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Stanley Cup Challenge Round Two: Pick More Winners than our Experts

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
For the Opening Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Bill Davidge and Brian Engblom each picked correctly in six out of eight series, while George Matthews and Jeff Rimer picked correctly in five out of eight.

Of the numerous entries that recieved, not one person picked more correctly than Engblom. Eleven people did match him with six correct. Of that 11, Chris Watts from Blacklick, OH, won the drawing to receive a free CBJ Jersey. Official Results

For the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Davidge, the CBJ radio analyst will breakdown each series. Davidge has provided color analysis on Columbus Blue Jackets radio broadcasts since the inaugural 2000-01 season. He brings three decades of hockey experience as a player, scout and coach to game broadcasts on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship stations WBNS-AM (Sports Radio 1460 the Fan) and WWCD-FM 101.1 (CD101). He is also a regular contributor to the "Between the Pipes" show that airs weekly on 1460 the Fan during the hockey season.

Prior to joining the broadcast team, Davidge spent the 1999-00 season as a scout for the Blue Jackets and from 1995-99 he served as part-time scout for the Florida Panthers. He assisted with the evaluation of players as a part-time scout for the Detroit Red Wings from 1990-94.

No stranger to Columbus, Davidge played four years of hockey at Ohio State, earning scholar-athlete recognition in each of his seasons as a Buckeye before graduating with honors in 1976. After serving the 1977-78 season as a graduate assistant coach at Miami (Ohio) University, he was hired as an assistant coach and served in that capacity for eight seasons. In 1985, he was promoted to head coach and spent four seasons behind the bench before retiring to spend more time with his family and continuing to teach at Miami as a professor in the physical education department.

Below is Davidge's anaylsis of the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs as well as the pick of each of the Columbus Blue Jackets' broadcasters, Engblom, Jeff Rimer, and George Matthews.

Disagree with the Columbus Blue Jackets broadcasters? Submit your picks for each series via email, and if you pick more correct winners than Davidge, you will be placed in a drawing to win a personalized Blue Jackets jersey from The Blueline (one will be rewarded for each round). Don't forget to enter before each round and keep checking back to to see where you stack up.

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Western Conference
No. 5 San Jose Sharks vs. No. 8 Edmonton Oilers
A good series win over the Nashville Predators in five games has given the Sharks time to rest. They will gear up for one of the most improved teams of the playoffs in the Edmonton Oilers. San Jose has had great goaltending with Vesa Toskala in the pipes, but the surprise of the series was the offensive outburst of Patrick Marleau, who had seven goals in the final four games of the Nashville series.

It may not be enough for the Sharks, as the Oilers come in with the 4-2 series win over the President’s Trophy-winning Detroit Red Wings. Goaltender Dwayne Roloson gave Edmonton a chance to win and defenseman Chris Pronger, who logged over 30+ minutes of ice each night, dominated the ice during the series. Former Jackets defenseman Jaroslav Spacek made the offensive transition and proved to be a quality addition to the power play.

With the speed and grit of the offense, Edmonton has played in your face hockey since the end of the year just to get into the playoffs. Watch for the play of Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Smyth and Ales Hemsky. Will they match up against an explosive offense led by Jonathon Cheechoo and Joe Thornton? We will certainly see an exciting series here.

My winner is Edmonton.

No. 6 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim vs. No. 7 Colorado Avalanche

Anaheim did the unthinkable and went in to Calgary in Game 7 and beat Mikka Kiprusoff and the Flames with speed, quick transition and smart defensive hockey. They were aggressive in the attack and with the play of Scott Niedermayer and his heroics each night, the strength of former Jacket Francois Beauchemin and the continued excellent play of Teemu Selanne, I can only see the Ducks repeating their roll over Colorado.

Colorado won three OT games against Dallas in their series. They are playoff savvy with the likes of Rob Blake and Joe Sakic, but for them to continue to have success it remains with the defensive corps and the play of goaltender Jose Theodore.

He is starting to fit into the role Pierre Lacroix and Joel Quenneville were expecting when they traded for the netminder, but I do not think it will be enough to contend with Randy Carlisle’s squad that is now more confident then ever.

My winner is Anaheim.

Eastern Conference
No. 1 Ottawa Senators vs. No. 4 Buffalo Sabres

There is some history here, as Buffalo’s head coach Lindy Ruff and Ottawa’s head coach Brian Murray worked hand in hand with Doug MacLean when the Panthers went to the finals in 1996. Both are known for their quick wit and spontaneous outbursts, and some of that will dot the headlines in this series for sure.

The underdogs are the Sabres who trail in the season series, 5-1-2. Goaltending will determine the winner and one of the two rookies, Ryan Miller (who has a record of 4-2, a 2.02 GAA, .918 save percentage and one shutout) or Ray Emery (who has a record of 4-1, a 2.62 GAA and .924 save percentage) will solidify their place in Stanley Cup history.

This series as well will see great transition from both defensive corps, but with the likes of Wade Redden, Zdeno Chara and Chris Phillips, Ottawa has a distinct edge in that department. You have, on one hand, the great play of Daniel Briere and Jean-Pierre Dumont up front for Buffalo, but it does not match the size, grit and offensive strength of the Senators with Jason Spezza, Martin Havlat and Daniel Alfredsson. Ottawa has the makings of doing what it did all year, punish the Sabres.

My winner is Ottawa.

No. 2 Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 3 New Jersey Devils

This is going to be an interesting series to watch. Can the youngster Cam Ward (who has a record of 4-1, a 1.54 GAA and .940 save percentage) continue to put on a clinic? He had better because the Devils are finally scoring some goals and one does not ever throw, undoubtedly the game’s best goaltender Marty Brodeur (who has a record of 4-0, a 1.00 GAA, .965 save percentage and one shutout), under a moving bus. Brodeur will have to be the series MVP and his team will have its hands full with the aggressive and hard hitting forecheck of the Hurricanes.

It is enjoyable to watch the line of Chad Larose and Craig Adams continue to work hard in a spot role for the Canes, then all of a sudden throw the skill of Eric Staal, Doug Weight, Cory Stillman and the old campaigner Rod Brind’amour on the pond for clean up duty.

The speed of Carolina and their work ethic is contagious, but never bet against the Devils. The magic that Lou Lamoriello has brought to this team since getting behind the bench is admirable. They have won 15 in a row and they will continue in the second round. They will lose a couple, but not the series.

My winner is New Jersey.

Our Expert's Picks:

Anaheim, Edmonton; Ottawa, New Jersey.

Anaheim, Edmonton; Ottawa, Carolina.

Anaheim, Edmonton; Ottawa, New Jersey.

Anaheim, Edmonton; Ottawa, New Jersey.

First round winner, Chris Watts: Colorado, Edmonton; Buffalo, New Jersey.

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