Friday, April 6, 2012

SN's 2nd Round Predictions

After a long layoff, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs resume tonight with all four matchups beginning. Eight teams are left in the hunt the President’s Cup title.

Your second series include:

Saint John (1) vs Baie-Comeau (13)
Shawinigan (2) vs Chicoutimi (8)
Blainville-Boisbriand (3) vs Rimouski (7)
Quebec (5) vs Halifax (6)

The quarter-finals have a bit of a different look this season with teams like Baie-Comeau, Chicoutimi, and Halifax making an appearance. None of those teams have been this deep in the post-season for a few years.

As expected, the first round basically sucked in terms of entertainment. But the second round should be much better with some promising looking matchups taking place. The highlight of the quarter-finals will be the Halifax/Quebec series which features an unlimited amount of prospects.

Mikael Lalancette of TVA Sports and Stephane Leroux of RDS have already made their quarter-final predictions.

So without further ado, here are our second round predictions.

Cameron MacEachern
1. Saint John vs. 13. Baie-Comeau

The Drakkar-Tigres series was really the only intriguing matchup of the first round. Fresh off a late season coaching change, Baie-Comeau managed to pull out a shocking sweep of Victoriaville. Not gonna happen again. Sea Dogs in 4.

2. Shawinigan vs. 8. Chicoutimi

The Sags are coming into this one as the least-rested team in the league, having won the only series that wasn’t a sweep. That won’t help their chances against the Mem Cup hosts, but then, they were overmatched to begin with. Enter Brandon Gormley. Cataractes in 4.

3. Blainville-Boisbriand vs. 7. Rimouski

This matchup is a tight one in terms of where the teams finished in the standings, with only four points separating them. Could go either way but I’m betting on the Armada to grind this one out. Armada in 6.

5. Quebec vs. 6. Halifax

Start your engines. This may be the series to watch for the entire playoffs. These two teams are likely to be atop the league next season, so their youngsters should put on a fireworks show in this series. With Crazy Patrick Roy stating intentions to run Grigorenko vs. MacKinnon, this one will not disappoint. Picking a winner is almost an afterthought to the ride itself, but… Halifax in 6.

Jamie Tozer
1. Saint John vs. 13. Baie-Comeau
The Drakkar are a bit of a mystery. They underachieved in the regular season and fired their coach just before the playoffs. They then went on to sweep the No. 4 Tigres in the opening round, which I’m still shocked actually happened. I think this series could look a lot like last year’s Sea Dogs/Tigres series. Saint John will come out on top. Sea Dogs in 4.

2. Shawinigan vs. 8. Chicoutimi
Chicoutimi needed six games to beat Bathurst in round one so they aren’t as rested as Shawinigan. Brandon Gormley is expected to return. Chicoutimi is a good team but Shawinigan shouldn’t have a whole lot of trouble with them. Cataractes in 5.

3. Blainville-Boisbriand vs. 7. Rimouski
Although one finished third overall and one seventh, only four points separated them in the regular season standings. Both teams had 40 wins. They split their season series. I could see this one going either way but I’ll take Houle and the Armada. BLB in 7.

5. Quebec vs. 6. Halifax
This is probably the most hyped series around these parts since the Moncton/Saint John final back in 2010. This a series that’s going to get a lot of media attention with Grigorenko and gang taking on MacKinnon and friends. Should be a blast. Quebec in 6. 

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