Quarterfinal Recap & Semifinal Predictions

28 Apr

I think it’s impossible to argue that round one of the 2011 playoffs ranked up there in best all-time, including a streak of 8 straight nights with an overtime game. Here’s hoping that round two is just as good. We give you our take on exactly what will happen in the conference semifinals in our second installment of Read Em and Weep.

Newton’s picks, with commentary…

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals:

Washington (1) vs NY Rangers (8) – Washington in 5
I won’t gloat on the fact that I was right, any more than Sean Avery will be relieved that he can now go begin work at his summer job as a coffee boy at InStyle magazine.

Philadelphia (2) vs Buffalo (7) – Sabres in 7
I still think the Sabres can win this series…wait…you mean game 7 was Tuesday? DAMMIT! That explains why Buffalo never showed up for it. They thought the game was on Thursday.

Boston (3) vs Montreal (6) – Habs in 7
What an awesome series. I don’t even care that I got the pick wrong, it was just great to watch.

Pittsburgh (4) vs Tampa Bay (5) – Pittsburgh in 5
I have nothing to say for myself. Awful pick. Mega-dumb.

Western Conference Quarterfinals

Vancouver (1) vs Chicago (8) – Vancouver in 6
After trying like hell to lose the series, and causing an arena wide pants-crapping late in game 7, the Vancouver Canucks finally escaped round 1…and celebrated more than Nashville in the process. Seriously guys, act like you’ve been there.

San Jose (2) vs LA Kings (7) – SJ in 5
The Sharks could’ve beaten the Kings in 5 games, if Joe Thornton hadn’t waited until game 6 to show up.

Detroit (3) vs Phoenix (6) – Phoenix in 6
I was drunk. No, really, I was.

Anaheim (4) vs Nashville (5) – Nashville in 6
While Corey Perry tries to figure out why people hate him, Teemu tries to figure out where the rest of his team went, and GM Bryan Murray dives into draft planning, the Preds shake off the shackles of the first round and try to keep the history-making train rolling.

On to the semifinals…

Eastern Conference

Washington (1) vs Tampa Bay (5) – Washington in 6
I’m still picking against the Lightning. Maybe they’ll wind up being this year’s version of Montreal, but I don’t see it. The Caps won the season series, and none of the games occurred in the Lightning’s abysmal March swoon.

Philadelphia (2) vs Boston (3) – Boston in 6
If Philly struggled with Buffalo, they’ll get ousted by Boston. I think the difference in goaltending will be the key to the series, even though the Flyers look to be a better team on paper (except in goal).

Western Conference

San Jose (2) vs Detroit (3) – Detroit in 6
Zetterberg appears to be healthy, and the Wings seemed to find not just a new gear, but a whole new transmission in round 1. Maybe it was imported by Eminem. I don’t think the Sharks were tested in round 1, but I think they were exposed.

I might as well announce that I’ve been drinking, since I’m going to shock the world with this next pick…

Vancouver (1) vs Nashville (5) – Nashville in 7
There, I said it. I know I picked Vancouver to win it all, but I’m changing horses. Nashville fared well against Vancouver this year, and while I don’t think the Preds are in LOLuongo’s head like the Blackhawks are, I do believe that the Predators (along with their fans) can at least begin looking to rent space in that ugly ass Reebok mask he wears.

Kevin’s picks:

Washington (1) vs NY Rangers (8) – Capitals in 7
Welp. I got the winner right but the series would have actually needed to be excited to get to 7 games. This series was like watching a live action lullaby.

Philadelphia (2) vs Buffalo (7) – Flyers in 7
Boom. As much as I wanted to see Buffalo take this series I couldn’t bet against last year’s cup runner up. Me and all four of my grandparents could have put up a better fight than Buffalo did in game 7.

Boston (3) vs Montreal (6) – Bruins in 6
Didn’t expect Montreal to put up so much of a fight, but they were impressive. Especially Carey Price.

Pittsburgh (4) vs Tampa Bay (5) – Pittsburgh in 7
Like I predicted, a toss up. I let home-ice advantage decide this one in my pick. Never would have guessed game 7 would have ended 1-0, but I’m still impressed by the Lightning. The Caps better watch it in round two.

Vancouver (1) vs Chicago (8) – Vancouver in 6
One of the best series I’ve followed. Also, game 7 was probably the best non Preds game I’ve watched since Stevie Y roofed it in double OT against the Blues in the playoffs. Just an amazing game and I hope the Canucks are physically and emotionally shattered from it going into round two.

San Jose (2) vs LA Kings (7) – SJ in 6
Boom. If the Kings just could have held onto the ever dangerous 4-0 lead early in the series it would have been a completely different outcome.

Detroit (3) vs Phoenix (6) – Detroit in 5
Close enough. This series was pure domination. I hope that wasn’t the city of Phoenix’s last showing in the NHL because that is just depressing.

Anaheim (4) vs Nashville (5) – Preds in 5
Well it wasn’t quite as comfortable as a 5 game win but it’s a win. Game 5 brought tears to my eyes and the final 3 minutes of game 6 caused me to wear a diaper for the first time since 1989 but it was all worth it. Ready to experience round two hockey.

Eastern Conference

Washington (1) vs Tampa Bay (5) – Tampa in 7
Yep. You heard it. Both teams have extremely dangerous offensive weapons but seem to opt for the lull you to sleep defensive game. My gut tells me the Bolts come out on top.

Philadelphia (2) vs Boston (3) – Philly in 6
The Sabres are better than the Canadiens, and the Flyers took them to grade school in game 7. They are built better for a deep run and I think their offense makes up for the elephant sized question mark in the room. Or goal.

Western Conference

San Jose (2) vs Detroit (3) – Detroit in 6
The Sharks are just too difficult to pick as a winner. You never know which team is going to show up. The Wings, however, looked like cup champions in their first round drubbing of the Coyotes and that alone is enough for me to pick them in this series.

Vancouver (1) vs Nashville (5) – Nashville in 5
Yeah. I said it.

With all the great match ups this round, and almost 100% of the games being on tv, the second round has a serious chance to top the first round. Check back in two weeks for our conference finals predictions, and GO PREDS.

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