Yes, we’re doing it again this year. Making our predictions……
(1) COL v (WC) MIN
PB- I have a little bias on this match up. Two players on Minnesota decided they wanted to “go home” rather than come to a winner like the Red Wings. Expectations are a beotch eh Zach and Ryan? Seriously Colorado is a solid squad with youth and goaltending. In today’s NHL speed kills and with St. Patrick behind the bench they look like a good one to move on to the next round. Aves in 6.
King – I will start this prediction by laying out a fact. I have no love at all for Minnie. From the whole State of Hockey complaining, to the stupid logo, to their owner complaining about the high price of salaries WHILE signing two players for mucho bucks. Now that I got my personal feelings out of the way, it’s down to opinion of this match up. I personally believe that Colorado has over achieved this year. Don’t get me wrong, I think they have a darn good team…just not that great. That being said, I still think that youth will carry this team at least through the first round. Aves in 5.
(1) ANA v (WC) DAL
PB- This one is a great matchup of a pairing that is really good Getzloff and Perry vs Benn and Seguin. They should be as advertized but I just don’t think Dallas has enough to spread it around where the waterfowl have more supporting cast members to take them to the next round. Ever heard of a guy named Selanne? The Mighty Ducks in 6
King – I actually like this match up. Although Ducks had a little struggle towards the end of the season, I really like this team. Dallas is one of those teams busting it’s hump trying to make the playoffs and has been in that mode for alittle while. I’m going with the Ducks that are mighty though as I think they just have a tad bit better team. Ducks in 7
(2) STL v (3) CHI
PB- This is going to be a hard one to figure this year. Chicago and St. Louis are both hurting with top players either coming off injury or are hopefully coming back soon. Both solid squads and hard working. Chitown has a couple of cups and plenty of playoff experience where the Blues are still figuring out their way through the world. I just hate to say this but the Blackhawks in 5.
King – St. Louis has just looked awful toward the end of the year. They just have too many players not scoring and although high scoring games are not the norm in the playoffs…you do need goals to win. 5 goals in your last 7 games isn’t going to cut it. St. Louis is one of those teams I would love to see advance..but I don’t see it this year. Sigh Blackhawks in 5.
(2) SJ v (3) LA
PB- Wow an all Cali matchup! Now that worked out well for them as unlike in the past when the Wings were suppose to travel to and from Cali for a round or two. That said time to embrace the new NHL and this fine matchup. SJ has a well balanced attack but they have one major flaw in their program Joe Thornton. He has all the talent in the world but has never been successful in the playoffs. LA has a cup recently and plenty of size and speed to take over this series and a huge plus by the name of Quick. Kings crown the Sharks in 6.
King – San Jose…San Jose…when are you going to get a break and have a great playoff run? I unfortunately don’t see it this year. Quick seems to have bounced back from his injury prior to the Olympics and finished extremely strong. Niemi doesn’t raise the same level of confidence going into the playoffs. Could this be the place where Miller ends up??? Kings in 7.
(1) BOS v (WC) DET
PB- Great original six matchup for the first round. Boston is solid but somehow the Wings won the season series 3-1. Boston has a cup with plenty of playoff experienced players where the Wings and the youth movement seem to love the opportunity to play and show they are up to the task. This one is going to be one to go down to the wire and in typical fashion I see a couple of overtime games in this series. Boston is strong but I see the Wings pulling the upset in 7.
King-I know alot of people are expecting this to be the one upset this year. I mean, as PB pointed out, they were 3 to 1 winners in the regular season. They are very similar in play. I on the other hand believe this is the year that the “new guys” from Detroit learn their lesson of what the playoffs are all about….Bruins in 6
(2) TAM v (3) MON
PB- Too bad that Montreal pulled the Lightening in the first round. Oh wait I think that was a good thing for them. The bolts lost their goalie to the dreaded upper body injury even though it looked like he was shot in the leg. As much as I really like Stamkos the bolts just don’t have Stevie Y lacing up the skates and Marty is now on the Rangers. Leadership is lacking but the Canadians have a huge thing working for them a little hot streak and a great goalie in Price. Montreal in 6.
King – Montreal has been my “meh” team of the year. I think they’re alright, but haven’t really done anything to make me say wow. I do like the pick up of Vaneck although in his last playoffs he was -7 in 7 games. Tampa has that something this year. Everyone said, “they’ll crumble” when Stamkos went down…guess what, they still won. Everyone said, “they’re crazy” when they traded away St. Louis…guess what, they continued to win. I pick Tampa in 7
(1) PIT v (WC) CLB
PB- Hey Columbus welcome to the playoffs for the second time in your history. The Pens will welcome you with a solid effort and flopping flower (aka Fleury) will tighten up and play solid. The most important thing is the Pens have a lot of firepower and I just don’t see the Bluejackets able to match that scoring ability. Pains me to say this but the non-flying birds in 6.
King – I’m not that crazy about this round. I think that Pittsburgh is happy they pulled Columbus and not Detroit, but I’m not too sure about that feeling. Something in the gut tells me this is the one upset that happens every year. Bobrovsky scares me as it seems he’s on his game and this is the time to do that. Call me crazy…Columbus in 7
(2) NYR v (3) PHI
PB- This is will be the most hard hitting of the series in both Conferences. The Rangers are solid and have plenty of leadership and playoff experience to boot. The Flyers started really slow but built a solid season behind balance scoring and plenty of grit. The biggest “If” is if Henrik Lundqvist can stand on his head and take over a game or two. I love both teams but the magic eight ball says Rangers in 7 with 3 overtime games.
King – Ohhhh, this is match up I can’t wait to see. Most people wrote off the Flyers after their horrible start, but man..they picked up their play so much. The Rangers look sharp, but something about them seems alittle off. I’m thinking if Mason can play out of his mind…which is a stretch but doable….UPDATE: Mason is now unavailable with an “upper body injury.” I will still stick with my pick, but it just became alot harder! Flyers in 7