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Round Three Predictions

In Hockey Hits on May 14, 2011 by geespotting

ROUND THREE

EAST

(3) BOSTON VS. (5) TAMPA BAY

…Wrapping up round two…I was 2 for 4, and now have a record of 8 for 12. I was wrong in the East…big time! 2 sweeps…who would have guessed?! Well, as we dive into the Conference Finals, I think the Bruins will finally make it to the dance. I think the last time came back in 1990 after the Oilers beat them for their 5th cup in 7 years. In goal, despite the heroics of Dwayne Roloson…Tim Thomas will be better. The Bruins have more depth on d, and up front too. I don’t believe the dynamic trio of Moore-Downie-Bergenheim will have the series that they did against the Caps, even though Sean Bergenheim was the best player in the 4 game rout of the Capitals. In order to advance, Steven Stamkos will have to be better, and contribute more than he has to this point. For Boston, they have a ton of character, and it has shown through in flying colors with the likes of Brad Marchand, Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly, who have all chipped in with timely goals through their first 2 rounds. Their best player in round two was David Krejci, who had big points in all 4 games of their incredible roll through Philly. I went against Boston in the first two rounds…but, not this time.

BRUINS IN 6.

WEST

(1) VANCOUVER VS. (2) SAN JOSE

…I have been 2 for 2 with the Canucks in picking them to beat Chicago in 7, and then Nashville in 6. For Nuck fans though…I am thinking they will want me to be dead wrong for the Conference Final. I was critical of Ryan Kesler heading into round two…but, after game two…he delivered with a performance that is only seen every few years in the playoffs. Names like Keith Primeau, Joe Sakic, and Jonathon Toews come to mind for players who single handedly won a series like Kes did for Vancouver. If they are to tame the Sharks, they will need the same effort from Kesler…but, they will also need some output from the Sedins…who were very silent in round two. For San Jose…they jumped that hurdle again…but, did it the hard way after the Wings won 3 straight to take it to a game 7. Devin Setoguchi was easily the best player of the series, despite the strong performance of Jumbo Joe Thornton. Setoguchi scored 5 times, and that San Jose depth will be needed to oust the Canucks. Patrick Marleau finally scored (game 7 winner), and that type of relief might be what the Sharks need to knock off Vancouver. I said from the get go that San Jose would win the Cup…but, this final could be the best one of the playoffs.

SHARKS IN 7.

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