Last year I’d stated “Wow, its that time again? Leafs aren’t in the playoffs, so I’ve got nothing better to do then throw out some predictions and see what happens. ”
Looks like its the same situation, so here they are for the first round:
The East – The East is very even once you get past Pittsburgh and Washington, so alot of the first round will be going deep.
Washington (1) v Montreal (8) – Washington has learned alot from last years dissapointing loss to the Pens in the playoffs, and an offence that can score at will has shown no signs of slowing down. Montreal struggled throughout the season and to pull it off will need goaltending near perfection.
Prediction: Washington in 5
New Jersey (2) v Philly (7) – With Marty in net New Jersey has the goaltending advantage and the added offensive power of Ilya makes NJ a powerhouse to watch out for; Only question will be if Kolvy decides to turn up for the playoffs. Philly has a good, young core but won’t have enough to beat the Devils in seven.
Prediction: New Jersey in 7
Buffalo (3) v Boston (6) – This is the closest matchup in the first round for the east but I think that Ryan Miller has the edge over Tim Thomas, and has shown he cant steal games all season. Can Tyler Myers continue his hot streak? Will Boston’s offence that has lacked so much this season pick it up?
Prediction: Buffalo in 6
Pittsburgh (4) v Ottawa (5) – Don’t expect Crosby and the gang to show any signs of slowing down, with Fleury rested for the playoffs the Pens will make short work of an Ottawa club that showed inconsistency throughout the season.
Prediction: Pittsburgh in 5
San Jose (1) vs Colorado (8) – Anderson has been the story this season in Colorado, coming within 2 games of breaking Roy’s consecutive start record for the Aves, however, he isn’t playoff tested and San Jose has alot to prove, now known as a consistant choke-artist in the playoffs. San Jose will either sweep or drop the first two, and win in seven.
Prediction: San Jose in 7
Chicago (2) vs Nashvlle (7) – Nashville just won’t have the firepower to compete with Chicago, and the goaltending edge goes to Niemmi who has been hot going into the playoffs.
Prediction: Chicago in 5
Vancouver (3) vs L.A. (6) – Vancouver made the playoffs with the Sedin Twins leading the charge and Luongo looking terrible since the Olympic break. If the Cannucks are going to go anywhere they need Lou to step up and stop letting in easy goals. LA is a team that has shown all year they can score at will and Lou will need to be on top of his game in what will be a tough first round showdown.
Prediction: Vancouver in 6
Phoenix (4) vs Detroit (5) – I love that a year ago the Yotes were the laughing stock of the league and now finish fourth in the West, however, Detroit got reaaaaaally hot heading into this year’s playoff and has a chip on their shoulder after a tough season. This IS the closest pairing this playoffs, but edge goes to the experience of the Red Wings.
Prediction: Red Wings in 6