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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Round 1 Done, Round 2 Starts Tonight

The day after one of the most shocking upsets ever seen in the playoffs, people are still asking the same question. What in the world happened?

The Washington Capitals were the favorites of many to win the cup this season, unless your name is RJ Umberger. Something happened though that shocked everyone, including Alexander Ovechkin. The Caps ran into a wall named Jaroslav Halak. Let us not forget that the Washington Capitals had a 3-1 series lead before Montreal won three in a row to take the series. So, the Caps will have questions to answer in the off-season, and the Habs will live to fight another day.

On to my predictions for round 1. I have to admit it was a bit bold for me to say that Nashville would win their series against Chicago, but sure enough I paid for my boldness by getting that series wrong.

Eastern Conference

#1 Washington Capitals vs #8 Montreal Canadiens

SSH: "Capitals take series 4-0."

Reality: Montreal Wins Series 4-3.

Cut me some slack on this one. I am willing to bet that all of you said something similar, unless your a Habs fan.

#2 New Jersey Devils vs #7 Philadelphia Flyers

SSH: "Devils take series 4-0."

Reality: Philadelphia Wins Series 4-1.

This was another shocker in the first round. Hats off to Brian Boucher for coming out of no where and playing better then the quickly aging Martin Brodeur.

#3 Buffalo Sabres vs # 6 Boston Bruins

SSH: "Sabres take series 4-3."

Reality: Boston Wins Series 4-2.

Ryan Miller was not a happy camper after this one. I have a feeling he was banking on a long playoff run to erase the haunting memory of the Olympic finale. Sorry Ryan, now you have two bad experiences to dwell on in the summer.

#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs #5 Ottawa Senators

SSH: "Penguins take series 4-2."

Reality: Pittsburgh Wins Series 4-2.

I got one right! The Senators tried their best, and Pascal Leclaire came off the bench and played well, but the Pens were just too strong for the surprise team in the East.

Western Conference

#1 San Jose Sharks vs #8 Colorado Avalanche

SSH: "Sharks take series 4-2."

Reality: San Jose Wins Series 4-2.

Another correct answer for SSH, but it will be the last complete correct answer (team and # games) of the first round. This series was a crazy one that included a goal scored on San Jose by the Sharks own Dan Boyle. The Sharks prevailed but the Avalanche proved that they will be a dangerous team in the West for years to come.

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs #6 Los Angeles Kings

SSH: "Canucks take series 4-1."

Reality "Vancouver Wins Series 4-2."

The Sedin's, and former Panther Mikael Sammualson, handled the young and promising LA Kings with ease. Luongo played well, but never had to be spectacular in this series. The Kings go home with good feelings for the future.

#4 Phoenix Coyotes vs #5 Detroit Red Wings

SSH: "Red Wings take series 4-2."

Reality: Detroit Wins Series 4-3.

Phoenix tried with all their might, but come on, its the Red Wings. The end of game seven proved that hockey is just fine in Arizona as long as the Yotes keep winning. Hats off to the classy fans that stayed and saluted their team with a "Lets go Yotes!" chant.

So counting just the correct teams SSH went 4-4, .500 is not too shabby and I will take it.

Now let us wrap this up with predictions for round 2, which starts tonight at 9:00 PM eastern when the San Jose Sharks host the Detroit Red Wings in game 1.

Round 2 Predictions:

Western Conference

#5 Detroit Red Wings vs #1 San Jose Sharks

The Sharks make it out of round 1, only to run into the Red Wings. The Sharks will try their best, just as the Coyotes did before them, but come on, its the Red Wings.

Red Wings take series 4-2.

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs #2 Chicago Blackhawks

So maybe I shouldn't have went against the Blackhawks in round 1, but I am going to do it again in round 2. Roberto Luongo will have to be spectacular in this series, and I have a feeling he will be up to the challenge. The Hawks goaltending will fall apart in this series, leading to the end of the line for Chicago.

Canucks take series 4-1.

Eastern Conference

#8 Montreal Canadiens vs # 4 Pittsburgh Penguins

Halak will have to stand on his head again to give Montreal a chance in this series. You have to think though that Pittsburgh is ready for the Habs, and that Montreal may be just a little tired after the Washington series. Mix that together with the fact that Crosby is on fire and you will have the Penguins moving on to the Eastern Conference finals for the third straight year.

Penguins take series 4-3.

#7 Philadelphia Flyers vs #6 Boston Bruins

Out of all the match ups in round two this one is going to prove the hardest to predict. In the end though the more offensive team will win this series, making way for a pretty good Eastern finals match up between the Penguins and the Flyers.

Flyers take series 4-3.

If you have any comments or questions please post them on SSH's facebook page or send them to