Friday, April 30, 2010

Canadiens VS Penguins

Ok, we are back with our predictions for this round, Habs and Pens. Take it away Frenchy!

Alright, this one is going to be easy. Let me start off by giving a lot of praise to the Canadiens. What they did to the Capitals was un-freaking-believable!! Not only did they beat the best team in the NHL but they did it coming back from a 3-1 deficit. That’s quite an accomplishment. Bad news for the Canadiens now is that their prize for playing so well in the first round …. a series against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

I’m a huge Penguins fan and yes, I’m a huge Crosby fan! After the first round he had, nobody can say that Crosby can’t do it all. It’s going to be pretty hard for him to keep on his ridiculous pace but he will still show up and play amazing against the Habs. That’s just what he does. I don’t believe the Habs have enough depth in their team to compete against a team like the Penguins. Yes, they beat the Caps, but I’ve said all along that the first team that they would face with a good defense would be the end of them. The only way the Caps can win is when they score 5-6 goals because that’s how many the other teams can score on them. It’s going to be a different story versus the Pens. They have some of the best scorers in the world, Crosby and Malkin, their third line is one of the best in the NHL and watch out for Max Talbot on the fourth line, the guy is a machine in the playoffs.

As for the Habs, the whole series is going to rest on Halak’s shoulders and the guys in front of him. Hal Gill and the other defensemen were insane in the first round but the problem is the Caps had one good line but it’s a whole different story here. They only have a few good players to score goals but no real pure goal scorer and that’s going to hurt them in the long run. As soon as Halak starts playing like a human being again, it’s going to get ugly.

The Pens have 4 good lines. To be honest, Crosby’s line isn’t even that good; Guerin and Kunitz aren’t at the same level as him. But with Crosby centering that line, it doesn’t really matter and watch out when Bylsma puts Sid the Kid and Malkin. Game over!

I know From the Point is saying Montreal will win it in five but I’ve seen him play with chemicals all day, I think that affected his judgment quite a bit, that’s the only explanation for his crazy prediction!

Penguins in 5.

From the Point
Hal Gill knows a thing or two about the Pens offence, and about Sid Crosby. I have no doubt that Gill will be the guy that is tasked with shutting down The Kid. He did it very effectively against thye GREAT Alexander Ovechkin. He can do it to Sid too. And Sid has less scoring help than Ovie had. It’s possible that Crosby may try to do too much and that could play right into the Canadiens hands.

Do I really think the Canadiens can beat the Pens in this series? Hell, yes! You might think I’m forced to argue the other side here because of Frenchy’s love of Sid the Kid that borders on the freaky! Look at all that verbiage (garbage) up there! Ridiculous! The guy has NO objectivity. None.

Marc-Andrea Fleury’s goaltending in the first series was good enough to win. But it wasn’t really very good. In fact his 2.75 GAA and 0.890 SV% is well below that of Jaroslav Halak. The 2.75 GAA is one of the highest of the remaining goalies and the 0.890 SV% is THE worst of the remaining goalies if you dismiss the 0.857 SV% of Vancouver backup, Andrew Raycroft. Feel free to dismiss Razor, we in Denver have.

Halak’s 2.46 GAA is middle of the pack but his 0.939 SV% is second only to Boucher. The playoffs is about goaltending, just ask the Capitals. So the Flower is going to need to start playing a better game to get the Pens on through to the next round. Crosby can’t do it all.

Now Halak has practically outdone Craig Anderson in the statistically unsustainable backstopping performances against the Caps. And I won’t argue that it can go on forever. It can’t. But I do think it can go on long enough that if Montreal can keep this contest to 5 or 6 games, they can do this. No really!

Montreal in five.

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