With my tail tucked between my legs, I admit just how bad my round 1 playoff predictions were. With that said, round 2 is half way through, so I have a running start this time around.
The L.A. Kings lead the St. Louis Blues in the series 3-0. The score of game 3 was 4-2. I’m going to state the obvious and say the L.A. Kings will take this series. I don’t think they’ll be swept, St. Louis does have some fight left in them. Who knows, they might come back and win the next 4 games. Stranger things have happened. My prediction for this series, not because of the current standings, but because of the drive of the Kings, is that the Kings will take it in 5.
The Philadelphia Flyers are down 1-2 to the New Jersey Devils. Both are hard fighting teams, but I say in this series NJ will come out on top in 5. They are more strict in practice and more structured in their play. This is a team who has worked hard all season to improve and get stronger, and all of their hard work is paying off.
The Phoenix Coyotes lead The Nashville Predators 2-1. With game 4 tonight at 7:30 local time on NBCSP, I predict that Nashville will come ahead and scoop up this series. They will take advantage of Mike Smith’s inability to stay in his net. Smitty is an amazing goaltender, however, he’s gone from hero to dud by letting in avoidable goals. He goes way too far out of the net to chase pucks like a dog chases a stick. Maybe the Coyotes can still take this series if they invest in a shock collar for him. As much as I love Mike Smith, I think that his over confidence will cost his team this series. I really, really hope that I’m wrong, and Smitty gets 2 shut outs and the Yotes take it.
The New York Rangers lead The Washington Capitals 2-1. Game 4 will be shown on NBC at 12:30 local time on NBC. I think the Capitals will drag this one out to a game 7, bitter after being swept by Tampa Bay last year, but will fall to NY. John Tortorella has too much win or die mentality invested in his players to lose this. (All in all I’m calling NY to bring home the cup. I hope I don’t jinx them by saying so.)
If Brian Boyle can stay healthy, and not get hit in the face by a puck, I personally feel that he is one of the most valuable players for The Rangers. He took that puck to the face and was back out in no time to continue fighting. Watching that game go into triple overtime, I was tired just watching. I can’t even imagine how they were feeling. Brain Boyle was one of the two most consistent on the ice, surpassing, former Tampa Bay Stanley Cup icons Brad Richards and Rusty Fedotenko. Ryan McDonagh amazed me during that game as well. Alexander Ovechkin had his wish granted, more ice time. Washington head coach Dale Hunter has been setting a tone for these playoffs. I don’t know if he was truly holding Ovi out for his best time to be in the power play as was said, if it was discipline, or if it was a display of power, but he was only giving the all mighty #8 a few minutes of each game. As frustrated as he was, to Ovi’s credit, he said that the coach was in charge and he would abide by his rules. In that game he made up for it. He had 7:35 in the first period alone. He completed an impressive 35:14. Of course it was almost 2 full games, as it was about 115 minutes long. Dennis Wideman served 40:42 and John Carlson played 30:39. John Tortorella’s holding Stu Bickel down to 3:24 in 5 1/2 period raised some eyebrows. And rightly so. The warrior of the game was Ryan McDonagh who kept up his strength to keep playing at 100% for almost an entire regulation game. 53:17 seconds. I’ll type that again. FIFTY-THREE MINUTES AND SEVENTEEN SECONDS! Wow. Marc Staal played 49:34, Dan Girardi 44:26, and Michael Del Zotto 43:33.
It was a tough game for both teams. It really came down to a battle of the goalies. Holtby VS Lundqvist. The Capitals had the chance to win the game in the first overtime, when Ovechkin struck a post and blew the game. He is amazingly talented, there is no question. However, (in my opinion), he is arrogant and tries to hog the puck. He tries to be a hero and win it on his own. Sometimes it pays off and he saves the day. Sometimes, as was the case in game 3, he costs his team the game.
One of the highlights for me, not because of the players involved, but because it was an awesome, strong, and CLEAN hit, was Matt Hendrick’s check on Ryan McDonagh. Seriously, click on that link and watch it. Over and over again. I did. I have it logged into my favorites!
Finally, after 38 shifts, Marian Gaborik shot one past King Hank, netting the game winning goal. Click here for complete highlights.
I can not wait for game 4 tomorrow! And, for my pick’s sake, GO RANGERS GO!
Dolly Reynolds-Dolce @HulaDolly @BoltsByTheBay
Topics: Alexander Ovechkin, Brian Boyle, Henrick Lunqvist, John Tortorella, L.A. Kings, Marty St. Louis, Mike Smith, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, NY Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, Playoffs, Popular Featured, Washington Capitals