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Quick And Dirty Round 1 NHL Preview!

EASTERN CONFERENCE

#1 Montreal Canadiens vs. #8 Boston Bruins - This year, the Eastern Conference was wacky. The conference champions almost bombed out of the playoffs, and the runners up missed them entirely, whereas the #1 seed this year is a Montreal team that in most years would be starting on the road. Simply put, I do not feel they are a legitimate #1 seed at all, and I feel that Casey Price is going to come down to Earth REALLY quick, especially after not following the hallowed precedent of Dryden and Roy (he won't).

However, Boston shouldn't have made the playoffs by all accounts. They can't score, are only good defensively because of their system, and their best players save Savard are either old, or just coming back from major neck injuries. Basically, they play a 1999-era game, and that doesn't fly in 2008. The only way this series is competitive is if Tim Thomas plays sick, and Casey Price gets sick, all at the same time.

PREDICTION: Montreal in five.

#2 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #7 Ottawa Senators - I don't even have much to say about this series. Pittsburgh is loaded, Ottawa is a complete and utter mess, and I think they're starting the wrong goaltender for this situation in what I think is a major no-win situation (Emery can get hotter, but Gerber's earned it). Sorry, Liz.

PREDICTION: Pittsburgh in a sweep

#3 Washington Capitals vs. #6 Philadelphia Flyers - This is going to be an interesting series, and the best one to watch for the common fans on the east coast. Washington was white hot down the stretch, and the trade for Huet was a coup (and would be more of one had Price not played so well in Montreal). And of course, Ovechkin is probably my favourite player to watch nowadays; he's incredible.

But Philly has two good lines, and I think that's enough to get past a defencive corps that is well below what you would expect of a playoff team. I'm happy that Washington doesn't suck cock anymore, especially since I've gained a new level of respect for that area's hockey product at all levels lately. That said? I don't think they'll beat Philly. Oh, and the one thing a hot team like Washington doesn't want is a six day break between games; they don't play until Friday. Ask the Colorado Rockies how well a long rest helps your team's momentum.

PREDICTION: Philly in six.

#4 New Jersey Devils vs. #5 New York Rangers - The Washington series is for the common, everyday fan, but for us hardcore types, this is the one to watch on the east. Forget the regular season; this is a great matchup. However, a few things stand out for me:

1) One team has Martin Brodeur. The other doesn't.

2) One team has Jaromir Jagr as it's "captain". The other doesn't.

3) One team features Marek Malik and Michal Rozsival as top defence men. The other doesn't.

It's going to be a great series, but overall, I just think New Jersey is a poor matchup in a long series.

PREDICTION: New Jersey in seven, in a classic.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

#1 Detroit Red WIngs vs. #8 Nashville Predators - I'm not entirely sold on the Red Wings. They have their injury situation figured out, and that's good for them, and they won the President's Trophy, which is fine and dandy, but legitimate Cup contenders don't lose the way they did in February, nor do they feature so many people in key positions so far over the age of 40. Oh, and I'm not thinking Hasek is going to be great, either.

That said, the Predators have a talent deficiency from top to bottom; is there one player in Nashville that would feature on Detroit's top two lines or top four on defence? Would any of their goaltenders even be on the ROSTER in Detroit? This one will be over quick; someone get a spatula.

PREDICTION: Detroit in a sweep.

#2 San Jose Sharks vs. #7 Calgary Flames - This is the best series of the first round. As a neutral fan, I love the Flames (obviously, as a biased Canucks fan, I hope they die in a water); imagine if Boston was fun to watch, and could score, and you have Calgary. I can't say anything about Iginla that other people haven't said better for the past, oh, five years or so. If anything, I think Keenan - for this year, at least - has been a good fit with that team, but let's see if he destroys them like he does with everyone else in the future.

