2010 NHL playoffs: Eastern Conference Round 2 predictions


teehee.jpgAnother round, another set of darts.

This time, we’re taking a look at Round 2 of the 2010 NHL Playoffs (also known as the Conference Semifinals, if you’re a stickler for details). I think the question is: which team will torment us with their upset special this round?

Next up, the Eastern Conference. Click here for our Western predictions.

[4] Pittsburgh vs. [8] Montreal

Brandon: The Canadiens are incredibly confident and riding a stellar performance by Jaroslav Halak into the second round. The Penguins have a clear road ahead of them to the Stanley Cup finals. Pittsburgh in 6.

James: The Pittsburgh Penguins can often be like a “truth serum” for Cinderella teams. Look at Carolina: they upset the Devils and Bruins only to hit a brick wall of reality as Pittsburgh summarily swept them. This Penguins team isn’t as hot as last year’s, but they outclass Montreal in almost every category. Then again, so did Washington … Pittsburgh in 5.

Joe: So Montreal slayed one giant in seven games and while that’s nice and all, I am doubting the Habs have the ability to throw the trap clamps down on Sid, Malkin and everyone else the same way. I’ll say the same thing I said (wrongly) about the Caps series, the Penguins will win it but not without frustration and a scare or two. Pittsburgh in 6.

[6] Boston vs. [7] Philadelphia

Brandon: The Flyers needed a shootout in the final game of the season to make the playoffs, and here they are in the second round. Unfortunately, the Bruins are playing better defense and have better goaltending than the Devils did. Bruins in 6.

James: It’s utterly ridiculous that the Boston Bruins will host a second round series. Just flat-out dumb. This series is a tough call, but I think the Bruins will grind it out against a wounded Flyers team. Bruins in 6.

Joe: This is going to be an ugly series and while both teams are playing well right now that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a joy to watch. I know Brian Boucher had a great first series and all, but Tuukka Rask is the star of this show. Well, as much of a star as he’ll have to be facing 25 shots a game. The Flyers showed the knack to make things work and showed a renewed interest in playing defense but Boston, of late, has just showed they have ways to make it work. Bruins in 6.

Alumni rosters announced for Bruins-Habs at Gillette Stadium

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The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.

Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.

Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.

The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)

Here are the full rosters:


NBCSN will broadcast the alumni game nationally in the United States, while Sportsnet and TVA Sports will have it in Canada.

The 2016 Winter Classic will be played the next day (on NBC).

Goalie nods: Andersen’s ‘flu-like symptoms’ mean Khudobin starts versus Flames

Anton Khudobin, Frederik Andersen
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With Frederik Andersen experiencing “flu-like symptoms” (PHT diagnosis: it might be the flu), the Anaheim Ducks will turn to backup Anton Khudobin for tonight’s home game versus Calgary.

Khudobin could, in turn, be backed up by Josh Gibson, recalled today from AHL San Diego. The Ducks have officially listed Andersen as “questionable.”

Khudobin (3-3-0, .917) has not started a game in over a week. His last action came exactly a week ago, after Andersen got the hook versus Nashville.

Andersen may or may not travel with the Ducks for tomorrow’s game at Arizona.

The Ducks, of course, are coming off a 5-0 loss to Tampa Bay, a result that produced the following quote from Ryan Kesler:

After a four-game winning streak to start November, Anaheim has since dropped five of its last seven.

Karri Ramo will be in net for the Flames. After a terrible start to the season, he’s been much better lately, allowing just eight goals combined in his last four starts.


Craig Anderson for the Senators. Antti Niemi for the Stars.

Torts: Jackets still need more ‘bite’

John Tortorella

The hope was that the Columbus Blue Jackets would be jolted into a great, long winning streak, and their season would be saved.

The reality of John Tortorella’s first month behind the bench has been, well, reality. The Jackets are 8-7-0 since Todd Richards was fired. Better than 0-7-0, sure, but at 8-14-0 overall, they remain last in the Eastern Conference.

Fifteen games into his tenure, Tortorella is still trying to get his message across.

“A big reason why we bring them in (to practice yesterday and today) is because we don’t have a full understanding of the standard we need to be at in all areas of the game,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “Some things you can’t control in our game, but it’s how hard you play, how hard you are with your bite as a team, and the pace you play with – you can control that.”

The Jackets play Wednesday in New Jersey, where they’ll look to shake off Sunday’s disappointing home loss to San Jose. Columbus held a 3-1 third-period lead in that one. The Sharks scored four straight to win 5-3.


— The Canucks need ‘more bite’

The Rangers are better when they have ‘more bite’

Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer


The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Dainius Zubrus to a one-year, two way contract, the club announced today.

Zubrus was given a tryout with the Sharks last week.

The 37-year-old played 74 games with the Devils last season, scoring just four goals with six assists. His contract was then bought out.

According to a Mercury News source, the decision to sign Zubrus lay “mainly” with his former coach in New Jersey, now San Jose’s bench boss, Pete DeBoer.

“He looks good,” DeBoer said of Zubrus last week, per CSN Bay Area. “He looks close. It’s tough to find six-foot-four, 215-pound guys who can play. … He’s an easy guy to play because he’s defensively reliable. He plays a big possession, heavy game. There’s a lot to like there.”

In a related move, the Sharks have reassigned forward Nikolay Goldobin to the AHL.

Related: Where’s the depth in San Jose?