoring series, but one full of fights, hard hits, and plenty of good opportunities. Though Vancouver will have home ice advantage, I think that Chicago’s desire to prolong their first playoffs in seven seasons will give them the edge that they need.
Chicago in seven