Here are my predictions for round 1…
- Bruins over Habs
- Pens over Flyers
- Rangers over Caps
- Devils over Canes
MONTREAL vs. BOSTON
Habs suck. They’re a shallow team that just doesn’t have all the right players in all the right places. Laraque on line 1? Yeesh. Bruins are solid this year, they’re playing well, showing good chemistry and not getting drawn into the stupidity… yet. I’d like to say Bruins in 4 just out of spite, but I think Montreal might steal at least two games so
BRUINS IN 6. UPDATE: BRUINS IN 4 – I should have been spiteful, but I expected Montreal to pull a horseshoe out of its collective ass and steal two. I wasn’t wrong, the Habs just failed me.
PITTSBURGH vs. PHILADELPHIA
Pens are a personal favorite. Defense is a little suspect but the offensive talent can more than make up for that. Fleury… well, he’s no Luongo but he’s better than average. Flyers are just too undisciplined and they’re going to bury themselves.
PENGUINS IN 5. UPDATE: PENS IN 6 – I was close… really close.
NEW YORK (RANGERS) vs. WASHINGTON
While I’d rather see the Capitals beat the Rangers (I loathe the way the Rangers buy up formerly successful players and underachieve… it’s a retirement team for former All Stars) since I do like Ovechkin and think he is what the NHL needs to market. Got to give the guy credit, he compliments the opposing team’s goal scorer. He’s a hockey guy first and foremost. The Caps just don’t have the goaltending; there is a reason most teams have given up on Theodore.
RANGERS IN 7.
NEW JERSEY vs. CAROLINA
This is a tough one. Can Eric Staal carry the team on his back over New Jersey’s impressive line up? Nope. They’ll steal a couple but the Devils are just too good. While I think Brodeur is ready for retirement, he is still the guy the series hangs on. If he plays well? Devils will crush the Canes. If he shows his age or gets injured? Canes will likely take it. I don’t think either of those items will happen so…
DEVILS IN 6.
- Red Wings over Blue Jackets
- Hawks over Flames
- Canucks over Blues
- Sharks over Ducks
DETROIT vs. COLUMBUS
I’d love to see Nash and the Blue Jackets punt the Wings out of the playoffs in the first round, but I know it’s just not going to happen. The odds are just stacked against them; lack of playoff experience going up against the Wings? I don’t see it happening. Osgood is looking… well… good. He’s a reliable playoff goalie, think the inverse of Turco (good regular season, has sort of stunk it up in the post season).
RED WINGS IN 5. UPDATE: WINGS IN 4 – I was close again. I was pretty sure Columbus would steal one.
CALGARY vs. CHICAGO
This is going to be a tough one. One one side you’ve got a lot of talent and experience while on the other side, you’ve got even more talent but far less experience. I think Game 1 is an example of how this series is going to go – it’s going to come down to game 7. The Hawks just have too much talent on their side and the experience is right where you need it – goaltending. As much as I look at Calgary and want to say they’ll take, I just have a feeling the Hawks are going to be inspired by their fans and step up to the level needed to win.
BLACKHAWKS IN 7. UPDATE: HAWKS IN 6 – Another one I was close with. You know what they say? Close only counts with Horseshoes and hand grenades.
VANCOUVER vs. ST. LOUIS
I hate to say this, but the Blues are seriously outclassed here. Vancouver has the best goalie in the game right now (argue Brodeur all you want, this is Luongo’s era) and they’ve got some solid defense and their offense does what it needs to do. They’re heading back into St. Louis, but I don’t think that will change anything. Sorry Blues fans, there is going to be an early exit.
CANUCKS IN 4. UPDATE: CANUCKS IN 4 – I was right on for this one.
ANAHEIM vs. SAN JOSE
Okay, I might be bias here since the Ducks manhandled Ottawa a couple of years back and got away with it, but I do think the Sharks will beat them. Yeah, it was a bad showing in Game 1, but they’ll pick it up. There will be no upset in this series. I hope.
SHARKS IN 7. UPDATE: DUCKS IN 6 – Booo!
There you have it.