And then there were Eight – NHL Predictions for Round two of the 2009/2010 NHL Play Offs – Or Montreal’s Path to Victory! Cornwall Ontario – April 30, 2010

Cornwall ON – Well it’s showtime again!  Round Two is about to begin and I thought I’d break down the four series about to start.

Boston Bruins vs Philadelphia Flyers

This series I think will be decided by Goal Tending.  Both teams have the ability to overcome their injuries.  Both have a lot of wild cards.  Both have some players who can make or break their legends.

The Mark Recchi factor should be interesting as he leads the Bruins against the team I suggested would win it all at the beginning of the season.

The Brian Boucher factor is also interesting in that Mr. Boucher has absolutely nothing to lose.   He had zero expectations as a goalie and is playing way over his head.    While no Halak he’s helping keep his team in the game.

Wild Cards – Chris Pronger.  Does he have enough gas in the tank at his age to play 25 + Chris Pronger like minutes per night?   Milan Lucic – the man can play smash mouth hockey.  The man could play Flyer hockey.

I favor the Flyers in six games even as much as I admire the Bruins and what they’ve accomplished situationally.

San Jose Sharks vs the Detroit Red Wings

On paper…..well dogs go on paper… and the San Jose Sharks or any Joe Thornton team have a way of being more of what dogs do on paper.  So far in round one Mr. Thornton is playing like….Mr. Thornton in the play offs, but the funny thing is that this year’s Shark team seems to have much more character and the will of D Man Dan Boyle.

When it comes to winning NOBODY in the NHL right now knows it better than the Mike Babcock led Detroit Red Wings.   This could be the last hurrah for Nicklas Lidstrom and the salary cap world makes it harder to keep teams together.

The Sharks have the talent to overcome Detroit which as savvy as they are have an abundance of minor weaknesses.

I think this will be a seven game series or a very short one.    I have no gut feeling on this one but I could see this being Wings in seven.

Chicago Blackhawks vs Vancouver Canucks

This should be one of the most exciting series in recent play off history.   Two high scoring teams.   The Black Hawks I think have the better D Corps, but Roberto Luongo seems like a man on a mission.

The depth and size of Chicago should overcome Vancouver, but if Mr. Luongo makes us forget Mr. Halak this could be more than just a short high scoring series.

My pick however will be Chicago in six.

And finally; saving the best for last…

Montreal Canadiens vs Pittsburgh Penguins

I’m predicting les Boys to win this series in 7 games.   I can’t really tell you why, but I think that after beating Washington things should be easier no matter who Montreal plays in the play offs.

The key to Montreal will be Sergei Gonchar.  The Penguins need him to key their offensive.   Beat him up and shut him down and you can say Alex Ovechkin.

Pittsburgh Hab killer will be Jordan Staal.  This multi-talented Centre will be the potential hammer for Pittsburgh as Montreal will have their hands full with Messers Crosby & Malkin.  If Staal takes his game up a few notches Montreal will be in very big trouble.

The Habs were particularly weak in the face off department.  While not as deep Pittsburgh’s offense can be dramatically lethal and you can’t expect Jaroslav Halak to face 50 Pittsburgh shots a night and win the series.

Montreal will need to spend a lot more time in Pittsburgh zone to have any chance of winning.

What do you think Canada?  Post your comments below.

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