2011 NHL Playoffs: Analyzing LBC's second-round picks
The day of reckoning has come once again. And by that, I mean that it's time to analyze the LBC team's second round predictions and see how we did. In addition, we'll again note contributions by some former Panthers in each series. We didn't too badly in the first round, but were caught off-guard by the second, in particular all the sweeps and the complete collapse of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Washington Capitals (1) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (5)
Actual result: Lightning in 4
John: Capitals in 6
Donny: Capitals in 5
Ryan: Capitals in 6
Let's just say that we're in good company in not expecting the Lightning to have swept the Capitals in this round, but I can't agree with all the "What went wrong?"stories about the Capitals in this series. The Lightning aren't getting any respect here. If they had beaten a Pittsburgh team that had Crosby playing then maybe they would, but they're not getting credit for winning a hard-fought series against a good team in the Penguins and sweeping the top team in the conference. Dwayne Roloson is playing like a man possessed, the mid-season acquisition of Eric Brewer has done a lot to improve the blueline, Vincent Lecavalier is once again playing to his ability and Steven Stamkos has finally woken up. In addition, depth guys like Sean Bergenheim and Dominic Moore are making big contributions and the entire team has bought into coach Guy Boucher's systems and he has them believing they can win a championship and playing like they can.
Ex-Panther factor: Dennis Wideman was again sidelined for the entire series. Dominic Moore had a goal and 3 assists in the series and was a +4.
Philadelphia Flyers (2) vs. Boston Bruins (3)
Actual result: Bruins in 4
John: Flyers in 7
Donny: Bruins in 7
Ryan: Flyers in 6
None of us saw this coming, though Donny did predict the actual winner. Unfortunately for the Flyers, not only did the goalie carousel bite them, but they proved that they can't win a series without Chris Pronger. Pronger's absence in games hurt them, and even when he did play he wasn't really in game shape. Without him on the backline, the Flyers' power play was abysmal and they weren't good defensively. Everyone points to the goalie problems and there is a case to be made that Bobrovsky never should have sat in the press box this playoffs, but ultimately the loss of Pronger hurt more. Full credit needs to be given to the Bruins as well. They barely even gave the Flyers a chance. It took them the full 7 to get warmed up but in this series they showed have the talent and the killer instinct to get the lead in the series and never give the other team a chance to catch up.
Ex-Panther factor: Nathan Horton only had 2 goals in this series, the fourth goal in game three, scored when the Bruins were up 3-0 and the second goal in the 7-3 blowout in game one. But he had points in all four games and is on a 5 game points streak. Gregory Campbell had the final goal in game one and 2 assists, 3 hits and was +1.
Vancouver Canucks (1) vs. Nashville Predators (5)
Actual result: Canucks in 6
John: Canucks in 6
Donny: Predators in 5
Ryan: Nashville in 7
Someone woke Ryan Kesler and Roberto Luongo up and Vancouver took this series, as they should have. They nearly blew the first round and that caused a lot of people to call for the Preds to take this one. The Sedins still aren't looking great, but the Canucks are getting good play from enough of the rest of the team to have been on the right side of this one.
Ex-Panther factor: Luongo was 4-1-1 with a 1.63 GAA and a .933 save percentage against the Predators. Chris Higgins was good again in this series. He had 2 goals and an assist, including the only goal in the 1-0 game one win. He was a +4 and had 11 hits and 6 blocked shots. Tanner Glass had no points, 8 hits, and 4 blocked shots and was a -1. Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich were non-factors. Both were benched after game two. Ballard had no points and was a -1 with 3 hits and 4 blocked shots in those two games while Oreskovich failed to register on the score sheet at all in 11:59 of ice time. Mikael Samuelsson was hurt in game five, but up to that point had 1 assist, was a -2 and had 3 hits and blocked 1 shot.
San Jose Sharks (2) vs. Detroit Red Wings (3)
Actual result: San Jose in 7
John: Red Wings in 6
Donny: Red Wings in 4
Ryan: Red Wings in 6
While the Sharks still haven't shed their reputation as chokers, if they can win again, this series could be the beginning. The Sharks nearly let this one go, letting Detroit take them to seven games after taking a 3-0 series lead. The Wings were unable to repeat the Flyers' feat of last year, however, as Patrick Marleau played his best game of the series in game seven. Jeremy Roenick called him "gutless" after the game five loss and he was also called out by his coach. It took him another game to really find his game, but he found it. After an inspired performance that included some great defensive plays and a lot of hustle in the offenssive zone, he scored the game seven winner late in the third period. This series saved the second round, as every game save game six was won by one-goal.
Ex-Panther factor: Todd Bertuzzi had a decent series, despite getting hurt early in game seven. He had a goal, two assists, and was a +1 with 13 hits.