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Friday, April 27, 2012

NHL Round 2 Playoff Predictions - West and East 2012

Coyotes vs. Predators

The Predators are looking very strong with the addition of Radulov. In the Preds series against the Red Wings, I really hated when Weber grabbed Zetterberg’s head and smashed his face into the glass; and therefore, I hope that Weber and the Preds are upset by the Coyotes. As previously stated, I really like Mike Smith and I hope that he takes the Coyotes further, and especially since Steve Yzerman (VP and GM of the Lightning) did not sign Smith last year but instead decided to ink Roloson to a one-year deal worth 3 million. What a fool Yzerman was and he cost the Lightning their playoffs this year! I would not be surprised if Yzerman trades for Luongo (who has now asked to be traded), or signs a free agent (please see my article entitled: “Goalie Gonna Need Some Shades,” in which I describe the situation that Yzerman has got himself into and the free agent goalies that will be available to him—and he has an advantage since who doesn’t want to live in Florida). 

In the regular season, the Coyotes won two games and the Predators won two. The scores were (first game of the season to last): 5-2 Coyotes, 3-0 Preds, 3-2 Coyotes and 5-4 shootout victory for the Predators.

I expect the Predators to outshoot the Coyotes but Smith might be able to hold the fort like he did against the Blackhawks. I should note that Smith only played the Preds once this year, the last meeting between the teams, while LaBarbara played the other three—and very well indeed. It is nice to have a good back-up goalie, and you know what just happened to the Penguins due to Fleury collapsing and their not having a back-up goalie who could do any better.

This series is likely to go six and maybe seven games. The Predators are the favorite to win but don’t count out the Coyotes.

Blues vs. Kings

Both teams are playing extremely well and both teams have exceptional goaltending. In the regular season the Kings won three of the four meetings between the teams. The scores were: 5-0 Kings, 3-2 Kings, 1-0 Blues and 1-0 shootout Kings.

You can flip a coin in this series but due to the Kings performance against the Canucks I am going with them; however, I would prefer it if the Blues advanced because I like Brian Elliott and the way the team has turned things around this year. I am not a fan of Carter due to his crying while in Columbus.

This series should go at least six games and possibly seven.

Capitals vs. Rangers  

The Rangers were pretty fortunate to have advanced in my opinion, because the Sens had convincingly beaten them three of the four games they played in the regular season. I saw some favoritism by the officials towards the Rangers in Round 1, but I don’t believe that will happen in Round 2 against the Capitals since they are both American teams.

Holtby was fantastic in net against the Bruins, and Ovechkin is playing hard and he and Giroux are the two best players in the world right now.   

In the regular season, out of four games, the Caps won two and the Rangers two. The scores were:  6-3 Rangers, 4-1 Caps, 3-2 Rangers and 4-1 Caps to close out the season.

Good riddance to the John Tortorella and his dirty-playing New York Rangers! Capitals will win in six or less games in my opinion.

Flyers vs. Devils

I previously picked the Devils to be the upset team in the East and stated that the only team that they could not beat was the Bruins (as proven by the regular season record).

In the regular season between the Flyers and Devils, each team won three games out of the six between them. The scores were:  3-0 Flyers, 4-3 shootout Devils, 4-1 Flyers, 6-4 Devils, 4-1 Devils and 3-0 Flyers.

Giroux is playing outstanding but I have a major problem with Bryzgalov in net. I predict that he will choke as he did in the last series against the Pens, and as he did last year in the playoffs when he was with the Coyotes and played the Wings in Round 1. I believe that the Devils can upset and win this series but it will depend on Bryzgalov and Brodeur. I can’t stand Laviolette who needs a good punch in the mouth, and Brayden Schenn too.  

This series should go six games but could go seven.

TJ Stanley