SICHL Playoffs: Round #2 Preview!by Gary Graves | May 13, 2015, 11:06 PM ET
Well we’re back and ready to give you our round 2 playoff predictions! Unfortunately this won’t be a video version as I had to hock our video equipment after betting the farm on Manny Pacquiao! Sorry Jeff :-(
Gary Graves: Looking back at my predictions in round 1, I was 6 for 8 with three of those predictions bang on. Sadly my Colonials were swept in 4 games and there was a lot of weeping followed by a “Murder She Wrote” marathon on A&E! Five time Tony award winner Angela Lansbury is the cure for most anything.
The biggest surprise for me was seeing the Canons roll over the Mustangs in 5 games. I know I totally underestimated that them. Anze Kopitar was in beastmode scoring 5 goals and adding 3 helpers. Halak is on fire leading all playoff goalies with a 1.58 GAA.
So Jeff, what are your thoughts on round 1 and how did you fare with your picks?
Jeff Prozeller: I must brag that I was 7 for 8 with 3 bullseyes in the 1st round. And am proud to say that both my final two teams (Aces/Bears) won their first rounds and are continuing. The big shocker for me was the same as Gary’s, the Canons carrying on, I just didn’t see that one coming...but then again you can’t predict this SIM. I like the matchups in this second round almost as much as I liked winning the entry draft lottery just before the first round :).
GG: Some pretty solid prognostication indeed my friend! Congrats on McD… errr… I mean winning the lottery. Pretty exciting days ahead for the Revolution perhaps! So let’s move onto the first series. Jeff, what are your thoughts on the Canons/Bears series?
JP: Well Gary, the Bears had a difficult time dispatching the Falcons for sure, more of a fight than I thought it would be. Although I must admit that the Bears must be a little relieved, as they match up better against the Canons than they did the Falcons in my opinion. I am careful not to underestimate the Canons after last round, but I really do think the Bears are an elite team. The season series was close to split between the two teams with Acadia taking it 2-3 with an OT win, so the teams are evenly matched regardless of what the rosters look like. Also need to take into account how well Halak played through that first series compiling a 1.58GAA vs Luongo with a 3.24GAA, mind you Acadia has more firepower than Calgary did but the Bears will need goaltending to step up to avoid another long series. I’m taking Bears in 6 games for them to move onto the conference final.
GG: Six games is pretty generous Jeff, and no disrespect meant to the Canons.
I agree with you. The Bears certainly had their handful with the Falcons in round 1. I mean 7 gruelling games! I found the Bears pretty undisciplined racking up 27 penalties. However, the Canons were only 1 for 17 on the PP against the Mustangs. I still think the Bears are the better team all the same, all their main guys have been contributing, scoring by committee. Giroux, O’Reilly and Eberle all have 8 points each. Going to give the Canons a little more respect this time around and give them a few games, but in the end the Bears go to the Conference final winning in 5 games. However, at the same time, if Halak can continue his magical run, the Bears could be golfing in a week or so! Bears in 5.
JP: So Gary since we seem to agree that the Bears will move on who do you like coming out of the Schooners and Supersonics series. It certainly looks to be a fantastic matchup, I doubt the Bears have a preference in this series but let’s have a look.
GG: Well, Jeff, no shock for me to see this matchup as I expected both teams to advance. I still think the Schooners are the team to beat in the Canadian Conference and the Supersonics will have their hands full. The Schooners are led by superstar forward John Tavares who shares the scoring playoff lead with 10 points and have a pretty sweet back end with Suter and Weber and Marc-Andre Fleury as the last line of defense. Corey Crawford was rock solid for the Supersonics in round 1 posting a 1.98 GAA and .943 save % and could steal a series for Edmonton should he say hot. The Supersonics scoring came from the usual suspects in Backes, Ladd and Steen, but I personally believe Nova Scotia isn’t ready to sail off into the sunset just yet. The Schooners take this series in 6 games.
JP: I must agree this is a matchup I saw coming as I figured both teams would advance and I think this should be another great matchup for the Schooners. If they do in fact move on as I suspect they will they might have one of the toughest and most exciting runs to the cup. The Schooners will need to keep firing on all cylinders to come out on top of this matchup, they did lose the season series to the Supersonics 2-1 so Edmonton has the right tools to beat the Schooners. Now is not the time to back down, the goaltending and top end scoring is very close in this series...it is my patent pending “most likely to go to 7” series although I’m going to give it to the Schooners in 6.
Well that brings us through the Canadian Conference, now on to the much better (as decided by these two writers) conference. What are your thoughts on these matchups, they seem much easier to predict at face value but as we all know the SIM never makes anything easy on us.
GG: The Riders have a pretty good young forward core and some pretty solid defensive pieces but in this series I believe it will be a David/Goliath type matchup. The Monarchs are too deep and with the big Russian combo of Ovie and Malkin plus Thornton and Kessel, they appear to be a freight train heading towards a smart car! Kari Lehtonen continues his hot hand in net posting a 1.85 GAA in round 1 and should have no problem outduelling Ryan Miller. I will give the Riders 1 game but that is all. The Monarchs in 5.
JP: This series is a tricky one to predict on the tip of the iceberg it looks like the Monarchs should just plough through the Riders without looking back, but when you start to peel back the onion (yes I did just switch analogies shhhh) the Riders have done very well against the Monarchs. Honestly this matchup might not bode well for the Monarchs, they lost the season series 3-2 and Ryan Miller in nets is frightening. London’s scoring have had quiet spells this season and right now against Miller would be a bad time for one of those. This is my patent pending “potential upset of the round”. Although after saying all that I still have to take the Monarchs in 6 games.
GG: Well, well, we agree on every series so far, almost like we are in sync, not band but our minds our like one! Planets aligning type stuff! Anyway, let me give you my prediction on the last series and see if we agree!
Last but not least, I think the Aces will finally fold. I want desperately to see Dustin’s team succeed but the mystical magical Gladiators/Hamburglers are poised for the upset. Why? Cause Mike Smith said so! Sedin, Filppula, Kane and Turris were pretty good in round 1. They didn’t really have a tough time beating the Cougars. The Aces may have fooled everyone sweeping the Colonials, but the Glads are not afraid. Vegas did look pretty solid in round 1 beating Boston, but I feel that Boston’s youth and inexperience beat themselves. The Aces top scorers were Subban, Gaborik and Toews each with 4 points. More impressive however, was the play of Sergei Bobrovsky who had a tidy 1.74 GAA and .947 save %. I think this series will go 7 with the Gladiators coming out on top. Will give Vegas more of a fight.
JP: This series has two good teams one of who disposed of their round one opponent quickly without a sweat (Sorry Gary), the other had a little more of a challenge. If the Hamburglers had issues with the Cougars they are in for a rude awakening when facing the Aces! The Aces have a considerable amount of firepower, more than even the incredible Mike Smith could stop, in order to win this one would require a major collapse by Las Vegas that I just don't see happening. The season series was close 2-1 for the Aces with an OT win, but this series won't be that close...this is my patent pending “no brainer consensus pick” with Las Vegas winning it in 5 games.
GG: Bah! Vegas smegash! Maybe I am still bitter about the sweep, or maybe not!
Well there you have it folks, our playoff round 2 predictions, hope you enjoy and perhaps we will be back for the Conference finals!