May 17, 2011


Even though I am a dejected Flyers fan, I figured it was time to make some picks for next round. Losing in the second round of the playoffs is like losing to 3rd graders in four square when you’re a month away from graduating the 4th grade, it sucks, big time. Playoff hockey has this indescribable fixation on TRUE hockey fans, that’s hard to describe. I get so wrapped up in it that I forgot to do simple things like laundry, dishes and sleep. All my brain thinks is beer, hockey, beer, hockey, over and over again.

With that being said, I just don’t see the Bruins advancing past Tampa. I’m not sure what happened to the Flyers in round 2, it might have been fatigue, or just a continuation of goalie issues, but Tampa will not falter. Let me explain. The bolts dismantled Washington in four straight games. Their power play is operating at just under 27%, an unthinkable number. But if you actually think about it, with a PP unit like Stamkos, St. Louis, Lecavalier, Gagne and Marc-Andre Bergeron what can you expect? Comparing the Bolts and Bruins power play is like comparing cats and dogs.

After a dominating Game 1 victory, Tampa looks to take a commanding 2-0 series lead Tuesday night in Boston. To me the most surprising part of Tampa’s victory in Game 1 was the productivity of the second and third lines. At least one of the Bolts big three; Stamkos, Lecavalier, and St. Louis generally find the score sheet when the team puts up 5 or so goals. This was not the case Saturday night as Tampa’s goals came from Bergenheim , Clark, Purcell, Bergeron and Gagne. If the Big 3 finding the twine and the second and third lines see success like they did in Game 1, the Bruins will soon be golfing right next to the Flyers.

I predict Boston to come out hard in Game 2 in front of a home crowd who will be anxious, to the say the least. If the Bruins can grab a win before heading to Tampa for two games, I think they can extend the series to 6 or 7 games, but if Tampa steals the show again on Tuesday night I’m taking the Bolts in 5 games. Either way, expect to see a tighter game Tuesday night, with lots of defense and physical play in all three zones as these teams look for the chance to play for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Bolts in 5.

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