First Round Recap
For once my First Round predictions out West were better than my picks back East. I nailed all 4 first round series, with one minor exception. That's not to say my Round 2 picks will work, though.
#1 San Jose Sharks def. #8 Colorado Avalanche in 6 games
#2 Chicago Blackhawks def. #7 Nashville Predators in 6 games
#3 Vancouver Canucks def. #6 Los Angeles Kings in 6 games (I said they'd do it in 5)
#5 Detroit Red Wings def. #4 Phoenix Coyotes in 7 games
Second Round Predictions
#1 San Jose Sharks vs. #5 Detroit Red Wings
Having home ice advantage should help the Sharks quite a bit, as will not having had to play a 7th game in their series. Detroit is a veteran, playoff tested team, and the Sharks are early round chokers, right? That said, San Jose will win the series. Goaltending isn't a big strength for the Red Wings or the Sharks, both teams have a lot of scoring talent and veteran defensemen. Detroit may have dominated the season series, but the Sharks are just as tired of losing as Detroit is just tired. That's not to say Detroit will make it easy for them. San Jose will advance in 7 games.
#2 Chicago Blackhawks vs. #3 Vancouver Canucks
A fairly even season series and both teams played to 6 games in the opening round. Vancouver has been getting superb goaltending from Roberto Luongo and he's much better than what the 'Hawks have. Bth teams have excellent offense and some injury issues on defense. Chicago's home ice may be the deciding factor, but I think it will be goaltending. Vancouver in 6.