Tonight sees the start of the second round of the NHL playoffs. The NY Rangers defeating the Atlanta Thrashers in four games was perhaps the greatest shock of the first round. Now they go up against the mighty Buffalo Sabres. I maintain that Buffalo will win the Cup this year. Over the past few years I have slowly but surely become a hugs Sabres fan. I think the sentiment was finalized when we drove through Buffalo last summer on our way to Ohio and about 1/5 of the houses and apartments that we passed, had Sabres flags. I love that - when a city not only gets behind but breathes their team. Erich and I placed our next round of bets last night. Below are the upcoming series - my picks are bolded. I am very confident that I will be making some dough on this.
Buffalo (1) v NY Rangers (6) - We are not betting here as we are both aware of the power of the Sabres. Buffalo in 6.
New Jersey (2) v Ottawa (4) - Although Brodeur made me a bit nervous against Tampa Bay, and I hate to cheer for Jersey, Scott Gomez will carry them through. I don't think that Ottawa has the defense to hold NJ back. The goal tending battles will be interesting though. NJ in 7.
Detroit (1) v San Jose (5) - I know that the Sharks can beat Hasek, as great as he is. Thornton drew countless penalties against Forsberg and the Preds last series, giving the Sharks the upper hand, and I see him doing it to Detroit. Although the majority of hockey fans are picking the Wings, I think that San Jose will pull an upset. San Jose in 7.
Anaheim (2) v Vancouver (3) - Vancouver is exhausted from 7 very long games with Dallas, so the Ducks will (have to) win the opening home games. Roberto Luongo is the Canucks last chance. Expect more overtimes than in the Dallas series! Anaheim in 6.