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ITCS Predictions (Round 2)

With Round 1's predictions, I went a decent 5-3. Not bad, but I think Nostradamus' legacy is safe for a while longer. I incorrectly picked Calgary (turns out, they really do suck at home), Dallas (I was right that Turco would be good, but the team let him down) and Atlanta (um, guh.).

Here's my thoughts on Round 2:



Buffalo (1) vs New York Rangers (6): Full disclosure: I hate the Rangers and I hate Sean Avery. And, I think the Sabres are a terrific hockey club. So, why would I pick New York? They seem to be clicking at the right time and have a goalie that can carry a team in a series. That statement applies to the Sabres as well, of course. The x-factor here is Sean Avery, a miserable scumbag on the ice who started getting under the skin of the Sabres two days before the first puck was dropped. I think Buffalo, under the guidance of hothead coach Lindy Ruff, will focus too much on the antics of Avery and risk taking the rest of the Rangers for granted. This should be the series to talk about. New York in 6

New Jersey (2) vs Ottawa (4): Against Tampa, Brodeur was off his game a bit. But, "off his game" to Martin Brodeur still was enough to win. He'll need to be better against the high-scoring Senators, because New Jersey won't be winning many offensive shootouts. Zach Parise and Brian Gionta scored 11 goals in the first round. The rest of the Devil's combined scored 8. I think this series will go back and forth, and Brodeur will end up being the difference maker. New Jersey in 6.




Detroit (1) vs San Jose (5): Both of these teams were involved in some nastiness in the first round. That will probably carry over a little bit into round two, but I don't expect it to be a huge factor. Detroit's Dominik Hasek seems to be exhibiting some chinks in the armor, and he was largely outplayed by Mikka Kiprusoff in the first round. I think this will be an exciting, emotional, physical series which the Sharks win. Barely. San Jose in 7.

Anaheim (2) vs Vancouver (3): Roberto Luongo was outstanding in the first round. He'll be just as good in round two, but the Ducks just have too many weapons. Minnesota didn't have an answer for Anaheim's size and strength in the first round, and the Canucks won't either. Luongo will steal a couple, but the Ducks are just too good. Anaheim in 6.