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Old 04-09-2012, 05:53 AM
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1 NEW YORK RANGERS v. 8 OTTAWA SENATORS - I am a big Rangers fan, and I'm trying not to be overconfident, but it's hard not to be, when you have King Henrik in goal, and a top-notch defense. Hopefully the power play stays on their mini roll as well. Ottawa has some big names, but they are lacking severely where the Rangers have strength. Rangers in 5

2 BOSTON BRUINS v. 7 WASHINGTON CAPITALS - I like how Washington pulled it together to make the playoffs, but their goaltending woes can't be overlooked. Boston has been even hotter than they were, and will expose their shortcomings. Bruins in 4

3 FLORIDA PANTHERS v. 6 NEW JERSEY DEVILS - Like the Red Wings, the Devils have aged. OK, maybe not the entire team, but their netminder has. Unfortunately for Florida, he's one of (if not) the best goaltenders of all time, and his experience rules here. Florida finally has the hype of winning the Southeast, and finally getting back to the playoffs, but their road ends here. Devils in 5

4 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS v. 5 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS - The match-up everyone seems to be looking forward to. Philadelphia was largely overlooked this season, due to Bryzgalov under-performing his contract, and the simple fact that the Rangers and Penguins stole every headline the Atlantic had to offer. Giroux is outstanding, and Hartnell had a solid season, but can either of them duplicate those results now, when it matters? Can Bryzgalov step up, and stay hot? No matter what the answers are, sadly, the Penguins still sport the MVP, the crybaby, and a stellar supporting cast. Should be great to watch, and hard-fought. Penguins in 7

1 VANCOUVER CANUCKS v. 8 LOS ANGELES KINGS - This is an interesting match-up. Los Angeles has played well, and could pose a threat here. Quick would have my vote for the Vezina, if not for Lundqvist, and Kopitar is probably the best player noone has heard of. If Quick can withstand the onslaught of the Canuck offense, it may get interesting. Canucks in 6

2 ST. LOUIS BLUES v. 7 SAN JOSE SHARKS - San Jose should feel lucky to just be in the playoffs. Niemi was a bomb this year, and they got little-to-nothing from anyone not on their top line. Pavelski's name is right under Kopitar's on the list of unknown greats right now, and he'd need to become All-World for the Sharks to even eke out a single win here. Elliott and Halak are simply too much. Blues in 4

3 PHOENIX COYOTES v. 6 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS - I applaud Mike Smith for his play down the stretch, and it may serve the team well here. They're facing a Blackhawks team who was missing their leader, on and off the ice, and seemed lost without him at times. He should be back, but there may be a game or two adjustment time for Toews. Phoenix needs consistent production from the likes of Whitney and Vrbata to take advantage of their late division crown. Blackhawks in 6

4 NASHVILLE PREDATORS v. 5 DETROIT RED WINGS - I thought a few weeks ago that the Wings would rather play anyone than Nashville. Rinne is outstanding, Weber and Suter have the blueline locked down, and their offense has been unbelievable. But if you actually watch a full Red Wings game, you realize that none of it matters. Yes, they're "aged". They're also experienced. No one can take over the ice like Datsyuk. Zetterberg and Holmstrom are just always "there". Their defense has grown throughout the season. Howard can shut any team down on his best nights. This will either be a tough 7-game series, or a blowout either way. Red Wings in 7

My Second Round: 1 NYR v 6 NJD, 2 BOS v 4 PIT, 1 VAN v 6 CHI, 2 STL v. 5 DET
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CREDIT: DAVE
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