2009 NHL Conference Semi Finals – Predictions.

The first round is over. A few lessons have been learned and half the teams who fought to secure playoff positions have now been sent home to think about what they’ve done. Or didn’t do.

Lets recap how I fared in the first round:

Predicted Boston over Montreal. It sucks to have watched this happen as fast as it did. The Canadiens didn’t stand a lick of a chance, Boston came to play for keeps and that was obvious from the opening faceoff. And all during the Habs’ centennial season too. For shame. Sava Mal. But look at it this way, while the franchise is 100 years old, they haven’t played 100 seasons. The NHL didn’t play in 1919 (influenza pandemic) and in 2005 (greed pandemic), so the Canadiens have only iced 98 rosters. So Gainey has until 2011 to win the cup. Barring a Swine Flu pandemic cancelling the next season.

Predicted Washington over New York. I’ve frequently griped about this and I’ll do it once more. I wish I could have watched this series. ‘Cause it looked like the type of hockey I love to watch. I also wish I understood more about the broadcasting side of the NHL Playoffs, because it’s starting to look like one of two things is happening to Hockey Night in Canada. 1: The loss of Canada’s second national anthem has rattled them to the very core, so much in fact that they’ll assemble one of the best broadcast teams and elect a show a schedule that appeals only to Crosby and Canuck fans. Or. 2: Gary Bettman is controlling the programming and attempting to lull the rest of the hockey loving population into adoring his darling little franchise, The Penguins.

Predicted The Devils over The Hurricanes. I came close, dangerously close to predicting this one correctly. Damn you Staal, damn you! Oh I could never stay mad at the Hurricanes. Marty, you’ll have to look at next season to set any more playoff records, probably good to space ’em out anyways. On the bright side, at least one Jokinen is going to the second round.

Predicted Philadelphia over Pittsburgh. I overestimated The Flyers, but I should give credit where credit is due, the Penguins played well.

Predicted San Jose over Anaheim. What the hell happened San Jose?! A team that is consistently that good, should never be ousted in the first round like that. If I were the GM in charge, I wouldn’t know what to do. The pieces of a Stanley Cup winning franchise are there, but they consistently no show in the playoffs. I’d probably attempt at a quick shakeup, trade some of the top line players for proven top line players.

Predicted Detroit over Columbus. Mason, take your Calder trophy, this post-season experience and apply it to next season. Barring a sophomore slump, Columbus should be making their second post season appearance next year. If they finish better, they’ll even probably make it out of the first round alive.

Predicted The Canucks over St. Louis. St. Louis is an up and coming team. Hopefully they’ll start another 25 year playoff streak. Note: No cups in those 25 years.

Predicted Calgary over Chicago. Again, what the hell happened!? Jokinen has a year left on his contract and if this happens again, I doubt he’ll be Flame for more than two years.

.500, not bad. Not great. But not horrible. If I were gambling, I’d be sitting about even. Unacceptable! Lets hope I do better in round two:

The West:

2. The Detroit Red Wings vs. 8. Anaheim Ducks

Hiller, you’d better watch yourself in this series. You’re good, you’re the unexpected hero of the first round, but remember, the Sharks didn’t crash the net nearly often enough and were contained by your defense. Detroit comes to the playoffs to win, not float around waiting for someone else to do it. They will force themselves to the net and it’s going to take more than Pronger, Whitney, Beauchemin and Niedermayer to stop them. That Franzen line is going to get into your head, run around a little and make you cry in the corner, shaking and muttering, “I don’t understand it, how did this happen?”

I predict that the Wings are going to battle hard and take this in 6.

3. Vancouver Canucks vs. 4. Chicago Blackhawks

Dear Mats,

Thank-You for reading my letter. It’s good to know that Gastown won’t be going up in flames any time soon. You played really well in two games of the St. Louis series. I hope your groin is feeling well enough to suit up tonight. The Canucks could really use your 8.60 million dollars worth of experience against a young Blackhawks squad and I’d love to hear an announcer struggle with the wonderful line, “Sedin, Sundin and Sedin are on the ice for the Canucks!” It would be really expensive to have you hanging around the press box, walking stiffly. That being said, could you please send a message to Roberto for me? No? Fine then.

Jack

PS: Vancouver in Five. Chicago is a good squad and all, but the Canucks have the better squad this season.

The East:

1. Boston Bruins vs. 6. Carolina Hurricanes.

Bruins in five. Won’t be watching this series on CBC, which is a shame, since The Bruins are a wonderful mainstay on HNIC. Not much to say here, it’ll be a goaltending duel.

2. Washington Capitals vs. 4. Pittsburgh Penguins

CBC might actually show this one. I’ll go check. Yep, I do get to watch this series. It should be a humdinger. Crosby vs. Ovetchkin, Semin against Malkin, Gonchar and Green. Those will be some memorable matchups, but this series rests on the shoulders of Varlamov he’s in for a true test this time. I bet this one goes to seven and the Penguins march to the Semi’s. That’s the gambler in me talking. Just to clarify my position, the opinionated hockey fan in me wants to see the Capitals sweep this in four.

Interesting that each of my accurate predictions from the first round is going up against one of my horribly wrong predictions. My second round predictions – with the exception of the gamblers bet on the Penguins/Capitals series – stick with the same teams I picked and won on in the first round.

~J

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One Response to 2009 NHL Conference Semi Finals – Predictions.

  1. bruins against ducks ?
    no
    bruins against wings, wings in 5!

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