Round 2 Picks

Since my West picks were dead on in the first round, I feel compelled to stick with them, although my reasoning may have changed.


#1 Buffalo vs. #6 NY Rangers
We know the Rangers will be well-rested, having pulled off the only sweep of the first round. I wouldn't worry about the Rangers not being up to speed. They earned that sweep by overwhelming the Thrashers. That said, they're running into a much tougher opponent in the Sabres. If Buffalo gets an aggressive forecheck going, they can force the Rangers' somewhat soft defense into taking penalties. I think the Rangers will have enough discipline and offensive punch to push the Sabres to the limit, but Ryan Miller will steal the series in the end.

Sabres in 7

#2 New Jersey vs. #4 Ottawa
Can the Senators keep up the edgy game that threw the Penguins off stride? That's a tougher sell against a Devils team that can absorb a lot of punishment. Somewhere along the way, though, I have to believe that Lou Lamoriello's ego-trip firing of Claude Julien will come back to bite him, and I think this round will be it.

Senators in 6


#1 Detroit vs. #5 San Jose
Calgary left the Red Wings bruised and bloodied. Tomas Holmstrom will miss some time as he recovers from an eye injury, and Brett Lebda is still feeling Daymond Langkow's sucker punch, so he's out with post-concussion symptoms. San Jose is a little hung over from their physical series with Nashville, but not as bad as Detroit. Besides, I can't pick the Red Wings to get out of the 2nd round until they do. I've been burned too many times since Scotty Bowman retired.

Sharks in 6

#2 Anaheim vs. #3 Vancouver
Teemu Selanne, allow me to introduce to you Roberto Luongo, Playoff Goaltender. You say you've met Luongo already? That was Regular Season Goaltender. This is Playoff Goaltender. He's better. Wrist shots off the mask don't scare him. He shrugged off net-crashing Dallas forwards. He even owned the Stars in barely broken in pads that match the Canucks' retro uniforms. You think you can beat that? Good luck.

Canucks in 5

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