Sharks

NHL Western Conference Final Predos

Vancouver Canucks (1) vs San Jose Sharks (2)

Many chalked in this matchup months ago and after battling through the first two rounds, the Sharks and Canucks are ready to battle it out for the Western Conference.

While the Sharks got here through their big guys showing up, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau both showed up against the Red Wings. However, the Canucks have rode the play of Ryan Kesler while their twin stars fail to shine and play supporting cast.

The Sedin Twins have the stars aligned to get going, with the Sharks Penalty Killing hurting the brothers should be able to start firing on all cylinders in no-time at all.

Roberto Luongo has everything to prove while Antti Niemi has been there and done that. The series pits a top pedigree goalie who hasn’t proved himself in the playoffs against a goalie that can’t get it done but has a Stanley Cup win on his resume.

Key Players: The Sedin Twins are the way to the Stanley Cup for the Canucks and will need to start playing for this team to get to the promised land. Kesler can only carry the team so far before the talented duo have to pick up the slack.

My Prediction? The Canucks win in Six, pitting them up against the Boston Bruins for Hockey’s holy grail.

Agree? Disagree? Think i’m crazy? That’s fine, chime in with your 2-Cents below in the comments section and let us know your predictions and thoughts for the second round of the playoffs.

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Henry is a contributor to Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Tuesday Morning at 11. You can follow him on twitter at HenryWhitfield, where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads games

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Second Round Stanley Cup Predos

Before we kick into the next round, how did I do in the first found?

Canucks in Six, Canucks won in Seven

Sharks in Five, Sharks won in Six

‘Yotes in Seven, Red Wings won in Four

Ducks in Six, Predators won in Six

Caps in Six, Caps in Five

Flyers in Six, Flyers in Seven

Bruins in Five, Bruins in Seven

Lightning in Seven, Lightning in Seven

Perfect for winner of the series in the East and got the Bolts-Pens series dead on, while I went 50% in the West and was upset by the Red Wings and Predators

One last kudos to Teemu Selanne who lead the first round with six goals and who knows if the flash will be back in the NHL next season.

So without further adieu, here are my second round predos:

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(1) Vancouver Canucks vs (5) Nashville Predators

While I was surprised that Nashville dealt with Anaheim so easily, I wasn’t surprised by the Canucks overcoming their daemons to get past the Chicago Blackhawks. That being said, I was impressed with the work ethic of the Predators and am less than impressed with the Sedin twins and the play of Roberto Luongo.

Pekka Rinne will be looked to by his team mates to continue his stellar play, but if Luongo finds his game then the backstoppers will be quite evenly matched.

This series will be another battle and the Canucks will need to dig deep to match the hard hitting, gritty Predators who dealt with a talented Ducks team with ease.

The key to this series will be the Sedin twins waking up and the third and fourth lines of the Canucks continuing to battle hard every shift.

Key Player(s): Sedin Twins, they need to score or else he Canucks are saying seeya later to the playoffs.

My Prediction? Canucks beat the Predators in Six, but drop the first game.

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(2) San Jose vs (3) Detroit Red Wings

With the San Jose Sharks still battling to get rid of their ‘choke specialists’ tag, the veteran and experienced Detroit Red Wings continue to do what they do best: Win in the playoffs.

The aged Red Wings dealt with the ‘Yotes easily and have had enough time to get their old bodies healthy for the next round and that’s something the Sharks don’t want.

Datsyuk was a stud in the first round and this team is once again built for the playoffs, not to mention Jimmy Howard has grown into a reliable goalie behind a strong defensive unit.

On the other side of the ice, there is an unproven group of super talented players that continue to battle their past in the playoffs.

Antti Niemi may have won a cup last year but he didn’t’ exactly steal many games, he had more than a few goals put past him against he Kings and is the clear weakness in this San Jose team.

I’d love to see the Sharks meet the Canucks in the Western Finals but unless Joe Thornton throws the team on his back and scores a hat-trick a game, they will find it hard pressed to get past Hockey Town.

Key Player: Leaning on their experience, Nicklas Lidstrom will need to lead by example and get his team past a talented San Jose side.

My Prediction? Detroit is too much to handle, they win in Six

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(1) Washington Capitals – (5) Tampa Bay Lightning

A matchup of two of the best shooters in the game with Ovechkin and Stamkos squaring off in this series, but it may just come down to goaltending once again.

Old man time is no issue for Dwayne Roloson and he will look to continue his strong post-season play and hope that other veterans Vincent LEcavalier, Martin St. Louis and Mattias Ohlund can drive their team past a locked-and-loaded Capitals team.

Down the other end of the ice, it’s Bruce Boudreau’s defence-first Capitals who are showing a new side and allowed just 8 goals in the first round against the Rangers.

The usual suspects will need to get it done for the Captials, reline on NIcklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green to get the job done.

Key Player? Alexander Semin will need to score goals and keep converting the chances that Ovechkin is setting up for him.

My prediction?  Tampa Bay will battle hard but the Capitals are on a mission and are all business this post-season, Caps win in Five

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(2) Philadelphia Flyers – (3) Boston Bruins

The Bruins enter the series after winning an emotional series against Montreal but still have a lot to prove.

