Went 7/8 in the 1st round. (Nashville…oops) Not much time to go into details right now, but here are my picks:
(1) Washington vs (5) Tampa Bay
Washington. Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom and co. will expose Tampa’s defence like Pittsburgh’s anemic offence couldn’t.
(2) Philadelphia vs (3) Boston
Philadelphia. If Boston had that much trouble beating Montreal, it won’t be much of a party playing against Philadelphia’s dominant three line attack. Pronger is also getting healthier. That being said, the Bruins are a very well balanced team, and won’t have nearly as much trouble scoring on Brian Boucher as they did on Carey Price. Could go either way.
(1) Vancouver vs. (5) Nashville
Vancouver. Anaheim had holes like crazy (everything but their #1 PP unit). Vancouver has no such holes. Nashville won’t go away quietly, but they will go away.
(2) San Jose vs. (3) Detroit
Detroit. This is a tough series to call. But with a healthy Zetterberg, Howard looking better in his sophomore playoff appearance, and Datsyuk playing out of his mind, I like Detroit. San Jose is looking impressive though, with the best offensive depth in the west. Big difference is that Nabokov was great in last year’s 2nd round defeat of Detroit; Antti Niemi is a downgrade. I also think Detroit has a distinct advantage on the back end, and still like their stars better than San Jose’s.