We’ll go into the success of my first round picks in a bit, but here goes.
Nashville vs Vancouver. Should be an intense series, but after after the seven game slug fest with the Blackhawks I’m not sure the Canucks can pull it off over the long haul. Predators for three reasons; 1: Weber 2: Rinne 3: Suter.
Washington vs Tampa Bay. The two southeast division rivals had a couple nice throwdowns during the season, even though the Lightning shut out the Capitals more than once during the season, I think think the Capitals still standing at the end. Why: Ovechkin is scoring, and better defense in Washington.
San Jose vs Detroit. What a boring series. There is so little that excites me about this matchup that I’m glad I’m not a beat writer for either team. The Sharks got scoring, finally, from Joe Thornton in overtime, Couture, Pavelski and others contributed as well. I still don’t see that being enough to overcome the veteran and healthy Red Wings. Pick Wings. Why: Better playoff machine.
Philadelphia vs Boston. Rematch. With a pair of underwhelming powerplays in the mix five on five play is going to be where this series is decided. A look at the season series says this one goes Boston’s way. Pronger is injured, Chara, Thomas, Bergeron are not. Bruins win. Better goaltending, and more heart.