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Round Two Selections

by Jeff Rimer / Columbus Blue Jackets

April 30

West

Detroit/San Jose - Wings in 6... Boy, if the Red Wings come close to duplicating the way they played in game 7 in their quarterfinal series against Phoenix, for their entire series against these Sharks, they will win and in quick order. The Sharks get the edge earlier in that they beat Colorado in 6 and have had bit of a rest before the start of this series and they do have an edge in goal, but I am still going to pick the Wings in 6 games.

Vancouver/Chicago - Canucks win in 7... It would be best for the National Hockey League to see the 'Hawks win this series and advance to the Conference Final against Detroit, but I have a strong belief that the Canucks will win this series in a thrilling seven games! Big edge in goal in my opinion Luongo over Niemi. There's no question that the 'Hawks have some firepower led by Kane and Towes, but so do the Canucks with Samuelsson and the Sedins. This might be the most entertaining of all the Conference Semifinals but that said, these playoffs have been nothing short of outstanding and I believe you see the same in this second round.

East
Montreal/Pittsburgh - Penguins win in 5...
Kudos to the Canadiens for first coming from a 3-1 series deficit and then their stunning win in game 7 over Presidents' Trophy winning Washington Capitals. Jaroslav Halak WAS the reason Montreal prevailed but as solid as he has been down the stretch and in the first round of the playoffs I doubt he can duplicate his performance against the Defending Stanley Cup Champions. The Penguins will go into the dirty areas, pay a price to score and no one epitomizes that more than Sid the Kid.

Philadelphia/Boston - Bruins in 7... I am a bit concerned about the Flyers goaltending despite Brian Boucher's strong performance against the New Jersey Devils. That said two of the biggest and best defensemen go head to head in this series... Pronger and Chara! I like the way the Bruins played against the Sabres and they now have Marc Savard back and healthy. Their grit, their skill and their goaltending, Rask in particular, give me the feeling the Bruins win in 7.



*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Bobby Mac", "Davidge Dishes" and "Rimer Ramblings." The Columbus Blue Jackets radio and television analysts will try to keep you updated on all the season action through their blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets are on the road.

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