Must admit that I have been following the OHL playoffs intermittently since the IceDogs were eliminated. It's not like I have completely lost interest but as this is my second job, the break from broadcasting the OHL gives me time to focus back on family and the main career job. Plus, I am producing and hosting a sports show that I created called *cue cheap plug* The Broadcast Booth, which you can catch starting Friday April 26th at 4:00pm and 10:00pm on Cable 14 if you are in the Hamilton area. *end cheap plug*
I went 4/4 in the second round in terms of my predictions, but was way off when it came to number of games. I had Barrie and Oshawa going the limit, and was surprised to see the Generals get dusted in a sweep. Lack of scoring was the Gens downfall. I had Belleville over Sudbury in 5, so I was pretty bang on there. Overall it was very surprising to see both series end in a sweep as all season long we had been talking about parity in the East on our OHL broadcasts. In the West, I had London in 6 and they won in 5, and I picked Plymouth over Owen Sound in 6 correctly.
On with the predictions:
PLYMOUTH OVER LONDON IN 6
Might be going out on a limb a bit here, but I had touted Plymouth from the start of the playoffs and see no reason to deviate from that. London is playing very, very well but Plymouth has been matching them so far. Mike Vellucci had an interesting quote that you take many different ways. Velluccci compared the Knights to the New York Yankees, a quote that is fairly accurate. London gets their lions share of the great prospects in the OHL and like it or not, there is a buzz when the Knights come to town. Plus the Hunters, while outstanding hockey men, don't exactly give everyone the warm and fuzzies. This will be a great series, but I'm sticking with Plymouth.
BARRIE OVER BELLEVILLE IN 6
To me, looking from the outside, Belleville is just starting to hit their stride in the playoffs and Malcolm Subban is playing lights out, having captured a number of individual honours during the post season. Barrie is playing even better. They dismantled a very, very good Oshawa team in 4 in a series that turned in Game 1 when Barrie came back from 3-1 down and won 4-3 in OT. They are unbeaten in the playoffs and at some point during the series Ryan O'Connor, the Nelson Mandela of the OHL will be liberated from OHL incarceration. Belleville is built for the playoffs with big aggressive forwards and outstanding goaltending. Barrie is built for a championship appearance and I give them the slight edge in talent and depth.
'Till the Finals!Steve Clark