Sunday, May 24, 2009

2009 NHL Playoffs: Almost Down to Two

Well, I haven't posted much since the Sharkies got eliminated so now is as good a time as any to look at how the second round series wound up and where we're at with the third round.

Western Conference Round Two

Detroit over Anaheim in 7 games: Now, that was a great series. It doesn't really give San Jose any consolation to know they got beaten by a good team, but the Ducks certainly gave Detroit all they could handle. At the end of the day, the series was a virtual pick-em affair with the Red Wings just happening to get and convert on a good scoring chance with 3 minutes to go in regulation. A great series that could have gone either way.

Chicago over Vancouver in 6 games: Very entertaining hockey... Chicago just a more talented team. Big credit also due to the Hawks for matching every bit of physical play put their way by a tough (and chippy) Canucks team.

Eastern Conference Round Two

Pittsburgh over Washington in 7 games. Another great series in the Detroit vs Anaheim vein. Washington was extremely entertaining to watch and gave the Pens a good run. At the end of the day, Pittsburgh having both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin simply gave them a 2-1 superstar advantage over the Caps and Alexander Ovechkin.

Carolina over Boston in 7 games. Can't say I watched a lot of this series, but from what I did, it made me view the Bruins season much as I did the Sharks... a really good regular season that got made moot due to playoff disappointment.

Western Conference Finals: Detroit is about to go up three games to one on the Blackhawks. I suppose it's possible for Chicago to mount a comeback starting with game 5, but... I doubt it.

Eastern Conference Finals: Pittsburgh vs Carolina reminds me of Vancouver vs St. Louis in round one. A good team playing fairly well again one that's simply better.

Stanley Cup Finals: Me thinks Detroit would be favored against a Penguins team that replaced their coach during the regular season, but if they can continue getting great goaltending from Marc-Andre Fleury along with Crosby and Malkin-like efforts from Crosby and Malkin... could be a great series.

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