I cheated. OK, not in the SEC sense but, still, issuing my second-round predictions one game into the second round is either lazy or underhanded.
I choose lazy, but, hey, I was working. You try covering the BCS meetings and have enough energy left for the playoffs. Anyway, here they are Lord Stanley. Only eight teams left to chase your cup. These are the four that will advance to the next round of the best tournament in sports. FYI, I was 6-2 in the first round.
No. 1 seed Vancouver vs. No. 5 Nashville: Yes, I know the Canucks already lead the series 1-0 after a 1-0 win over the Predators. Further evidence that Vancouver is renewed after a narrow escape against Chicago in the first round. Watch for Bobby Luo to dominate and the Sedin Bros. to wake up. Vancouver in six.
No. 2 San Jose vs. No. 3 Detroit: I had to look twice when I realized that San Jose finished above Detroit and thus has home-ice advantage. The Sharks are habitual underachievers in the playoffs. The Wings dispatched Phoenix with such impunity; it's hard not to pick them in this round especially with revenge at stake. San Jose won in five last season. This time, Detroit in five.
No. 1 Washington vs. No. 5 Tampa Bay: Bruce Boudreau has taken the most entertaining team in hockey and turned it into a dump-and-chase squad. And it is wonderful. Washington can dictate tempo against any team it plays right now. You want to play close-checking? Done. You want to go up-and-down? We've already seen how that works. Lots of talent on the ice. More grit in the Caps' room. Washington in six.
No. 2 Philadelphia vs. No. 3 Boston: At some point Philly's goalie-go-round is going to catch up to the Flyers. It didn't last year in going to the finals and it didn't in the first round against Buffalo but someday soon, my friends, it will. Especially with Tim Thomas at the other end. Boston in seven.