Monday, May 4, 2009

The Quest for the Cup: The HoG's Slightly Overdue 2009 Semi-Finals Preview

Last year, I was on fire with my round-by-round NHL playoff predictions. This year, I'm off to a pretty bad start. Well, it's not awful. I went five of eight on picking series winners, but the numbers are a bit rough. It looks like, based on my Quarters predictions, I'm sitting at 26-17, and one of my two Finals teams (the President's Trophy-winning Sharks) is out in the first with only two measley wins. Oh, well. It's not the picks that are important, but the quality of the games on the ice, which have been decent, and I imagine they'll heat up even more this round. If you're into the picks though, find them, and some lazily crafted images, just after the jump.

I knew this Bruins club was dangerous. That's why I picked them to go all the way. I also anticipated that the Hurricanes would not go away without a fight. As much as I've been a Carolina bandwagoner over the years, I've gotta stick with Boston.

The pick: Bruins in seven.

This Anaheim club shocked me. I knew they were scrap-tastick, but I honestly didn't know that San Jose was capable of getting that pushed around. You'd like to think Detroit has the skill, the edge, and the knack to eliminate the Ducks, but surprisingly, this is one club that has a history (albeit brief) of giving Detroit post-season fits. I'm gonna have to say good bye to the defending champs.

The pick: Ducks in six.

Boy. Pittsburgh made me feel foolish. Either that of Philadelphia did. Either way, that was the other one that took me by surprise. This is the matchup, though. This is the scraptacular showdown between the two faces of the modern era. It's Crosby versus Ovechkin, and I don't imagine this one will be pretty. Unlike my thoughts on Anaheim, I'm gonna stick with my guns and say that the Caps outmatch the Pens.

The pick: Washington in seven.

Chicago and Vancouver. If I had to pick a team that impressed me the most in round one, it's Chicago. They hung around and never gave in against a scrappy Calgary club, and having drawn the only remaining Canadian club left doesn't give them any easy work. I imagine this is the sleeper series of the round, and though I'm tempted to give Chicago the nod based on their fortitude with Calgary, Roberto Luongo gives the Canucks a bit of an edge over Nikolai Khabibulin and the 'Hawks.

The pick: Canucks in six.

There's a look at the Semis. We'll check back in for the Conference Finals, and promise to do so before they've actually started.