Now that the Wings have defeated the Yotes in Game 7 last night, I can break down my predictions for Round 1 and give some predictions for Round 2 for the Western Conference.
Sharks v. Avs. I said San Jose in 5 games. It actually took them 6 games, but if Dan Boyle didn't score on his own goalie, Evgeni Nabokov in Game 3. Boyle easily could have been "the goat" for the Sharks. That goal put the Sharks down 2-1 in the series. Craig Anderson of Colorado was playing some pretty darn good goal for the Avs, and kept the Heatley, Thornton, Marleau trio to 1 goal and 9 assists. The Sharks also had some great production from their not-big-name players, Clowe, Pavelski and Setoguchi.
Yotes v. Wings. I said Detroit in 5 games, but it actually took all 7. Who thought the young Yotes would bring a healthy Detroit to 7 games? I sure didn't. Ilya Bryzgalov was fantastic. Phoenix did what they've done all season by just hanging around and making the other team pay. Unfortunately for them, Detroit is one of the best teams at making their opposition pay (See the power play goal by Lidstrom in Game 7 that had all 4 Phoenix penalty killers so dead that they pretty much just stood their and watched). The big guns are rolling for Detroit, but the Yotes really didn't have a mobile enough defense to stop Zetterberg, Datsyuk or Franzen. The Yotes really missed Shane Doan who was injured midway through the series.
Canucks v. Kings. I said it would be LA in 6, but was actually Vancouver in 6. I didn't get to watch much of this series, since the games were on too late for me. Vancouver is gong to surprise some people, myself included. They have a very balanced attack. Mikael Samuelsson had a GREAT series. The Nucks are getting some production from Ehrhoff, Salo. and the rest of their D-corps. Roberto didn't have a spectacular series, but was good enough to get it done against the younger,Jonathan Quick. This experience wasn't a waste for the Kings, since Doughty, Kopitar, Johnson and crew got some much needed playoff experience.
Hawks v. Preds. I said Hawks in 5, but it actually took them 6. Lets be honest about this series, the Hawks played like poop and the Preds played like a team. The Preds did a good job of shutting down Marian Hossa, Toews and Sharp who didn't get a lot of production. Patrick Kane on the other hand, was making things happen a getting a little over a point per game on average, including a goal with 13 seconds left in Game 5 with the Hawks trailing by a goal. Pekka Rinne for the other side seemed unsolvable for most of the series, since the Hawks were only able to muster 3 goals in the first 2 games. Shea Weber and Ryan Suter did a good job shutting down the Hawks offensive players. Grebeshkov showed just how important he is on the Preds back end. Once he came back their power play had a little more power in it, but still not enough to figure out Antti Niemi.
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