A new round of hockey is upon us and since, despite watching the first round, I still don't know that much about hockey I've invited my roommate John DiDomenicis back for more playoffs previews. He went 6 for 8 in first round predictions.
The biggest surprise in the first round had to be the Dallas Stars’ impressive series victory over the defending champion Ducks. They took them down in 6 games while scoring 20 goals and giving up only 13. San Jose barely escaped in 7 games against the Calgary Flames, in what may have been the most competitive series in the first round. These teams know each other well, playing 8 games in the regular season, with Dallas holding a slight edge. It will be interesting to see if Sergei Zubov, Dallas’ best defenseman, will play in this series and just how effective he will be. I expect low scoring games with these two elite goaltenders in between the pipes. However, both teams boast potent offensive weapons and if defense is soft the goals will be there. San Jose will have the pressure on them as usual, after falling short the last couple years. The first round victory has to take a little bit of that pressure off their leaders, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, but they know that it is Cup or bust out there in San Jose. In my opinion this will be the best played series in the 2nd round and the winner will advance to the Finals after that. As for the winner, I have to go with my prediction to win the Cup and say the San Jose Sharks, who are just so solid throughout their entire lineup.
Sharks in 7 games.