A historic collapse against the Flyers in last years playoffs will be in their minds as they face a team injected with a healthy Chris Pronger but plagued by inconsistent goaltending.

After using three goalies, all looking horrible at times, the Flyers will hope to get solid play between the pipes to compete with the perennial maverick Tim Thomas, who let in a few soft goals himself in the first series.

This will be the best series in the second round and will be an all out battle; whether it is Chara vs Pronger, Horton vs Briere, Lucic vs Hartnell or Thomas vs whoever stays in the Flyers net the longest.

Key Player: As usual, this Flyers team lives and breathes by the example set by Chris Pronger and will rely on the wily veteran’s example to win this series.

My prediction? Flyers in Seven, with at least three of the games going to overtime.

Agree? Disagree? Think i’m crazy? That’s fine, chime in with your 2-Cents below in the comments section and let us know your predictions and thoughts for the second round of the playoffs.

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Henry is a contributor to Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Tuesday Morning at 11. You can follow him on twitter at HenryWhitfield, where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads games

NHL Playoffs 2010 – Round 3 Predos

Well, it’s time to get back on track and get some predictions right. I know most of you out there are wondering why I even bother, with a great record of just 6/12 so far, you’d think I would give up? Stick with the 50% and go home. However, this round I’m going to give ‘er and take a chance on teams that I have yet to believe in.

So without further adieu, here are my Round 3 Semi-Final Predictions:

The EastIts late but it’s time to join the bandwagon

Philadelphia (7) – Montreal (8) – Yes. That’s right. We’ve got a matchup of the last two seeds in the east to crown an East Champ. Montreal has beaten two of the NHL’s best teams so far in these playoffs and have jumped on the back of excellent goaltending by Jaroslav Halak to prove all pundits wrong. On the other hand, the Flyers struggled into the post-season and had to complete one of the toughest comebacks in recent memory to beat the Boston Bruins after going down three games to none. Both teams went to seven games in the last series and will be pulling on everything they have left to get an edge.

In net it’s a showdown of Michael Leighton (Until Boucher comes back) and the suddenly infallible Jaroslav Halak. If the Flyers can get into the head of Halak and push him around they might have a shot, but it won’t be easy.

It’s time to jump on the bandwagon and support Canada’s teams, not just because it feels right but because they are the best team in this series: Montreal In 6.

The WestChicago ripped apart Vancouver in their series and the San Jose Sharks made short work of Detroit to reach this point.

San Jose (1) – Chicago (2) – Unlike the East, over in the West the top two teams have made it through the gauntlet and now face each other.

A high-powered regular season offence has finally shown life in the post-season for the Sharks and the young talent of the Blackhawks have been getting it done on the back of a young finish goalie.

Where the playoffs have been full of unexpected surprises, these two teams are the best in the West and deserve to be here. Joe Thornton finally showed up and will be the catalyst for the Sharks to get to the finals, however Duncan Keith will be draped over him like a bad wig and will try to shut down the big forward.

This series is tough with so much talent, but I feel that the Sharks will get under the skin of the young Blackhawks, taking this series.

My Prediction? The San Jose Sharks win in Seven.


That means the Stanley Cup will look like this:

San Jose Sharks (1st in West) – Montreal Canadiens (8th in East)

It will be a matchup of David verse Goliath proportions, well, if I am right for once.

Henry Whitfield is an avid sports fan who covers everything and anything in the sports world, while focusing on hockey and football. Follow him on twitter @HenryWhitfield.

NHL 2010 PLayoffs – Round 1 Roundup

Prediction Results: I thought the East was close after the Penguins, and I guess I was right because I only guessed correctly one of the series results. Lucky for me, I went a perfect four for four in the West and successfully predicted the Redwings upsetting the Coyotes and finished with a 5/8 record.

Here are the rest of my thoughts from round one;

Old Faithful – The Detroit Redwings showed once again how they are so dominant in the playoffs and why they should never be counted out. The young ‘Yotes played hard, but the veteran leadership and experience shone through for the Redwings who put an exclamation mark on the series with a 6-1 win in Game Seven.

Ovey Meet Halak –Never one to keep his thoughts to himself, Alexander Ovechkin stirred the pot with goalie Jaroslav Halak, stating that he thought the goalie looked ‘shaky.’ Alex, he was so shaky, he stole the series after the Habs went down three games to one and made 231 saves.

Unproven Goalies steal the show – Brian Boucher outdueled Marty Brodeur, Jaroslav Halak stood on his head and even Craig Anderson stole a games. The first round sported a number of goalies who emerged this season as solid goalies and showed that they were no fluke.

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MVP – Jaroslav Halak. The man was on fire in net and helped the last place Habs knock off the Capitals in one of the biggest comebacks and playoff results in recent memory.

The No Show – This goes to three players this week: Danny Heatley, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau combined for 1 goal. In the regular season they had a combined total of 103 goals and 254 points.

Most Goals –Mikael Samuelsson (VAN) had seven goals.

Most Assists –  Sidney Crosby (PIT) had nine assists.

Most Points – Sidney Crosby (PIT) has fourteen points.

Henry Whitfield is an avid sports fan who covers everything and anything in the sports world, while focusing on hockey and football. Follow him on twitter @HenryWhitfield.