In the first round I went 5 for 8, including guessing 3 series exactly. I was correct in guessing Pens in 6, Hawks in 6 and although it got cut off, Wings in 7. Now for the Conference Semi Finals.
PICK: Pittsburgh in 6
6) Boston vs 7) Philadelphia
A rematch of the Winter Classic. I think both teams should wear their New Year's Day jerseys for games in Boston. Unfortunately, you have to declare which two sets of jerseys your team will wear before the playoffs begin. If the Classic showed us anything, it was that these two teams are quite even. That could lead to a few OT games. The Flyers look to be built for the playoffs while the Bruins look to be playing nearly perfect defensive hockey. I expect this series to go the distance which will tire out whoever wins for the conference final. The team that wins this series will have used too much energy to advance to the Cup Finals.
PICK: Philadelphia in 7
1) San Jose vs 5) Detroit
Last round I said that the Sharks are perennial chokers. This is the round that they will prove it. Back in 2007 they met up with the Wings in the 2nd round. Many thought it would be a close 7 game series, but Detroit handled them easily in 6 games after losing game 1. Again, in 2008 the Sharks made the 2nd round and were ousted easily by the Dallas Stars in 6 games. This series will not go that long. Detroit is proving that their place in the standings was only a reflection of their injury situation. Now they are poised to possibly go on another Cup run.
PICK: Detroit in 5
2) Chicago vs 3) Vancouver
A rematch of last year's 2nd round match. I have the same uncertain feeling heading into this year's series as I did last year. I believe that the series will be tied 2-2 going into the fifth game. Whoever wins that game will carry over that momentum and win the series in six. The issue is that both teams are so even that it's hard to pick one of them. Chicago still has goaltending questions and the Canucks have questions about their defense.
PICK: Chicago in 6