The second round of the QMJHL playoffs is underway, so I think that makes these predictions the perfect amount of “fashionably late”. I actually had this done before puck drop (I swear), but given that this is my first post, I didn’t want to try posting under pressure and end up burning the blog to the ground. You folks have been through enough this week.
My first round predictions went… OK. 5-for-8, whereas 99% of people probably went 7-for-8. That’ll teach me to go against the grain. Without further ado:
(1) Saint John vs. (11) Victoriaville
Thoughts: The Tigres can pretty much call their season a success after a huge upset over Acadie-Bathurst in round one. That’s a good thing for them, because if they were expecting much more, they’ll be sorely disappointed. David Honzik has been lights out so far in the postseason, and I’m giving Victo the benefit of the doubt in a huge way that they can catch the Sea Dogs napping and steal one.
Prediction: Sea Dogs in five.
(2) Montreal vs. (8) Lewiston
Thoughts: This is a clash of two very different teams. Expect the Juniors to continue to lock it down with the trap, as they did in their sweep of Halifax. Lewiston is more free-wheeling, but also apt to get into penalty trouble. They were the most penalized team in the regular season and are only two minutes off the mark so far in the playoffs. If that continues, they’ll be handing Montreal a lead that they shouldn’t have difficulty protecting.
Prediction: Juniors in five.
(3) Quebec vs. (7) Shawinigan
Thoughts: I don’t know why, but I simply am not buying what the Remparts are selling. They had a terrific regular season, and Val d’Or had no hope against them in the first round. However, Shawinigan is a hard-working team. If they can find a way to shut down Quebec’s top line and keep them from playing their attack-first game, all bets are off. I can see an upset brewing.
Prediction: Cataractes in six.
(4) Drummondville vs. (5) Gatineau
Thoughts: This is the series most seem to be keeping an eye on, and for good reason. The Volts and ‘Piques should match up quite well, and I’d expect it to go down to the wire. I think Gatineau may be more well-equipped for the playoffs, but Sean Couturier could easily put the Voltigeurs on his back and dominate this series. Very tough call; this is a series I’ll be watching closely.
Prediction: Olympiques in seven.