But for as much as I like Calgary, I like the Sharks that much more. They have it all, as long as Nabokov holds up; two great lines, two great pairings, their bottom lines are competent at keeping goals out, and they're hot; they're hard to beat barring injuries. You KNOW a team is good when it can get 17 goals out of Jeremy Roenick's corpse!

This will be awesome to watch. But San Jose is too good.

PREDICTION: San Jose in six.

#3 Minnesota Wild vs. #6 Colorado Avalanche - Watch me not care either way; if the Flames vs. Sharks series is like a bottle of fine wine for hockey fans, this series is the metaphorical shitty vodka that they serve in gulags. I don't really care what the fuck happens here, and am only remotely interested in the Avalanche because I sometimes get nostalgic and seeing Forsberg and Foote back with them reminds me of simpler times in the 90s, but any team that prominently features Jose Theodore isn't going anywhere.

PREDICTION: Minnesota in six.

#4 Anaheim Ducks vs. #5 Dallas Stars - Anaheim's been strange this year. They're a great team with some scoring punch, but they couldn't score for shit this year. They have a good defence as long as Chris Pronger can stop prison raping his opponents (good to see Bert wearing off on him!), and some of their best defenders are forwards, but they cannot score. But neither can Dallas! Essentially, these are two nearly identical teams, so when that happens, I look at the one position that truly matters in this game... and when it's Marty "I Can Only Beat An Average Vancouver Team" Turco vs. Jean-Sebastien "Shine My Smythe Bitch" Giguere. Game, set, match.

PREDICTION: Anaheim in six.



REALLY QUICK FINALS PREDICTIONS THAT SHOULD PROVE TO BE INVALIDATED IN A WEEK

EASTERN FINALS: Pittsburgh 4, Philly 1
WESTERN FINALS: San Jose 4, Anaheim 3
STANLEY CUP FINALS: San Jose 4, Pittsburgh 1

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
kyuusei
Apr. 9th, 2008 04:49 am (UTC)
Wrong goaltender? Uh, they are starting Gerber, right? Like you said he earned it so Ray would be the wrong goalie to start wouldn't he? Ray can get hot but he's really damn cold right now and would you start a really damn cold goalie IN the playoffs?
superbus
Apr. 9th, 2008 04:55 am (UTC)
Honestly? I don't think it matters. I would only advocate starting Emery because I think Ottawa has to roll the dice in order to have a snowball's chance in hell of beating Pittsburgh. Gerber is a steady, likeable goalie - as a pure goaltender, he's more likeable than Emery and his idiosyncrasies and inconsistency - but he doesn't get "hot" enough for the playoffs.

WOULD I roll the dice? Probably not; I'd lose the locker room. But as an outsider looking in, I think they'd have to throw Emery and his playoff experience out there, and pray.
burning_phoneix
Apr. 9th, 2008 09:42 am (UTC)
Both Ottawa AND calgary are going out?


;_________________________;
samuraiter
Apr. 10th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
Here's what a few of the commentators had to say:

Commentary
superbus
Apr. 10th, 2008 01:59 am (UTC)
I clicked that expecting a Rickroll, but you raised the bar even higher. Good work.
samuraiter
Apr. 10th, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC)
Seemed appropriate, considering your 'gamer journalist' credentials.
angeling
Apr. 10th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
I deleted my other comment because I'm apparently retarded, so sorry for asking again!

I really need the web URL (or just the hostname) for the phpMyAdmin thingermajig to manage the SQL databases over at thracia/heritagerp. This is just for testing purposes, I'm trying out some PHP scripts that need to access a database. :O
superbus
Apr. 10th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
Your SQL servers are a mess; you've got four attached to your name. Do you want a new one, or the credentials for one of the old ones?
angeling
Apr. 10th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
Oh nice. I didn't know that. |Db

Either or. A new one might be safer since I could screw something up in the old ones and then kill myself, but an old one is fine too (I promise I won't REALLY kill myself.)
superbus
Apr. 10th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
I'll try to take care of that tonight.
angeling
Apr. 10th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks a bunch.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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