A glorious opening round of Lord Stanley’s playoffs is finally in the books as we look ahead to the semi-finals. Just a mere 24 hours after the completion of the Devils-Panthers game 7 which saw the Devils clinch it in double overtime, tonight’s game between the Predators and Coyotes will officially kick-off round two. With that said let’s take a take a gander at the Western Conference match-ups first.
Western Conference :
That country grammar St.Louie jam is still poppin’ off in Missouri with the Blues making me look like a dang genius with their dismantling of the Sharks. Up next for them is the dark horse of the West as the Kings knocked out the league’s best in Vancouver and made me look like a dang idiot.
This series will be all about the men between the pipes with a Vezina candidate against the two-headed monster of Halak and Elliot. I didn’t see LA upsetting Vancouver coming and they proved pretty much every analyst wrong in the process. Whole Milk should probably jump on the bandwagon while he has a chance since the Lake show ain’t goin’ nowhere. Why not ride the horse and say Kings in 7.
Nashville cleaned the clocks of the old guard in Detroit and were the first team to qualify for round two, now the rested Preds will travel to the desert for a battle of expansion teams. Just like the above match-up this too will come down to the pipes with Pekka Rinne trying to out duel Mike Smith.
I don’t know about our beloved readers but I have no idea when the hell Mike Smith turned into Patrick Roy but boy has he been good. I don’t think anyone in Phoenix can deny he hasn’t carried this team all year long and will have to be huge against a lethal offense as both teams vie for their first conference final appearance. Preds in 6.
Eastern Conference :
The Rangers and Capitals renew pleasantries for the third time in four years as this baby of a rivalry has grown into an ugly Swedish man. Every idiot Rangers fan celebrated last night’s Game 7 win over the EIGHTH seeded Senators as if they had just won the whole shebang. Sadly for them it’s only the second round and the Caps have a young goalie to rely on (2010 much?) along with a defense first mentality once unheard of in DC.
The Rangers only scored 12 goals against the Senators and now face Braden Holtby who held his own pretty darn well against Tim Thomas and the defending Cup champs. Even Lundqvist’s IKEA sized pads can’t help him. I was being nice when I chose the Rangers over the Sens, it ends now. Caps in 6.
Perhaps no series is more exciting than this. The good ole battle of the Turnpike heads into playoffs yet again. This will be the fifth time both teams meet in the post-season with the all-time series knotted at two. While the Flyers ran through Pittsburgh and their French-Canadian goalie the Devils offer only the best one to ever play the game. Martin Brodeur will turn 40 this series but he can still pull off the big saves in big spots like nobody’s business. His counterpart had a strong end to the regular season but also let in 21 goals against Pitt.
The Devils are no Penguins although they do bring 4 strong lines stacked with grinders. They went the distance with Florida and they can go the distance with the Flyers. Despite Philly’s recent success against them I’m never going to admit my Devils stand no chance. Sorry fellow Russian goalies, Devils in 7.
Spartak’s First Round Picks: 3-5 with two perfect series- Spartak