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    Published on 05-14-2011 14:12  Number of Views: 844 
    Tim Thomas - ICON SMI

    Wow! Did the second round kick my butt or what? Four series played, only one guessed right and that was Vancouver-Nashville.

    One would figure that since Boston hasnít made it past the second round since 1992, when I was EIGHT, that it would never make it again. Yet here they are after knocking off last yearís Eastern representative, Philadelphia in four straight facing a team that I thought would get bounced in the first round in Tampa Bay. And the Bolts were oh so close to going home early too, falling behind Pittsburgh 3-1 before winning three in a row and are now winners of seven straight.

    The Skinny: So both Boston and Tampa Bay have been waiting a long time, since last Thursday and Wednesday respectively, riding the hot hand of goaltenders Tim Thomas, 37 and Dwayne Roloson, 41. Who would have thunk it? Certainly not me, but the Washington Capitals proved once again, never bet on the Washington Capitals.
    Published on 04-30-2011 07:55  Number of Views: 608 
    Claude Giroux - ICON SMI

    The Skinny: The Atlantic Division Champion Philadelphia Flyers and Northeast Division Champion Boston Bruins were both pushed to the limit by the seventh seeded Buffalo Sabres and sixth seeded Montreal Canadiens respectively and will now renew acquaintances in the second round of the Eastern Conference bracket for the second straight season.

    The Bruins havenít made it out of the second round since 1992 and the Flyers are coming off an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final for the sixth time since winning back to back in 1974 and 1975. Both are major sports cities and both are desperate for that illusive Stanley Cup title in droughts totaling 75 years.

    In the regular season, the two foes met four times and Boston made the Flyers say uncle taking the series 3-0-1.
    Published on 04-29-2011 08:15  Number of Views: 509 
    Pavel Datsyuk - ICON SMI

    The Skinny: Detroit and San Jose have met in the playoffs four times previously, as recently as last season. This is a rubber match of sorts as the two have split the first four down the middle. Last year, San Jose took advantage of a Detroit team that was gassed after two straight seasons of making the playoffs, and seeing almost half its team play in the Olympics and knocked the Wings out in five.

    In the regular season, San Jose dispatched Detroit three games to one but the playoffs, Detroit is a different animal and have lots of rest after taking care of Phoenix in four straight games. With that rest, the Wings should have Henrik Zetterberg back in the lineup for game one and some rest for Johan Franzen who was on the receiving end of a shot into the boards.

    San Jose were given all they could handle against the underdog LA Kings, and barely squeaked by on the strength of three OT game winners. When it comes to the playoffs, the Sharks are notorious for laying an egg, so it will be interesting to see what theyíre made of.
    Published on 04-29-2011 07:39  Number of Views: 564 
    Steven Stamkos - ICON SMI

    The Skinny: Two Southeast Division rivals square off in what should be a fantastic match-up between two offensively capable powerhouses. The Bolts held the Southeast crown for the better part of the first half in the regular season, but a late charge and more focus by the Caps gave Washington not only the division title, but also the number one seed in the East. The bad news for Tampa is that they went 1-4-1 against Washington in the regular season, losing by a combined 19-10.
    Published on 04-28-2011 17:02  Number of Views: 611 
    Alexandre Burrows - ICON SMI

    The Skinny: After watching Alex Burrows blast a puck behind Corey Crawford, Robert Luongo went charging up the ice to celebrate with his teammates in a celebration crazier than Patrick Kaneís winner in OT in last yearís finals and in one shot, the Vancouver Canucks finally slayed the dragon known as the Chicago Blackhawks. The Canucks would be wise to remember that it wasnít the Cup Finals and only round one against the eighth seeded team.

    Now they face another stiff test in the Nashville Predators. The Preds are in the second round for the first time in team history and are young and hungry for more.

    In the regular season, the two teams were dead even splitting the season 2-2 with a win and a loss at home each. While this isnít a traditional rivalry in the NHL, it has all the makings of becoming one.

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