It seems like a good opportunity to take a look at where the playoff series’ are, since we’re about halfway through Round 2 and may have a better take on how those games are going to play out. Let’s start with the Eastern (read: weakest) Conference:
Pittsburgh v. Montreal
Our original prediction was for Pittsburgh to win this series in 6 games. For now, they’re winning 2-1 in the series, and have recaptured home-ice advantage. After a weak start to the series, that included dropping one game at home to the Canadians, it looked like the Pens might actually be in some trouble. But they look to have righted the ship with a 2-0 win in game 3. If they can snatch another win in Montreal, they could close it out in 5 games. That said, I’m still banking on at least one more stolen game from Halak, and will stick with my original prediction.
Revised Prediction: Pittsburgh in 6
Boston v. Philadelphia
With the first two games in Boston, the Bruins held serve against the Flyers. Now the series shifts back to Philadelphia, where much will be determined. If the Bruins can grab a third game while playing in PA, they’ll be in excellent shape to close out the series in short order. I think they’ll manage to pull it out on the back of strong play of Rask, and the ability to grind it out in one-goal games (the first two have been one-goal games).
Revised Prediction: Boston in 5
And now on to the Bestern Conference:
San Jose v. Detroit
This one is perhaps the biggest surprise of the round. I expected the Sharks to start to get the monkey off their back and start making some real progress, but I definitely did not expect this domination. Three games into the series, the Sharks are up 3-0. While a comeback is not impossible, and if anyone can do it it’s likely the playoff hardened Detroit Red Wings, it looks like this one is all but in the bag. If the Sharks don’t manage to finish them off on tomorrow in Detroit, it looks like it will be only a matter of time. The question may shift to see how the Sharks will do with a long layoff, considering it looks like the next series will be a bit more of a slugfest.
Revised Prediction: San Jose in 5
Chicago v. Vancouver
This series may be the hardest to predict. The series is split 1-1 at the moment, and both teams have shown some real talent already. If Chicago can perform to the level they demonstrated in game 2, they’ll be good to go. However if they slip up even a bit, this talented (frustratingly talented) Canucks team will take advantage. I see this series going 7 games as the teams trade blows, but ultimately have to stick with my original prediction of a Blackhawks win, this time in 7.
Prediction: Chicago in 7