Stanley Cup Second-Round Analysis: Beast in East, Test in West

Todd DavisContributor IApril 28, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 26: (L-R) Alexaner Semin #28,  Alex Ovechkin #8, Nicklas Backstrom #19 and Mike Green #52 of the Washington Capitals celebrate their goal at 16:44 of the second period against the New York Rangers during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Round of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 26, 2009 in New York, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Alex Ovechkin pitted against Sidney Crosby will headline Round Two, but there will be plenty of action beyond the young phenoms.  The previous two cup winners facing off, that's a tough one.  Carolina proved their worth against the Devils and will surely give the Bruins all they can handle.  The four conference finalists to emerge should all be fresh off hard fought series.


(2) Detroit vs. (8) Anaheim

Two familiar foes won't be giving an inch here.  The past two Cup champs look quite even on paper.  Both teams have considerable playoff experience and veteran leaders.  The Hudler/Filppula/Samuelsson should overmatch the Ducks numerous third line combos. Jonas Hiller could be an X-Factor against the league's top offense...Wings win in six.

(3)  Vancouver vs. (4) Chicago

Another test of two untested playoff squads.  The Canucks are well rested after sweeping in the first round.  Both tenders are on top of their game, but Luongo's top is higher than the Bulin Wall...Canucks win in five.


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(1) Boston vs. (6) Carolina

The Bruins will be fresh and hungry when they take on the Canes.  Both Cam Ward and Tim Thomas are on the top of their games.  Carolina cannot match the force Chara and Wideman bring from the blueline.  Carolina features a more veteran squad up front that will have to match the B's physical play.  The Bruins mean streak along with Chara shadowing Eric Staal like Jack the Beanstalk should be enough for a W...Bruins win in seven.

(2) Washington vs. (4) Pittsburgh

It would be easy to mention the obvious headliners here, so why go there?  Simeon Varlamov had success against a dismal Rangers offense at best in the first round.  The Penguins are not the Rangers.  Marc-Andre Fleury will have sufficient scoring support if he needs it.  The Penguins are also mildly rested and have very valuable recent experience...Penguins win in six.

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