Thursday, April 24, 2008


Okay, okay so I didn’t get the number of games right (in fact I didn’t get any of them right), but the important part of making picks is picking the winner. Right? Well, at least that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself anyway. With that said; I guess I did pretty good going 6 – 2 (I’ll take that gladly as the 1st round is always the hardest). How did that stupid monkey do? I don’t even want to look. Stupid freakin’ monkey. And don’t get me started on that whole “Ekland’s Dog” thing. Sometimes I wonder why my biggest adversaries are pets and if there isn’t something crazy wrong with that considering I blog about hockey. You know, every year I try and come up with something to beat members of the animal kingdom (sometimes beating them at there own game) when it comes to making my picks. This year I’m just not sure I want to stoop to the level of throwing my poop at a spinning wheel to do it. I even shaved my playoff beard and changed my underwear (I know, I know but I’m not superstitious so I never followed the whole underwear thing anyway) so I figure this time I don’t really need to pull out any tricks in order to beat a stupid freakin’ monkey. Okay, enough of this it’s time for my 2nd round picks.

Neither of these teams played the way I expected them to in the first round so I’m a bit tentative to declare an outright winner, but knowing that I have to I’ll look at a key areas. Goaltending for each team will be crucial, as each has looked shaky in short spurts but managed to regain form. The Habs have speed, strong transition and can light the lamp, but can they withstand another physical series? The Flyers are gritty and physical, will grind out a full 60 minutes and never quit, but if they have to rely on secondary scoring or can’t handle the speed they might be in trouble. The Habs will have to score early and often and hope for a short series avoiding overtime at all costs in order to win. The Flyers will have to slow the pace down and muck out a few ugly wins and hope for overtime games where they can wear down the Habs as well as keep Briere and company free to continue scoring in order to win. MONTREAL IN 6

The Pens made short work of their opponent in the first round and have been waiting comfortably for round two. They will have to shake off the rust in Game 1, but I’m sure these horses are ready to run. I don’t see them having much trouble matching up with the Blueshirts and with all of their top players healthy they should exploit the defensive holes on the Rangers. The Rangers will try to play as solid defense as they did against the Devils and I can’t wait to see what that jackass Avery has in store for Fleury. I’m sure he’s already in the kid’s head even if only a tiny amount. The Pens will have to stay out of the penalty box and hope to draw a few calls their way to do real damage, so they will have to be careful not to get goaded into any extra bullshit Avery will create. The Rangers will have to continue to spread the scoring around and hope their top players come through at key moments. The Pens just need to keep up the confidence and keep the machine running on all cylinders and they should be fine. PITTSBURGH IN 6

Well this isn’t quite the same series match-up as it was years ago, but it should be entertaining none-the-less. The Wings will try and get an early lead so they can control the pace and the clock with strong puck possession play where as the Avs will try and keep coming in waves in the attacking zone and pepper the Wings with shots. The Wings should be weary of overtime and try to finish games early so as not to give the Avs any extra chances. Each team is loaded with vets with strong youngsters mixed in so this series will be fun to watch. I just don’t know if there will be enough gas left in the tank of some of the Avs’ elder statesmen to get through another round. DETROIT IN 6

It’s time for both of these teams to prove they belong in the conference final. The Stars have a ton of confidence after eliminating the ex-champs rather easily. Turco looks like his shaky playoff play is far behind him and if they can get their injured stars back in the lineup it will give them an extra boost so they don’t have to rely on a young defense (not that the kids didn’t play super in round one). The Sharks can’t afford to have any lapses in this series like they did against Calgary and will not only have to beat the Stars with physical play but also with speed. They should crash the net and get in Turco’s face every chance they get and keep the puck away from him if they have to play dump and chase. I didn’t think the Stars would be here and I’m hoping they don’t become this year’s version of Ottawa (who killed me last year), so I just can’t pick them in this one. SAN JOSE IN 6

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