|DobberHockey Expert Panel - Second Round||Tweet|
|Written by Jeff Angus|
|Friday, 27 April 2012 19:17|
The panel is back! Over the last four years, our record as a consensus is an impressive 46-14. Last year, we went 12-3 as a group. Gates Imbeau led the way individually, correctly selecting the winners in 12 of the 15 series. Read on to find out who we like in the first round, as well as our picks for the Cup winner, runner up, the Conn Smythe winner, and the top five scorers.
In the first round, the panel squeeked out a 4-4 record. Tim Lucarelli and Brendan Ross were the only members to correctly predict a LAK upset over VAN.
East: (1) NYR vs. (7) WSH
How much ice time do you see Ovechkin getting per game?
Lucarelli : I picked Washington for one reason - Nicklas Backstrom. With him back in the lineup, the Caps are a different team. Most people forget to take into account the fact that he missed 40 games when they put together their predictions.
Glen Hoos on New York -
Who is the X-factor in the series? (Other than the tenders.)
What will be the biggest story of the series?
Ryan Ma and Chris Wassel on New Jersey -
What's going to be the biggest story of the series?
The big kicker is probably the lack of offensive-defensive depth, which will be what determines this series. If the Flyers make it run-and-gun like they did with Pens, they’ll win. If the Devils make it tight-close checking like they did with the Panthers, they’ll win. The thing is if you look at the D, Zidlicky has done his job as the offensive QB, while the bottom/2nd pairing have gone defensive and perfect for defensive playoff hockey. Salvador (19 Hits, 10 BS), Volchenkov (15 hits, 10 BS), Greene (14 Hits, 6 BS), those guys have kinda all played their roles. If they can keep the Flyers at bay, they’ll have a good chance of winning, but if Flyers run-and-gun it’ll be over in 4…
Another big factor for me is goalies… Brodeur (2.06 and .922) has been solid in getting the job done. The Panthers were close because of Theo/Clem stealing a couple of games for them. If Bryz/Bob play like how they did in the first series (4.33 GAA, .856 SP), Kovo, Parise, Elias will have a field day on them. The Devils won’t fall into the trap like the Pens of trying to out gun them. They’ll stick to the 2-way tight checking game.
Shot differential is another big one I looked into, Brodeur faces such a low amount of shots per game cause of the tight checking D of the Devils… The Flyers are good at scoring if they can get the puck on net, but the problem is can they do that against the Devils?
Biggest story I think will be Brodeur vs Bryz… or the collapse of Bryz. He got bailed out of the first series cause Fleury was terrible, I don’t think Brodeur will bail him out for a 2nd consecutive time… It’ll make all the fans in Philly really re-think whether or not Bryz is a good playoff goalie (career 2.77 GAA and .909 SP) and worthy of the contract that he received or whether he was a good goalie based on systems hockey…
Chris Nichols on (3) PHX vs. (4) NSH
You were the lone panelist to pick Phoenix. How will they complete the task of beating the Preds?
Nichols : The fact that that I'm the only one of the 17-member panel to pick Phoenix to win surprises me. I respect the depth of the Preds, their cycling ability and all of the usual points (Coaching, Weber & Suter, addition of Radulov, blah, blah, blah). You know what though? I love me some Dave Tippett.
His system and Sean Burke's teachings have channeled some serious goaltending mojo for Mike Smith, who has been one of fantasy's best stories this season. In a hard-fought series, sometimes a guy like Smith standing on his head is all that matters. The gut said Phoenix in a tight series. I don't argue with the gut. I just feed it.
By the way, this is much longer than my initially-considered response to the question, which was simply 'Mike Smith'."
|Last Updated on Saturday, 28 April 2012 19:23|