SenShot’s Round Two Playoff Preview


As round two begins, who’s left standing?

With round one of the 2011 NHL Playoffs now in the books, let’s take a look at the round two match-ups.


(1)VS (5)

The Capitals exercised some playoff demons with their first round win against the Rangers in five games. With their big boys starting to heat up, Washington will look to keep up their momentum against the Bolts. Tampa on the other hand won their first playoff round since they won the Cup in 2004. Their seven game series against the Penguins showed some deficiencies, but also showed character as the Lightning won three games in a row to overcome a 3-1 series deficit.

Tony’s Thoughts: In terms of firepower, both teams match up pretty evenly. However, both teams are weak on the back-end and the series will be decided on which defense breaks first. The Caps had the tougher first round match-up as they had to contend with an all-star goalie and a young and quick Ranger squad. The Bolts on the other hand were pushed to the limit by a depleted Penguins squad with no marquee star. Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson will face better shots then he did in the first round, so we’ll see if he can raise his game like he has in the past. I think Steve Downie could play a major role in this series, but I don’t know for which team.

Jared’s Thoughts: An intriguing match-up that has the potential for offensive fireworks.  Can Dwayne Roloson  do the same stone-job against the talented Capitals’ forwards? That is the question.  The Capitals will be the favorite, and they should be.  The key for me is the play of rookie defenseman John Carlson.  If he can be assertive and take control when he is on the ice, it will go a long way to keeping the puck away from the likes of Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos.  Offense and mobility from the D will be the difference in a Capitals win, as the forwards pretty much cancel each other out. 

(2) VS (3)

With both teams heavy favourites to come out of the East, both teams had major difficulties getting through the first round of the playoffs. Philly used three different goalies in their series versus the Sabres, a none of them played well. In the end, the Flyers used intimidation to win their seven game series versus Buffalo as there were many questionable hits that occurred.

Boston on the other hand had their hands full with the more smaller, injury depleted Habs. Losing the first two games of the series on home ice, Boston did not panic as the went to Montreal to tie the series. With Boston having the edge in all categories on paper, they just weren’t able to put it all together against Montreal. Never truly dominating the play, Boston will need to improve if they wish to avenge their embarrassing playoff defeat to Philly last year.

Tony’s Thoughts:  This will probably be the most physical series of round two. With both squads very deep throughout their respective line-ups, both have an Achilles heel. For Philly, goaltending has haunted them for what seems like eternity. Will Brian Boucher be this year’s Michael Leighton  or will he just be Brian Boucher? As for Boston, they went 0-for on the powerplay the entire first round of the playoffs. With the fire power they can put out there, it is just not working. This series won’t be decided by which team is tougher, but it will be by which team can overcome their faults.

Jared’s Thoughts:  Boston nearly choked away the series against Montreal due to horrendous special teams.  I don’t think that they will be as lucky against a Flyers team with more talent than the Canadiens had.  When the line of Kelly-Peverly-Ryder is your best line in a complete series, you are in trouble.  Milan Lucic and David Krejci were mostly invisible against Montreal and I bet  Boston fans are wondering why they gave up so much to get Thomas Kaberle.  He was supposed to help the Bruins’ power play but has sunk it, because he refuses to shoot the puck once in a while.  A healthier Chris Pronger  makes the Flyers a different team, and the Flyers are a deeper, more talented team. Brain Boucher might not be a top flight goaltender, but he should be enough to get the job done.



The Canucks  went from best team in the league and Cup contenders to goats in a matter of a week. With a 3-0 lead in the series, Vancouver almost blew it in one of the games’ biggest collapses. In the end, their were able to slay their playoff dragon in the Blackhawks  and move on, but tread lightly if you want to place a wager on the Nucks.

The Predators  had a tough task in round one in containing the best line in hockey. They were able to limit the damage that the Ducks  could create, and made history by winning their first ever playoff series. On a high, watch out for the Preds in round two.  

Tony’s Thoughts: With everybody in Van-city celebrating like they just won the Cup, the Nucks better be ready for Nashville who have been sitting and waiting for them. Will Vancouver’s offense be too much for the Preds, or will Nashville’s defense shut them down. Watch out for Ryan Kesler this round as he will have a more offensive role this series.  

Jared’s Thoughts:  This series will be a short one either way.  The Canucks mindset will determine how it goes. Either 1) they will be hardened by the adversity of the past two weeks and demolish the Predators; or 2) They will have a complete letdown after finishing what they couldn’t do before and be easy pickings for Mike Fisher  and the boys from Music City.  My guess is it will be the former, and the Canucks will make quick work of the Predators. Roberto Luongo got the gorilla off his back and should be in a great place going forward.


San Jose was just too much for the young Kings squad. However, their first round was not a walk in the park either. The Sharks will need to tighten up if they hope to advance this round, especially goalie Antti Miemi  who was pulled a number of times in round one. San Jose will also need their big guns to start producing more as their secondary scorers have been carrying the load thus far.

Detroit showed why they are one of the best teams every year in round one. Easily disposing of the Coyotes in four games, the Red Wings have been healing which is bad news for the Sharks. With almost everyone back in the line-up for round two, the Red Wings are ready to soar.

Tony’s Thoughts: With both teams having questions in goal with young tenders, will the more experienced Detroit roster out smart the Sharks? For San Jose, this current roster can only get so many kicks at the bucket before it’s time to make a change, so look for them to lay everything on the line. This may be the best series of the second round. Look for Logan Couture to have a big series.

Jared’s Thoughts: Detroit should benefit from the rest, and with their age and experience rust should not be a factor.  However, the state of Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen will be a factor as the Wings aren’t looking across the ice at the Coyotes this time.  San Jose was inconsistent in their series with LA, but when the chips were down, came through in the crunch.  This will be a long series that I can see either team winning, but give the slight edge to the Sharks.  The Sharks beat out the Wings in 5 games last year, but this will be much closer, and perhaps a coin flip.

Now that you know our thoughts on each of the second round playoff series, don’t forget to get your picks in for round Two of SenShot’s free Playoff Pool. There will be a $50 Sens prize to the winner and its FREE!

Here are the SenShot’s team picks for the second round. Can you out smart us?


Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.

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