Puck Daddy - NHL

"Bill, Colin ... turn up my Incredible Mindbending Machine to 11. The thought controls are malfunctioning ..."

Round 2 of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs is upon us, beginning in San Jose this evening. Looking back at our initial picks for the postseason, we see that all but two of the "experts" still have an Eastern Conference Stanley Cup finalist in play; the rest of us dummies took the Devils and Capitals. The good news is that we all have Western Conference finalists alive. The bad news is that Leahy is still the guy who picked the Sabres in a sweep.

Coming up, our selections for Round 2.

And here ... we ... go.

Greg Wyshynski, editor, Puck Daddy

Pittsburgh Penguins over Montreal Canadiens in 6

Boston Bruins over Philadelphia Flyers in 7

San Jose Sharks over Detroit Red Wings in 7

Vancouver Canucks over Chicago Blackhawks in 7

Montreal used stellar goaltending, a stout defense and a self-destructive Capitals team to advance to Round 2. The Penguins aren't going to go 1-for-power-plays against the Habs, and Halak can't steal'em all. Boston found their game again in the first round. Philly has played valiantly through injuries, and will continue to. But Rask tops Boucher and the Bruins win on home ice.

This the year for San Jose, at least to get out of Round 2. The Red Wings can look like immortals one night and human the next. The Sharks gutted out a first-round win. The Sharks stars win more than the Wings'.

Again, the Canucks are my Cup pick and I'm sticking with that. But in what should be the most brutal series of the postseason, home ice matters as much as Vancouver's advantage in goal.

Sean Leahy, associate editor, Puck Daddy

Pittsburgh over Montreal in 6

Boston over Philadelphia in 7

Detroit over San Jose in 7

Vancouver over Chicago in 7

(Ed. Note: Being the best associate editor in the business, Leahy didn't read the instructions and left out his justification. Just go ahead and assume it's "because I said so" four times in a row. Also, he previously picked the Sabres in a sweep.)

Dmitry Chesnokov, features writer, Puck Daddy

Montreal over Pittsburgh in 7

Boston over Philadelphia in 6

Detroit over San Jose in 7

Chicago over Vancouver in 7

I have to be honest that I am now scared betting against Halak. Not against Montreal, but against Halak. Who knew he could pull this off? Can he continue doing it? A few years back some thought that Giguere's heroics were just a one round fluke. And look what happened. 

Boston solved the best regular season goalie in the last series. They will do the same against the Flyers. Two of the Original Six coming out of the East? TV rights-holders are loving it.

In no way will the Sharks choke. But the Giant Octopus may just be too much to handle, even though the tired Detroit team is very beatable.

I thought the young LA team would defeat the Canucks (no conspiracy). The Hawks is the more experienced version of last year's team. Their young energy will pull them through.

Ryan Lambert, columnist, Puck Daddy

Pittsburgh over Montreal in 5

Boston over Philadelphia in 5

San Jose over Detroit in 7

Chicago over Vancouver in 6

I think these are all pretty straightforward except, yes, I obviously picked against the Red Wings. I don't have the strongest of belief in their defense, is all, and unless Jimmy Howard is able to successfully knock Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau out of this round, I think the Sharks' offense is deep enough to present big-time problems.

Dobber, fantasy writer, Puck Daddy

Pittsburgh over Montreal in 6

Boston over Philadelphia in 7

Detroit over San Jose in 6

Vancouver over Chicago in 6

Pittsburgh can play just as patient and defensive as Montreal can - and they have Crosby and Malkin. There will not be a repeat upset here, folks. The Boston-Philadelphia series is the most interesting one, as it involves two teams who really underachieved in the regular season. But if Marc Savard's head can pass the seven-game test, the Bruins will get the offense needed in front of superior goaltending.

The Red Wings steamrolled the Coyotes in Game 7 with their incredible desire to win...and who's gonna stop them now? The San Jose Chokes? As for the Canucks, they were my pick to come out of the West in the first place, so Chicago is just the second of three obstacles on their way to doing just that.

Matt Romig, Yahoo! Sports NHL fantasy writer

Pittsburgh over Montreal in 6

Boston over Philadelphia in 7

San Jose over Detroit in 7

Vancouver over Chicago in 6

The Sharks - well, at least their fans, anyway - would no doubt have preferred a second-round matchup with Phoenix, but this is no time to deviate from my overall postseason prediction (Sharks over Penguins). In the quarterfinals, San Jose watched critical opposing goals go in the net off Rob Blake's skate, Marc-Edouard Vlasic's neck and Dan Boyle's stick. Craig Anderson did his best Jonas Hiller impersonation and Joe Thornton's line -- the original model and the reconfigured version -- was M.I.A. That's the type of series the Sharks have lost in previous seasons, so let's give them the benefit of the doubt and assume those old demons have found a watery grave somewhere off the Santa Cruz coast (or maybe the Farallon Islands is more appropriate - prime Shark feeding grounds there) .

I actually feel San Jose caught a break in facing a rookie in Jimmy Howard over a guy like Ilya Bryzgalov that they haven't had much success against in the past (6-9 all-time). And since slow series starts have been another Sharks nemesis, they were fortunate the NHL decided to stick Detroit with a quick turnaround rather than waiting out concerts scheduled at HP Pavilion on Friday and Saturday. Things are lining up, the secondary scoring is there and the gold-medal guys can only be dormant for so long.  

Scott Pianowski, Yahoo! Sports NHL fantasy writer

Pittsburgh over Montreal in 6

Philadelphia over Boston in 6

San Jose over Detroit in 7

Chicago over Vancouver in 7

I'd love to go further with the Montreal story, but Jaroslav Halak can't be Superman forever. He made 181 saves in Montreal's four victories, and three of those wins came by one goal. If he slips from Ken Dryden to Bunny Larocque for just five minutes, the Habs won't win.

Fantastic matchups out west and I'm hoping for the maximum games possible. The Blackhawks and Canucks are probably scrapping somewhere as you read this

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