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NHL PREDICTIONS!

It's time for first round predictions! I was going to predict my way through the playoffs, but that's likely wasting time. Instead, I'll start with the first round, and also give my quick Stanley Cup prediction at the end.

EASTERN FIRST ROUND

(1)BOSTON BRUINS vs. (8)MONTREAL CANADIENS

The famous Boston vs. Montreal rivalry continues... though it's been less a rivalry over the years than it has been the Habs treating the Bruins like their personal piñatas. The last time I can recall a 2 seed falling to a 7 seed, it was Boston to Montreal, and if that isn't enough, three of the last four times Boston's been knocked out of the playoffs, it's been by Montreal.

Of course, that's with the knowledge that the past Montreal teams weren't as toxic as this year's team.

Montreal, in it's current state, is softer than a tit, not strong on defence, and the team hasn't responded to Gainey the way he predicted... probably because half those Europeans can't even pronounce "Gainey". Furthermore, Carey Price will remember that he's still young, and that he's not Roy or Dryden.

PREDICTION: BOSTON IN FIVE

(2)WASHINGTON CAPITALS vs. (7)NEW YORK RANGERS

New York couldn't have asked for a better matchup. The Capitals can score, but they're not great on D - Tom Poti gets regular shifts - and the goaltending matchup is a mismatch (Lundqvist vs. Theodore, and if Theodore lays an egg, they have an untested rookie behind him because their backup is injured). If this becomes a series of 3-2 or 2-1 games, the Rangers will win it. If it becomes a shootout, not only does Washington blow it away, but I start asking some serious questions of just how good Lundqvist is.

I'm banking on the former, and Theodore laying another egg.

PREDICTION: RANGERS IN SIX

(3)NEW JERSEY DEVILS vs. (6)CAROLINA HURRICANES

This is going to be the forgotten sheep of the match-ups out East, which is kinda sad, because the hockey's going to be very good. Carolina's hot, and New Jersey's not, but these teams have very similar play styles, and Cam Ward is still underrated; he could easily match Brodeur.

When in doubt, I look at the goaltending matchups, and I don't care how he's played in the last month; he's Martin Fuckin' Brodeur, and I think he'll pull it out. Plus, I don't trust Carolina's depth.

PREDICTION: NEW JERSEY IN SEVEN

(4)PHILADELPHIA FLYERS vs. (5)PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

Wow. This is going to be a treat. This is the series to watch, in my opinion.

Philly's got a lot of scoring depth, but I don't think they can match the pure talen that Pittsburgh has up front. Furthermore, I don't trust Philly's defence or goaltending at all. I know that's saying a lot with Fleury in Pittsburgh's net, but I think Biron's defence is going to let him down. Pittsburgh is one of the two teams I think can do the most damage in the East.

PREDICTION: PITTSBURGH IN SIX

WESTERN FIRST ROUND

(1)SAN JOSE SHARKS vs. (8)ANAHEIM DUCKS

I'm not even going to waste my time. Jiggy will steal one, but that's about it.

PREDICTION: SAN JOSE IN FIVE

(2)DETROIT RED WINGS vs. (7)COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

I don't like this matchup for Columbus; I think they'd have a much better chance against a similar team like Vancouver. As it stands, Detroit's too strong in every aspect of their game for the Blue Jackets. The only "advantage" Columbus has is in net, and I don't think that's an advantage; Mason's a rookie, and Osgood's perpetually underrated as a playoff goaltender.

This one will be over quick.

PREDICTION: DETROIT IN A SWEEP

(3)VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs. (6)ST. LOUIS BLUES

How much do you think the Blues and Blue Jackets would love to switch seeds? As it is, this is another brutal matchup, as the Blues talents would look better against the Red Wings than they do against a Canucks team with the best goaltender in the NHL. St. Louis really isn't a scoring team, but they'll at least outgrind the Canucks, however that will be irrelevant unless Vancouver makes some really stupid mistakes. The games will be closer than the series line will be.

PREDICTION: VANCOUVER IN FIVE

(4)CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS vs. (5)CALGARY FLAMES

In a strong West, this is by far the series to watch.

I honestly don't know how this one will turn out; I've changed this pick at least eight times. Who's deeper? Who's top line is better? Is Calgary's defence as good as it is on paper, or are they going to lay at least one stinkbomb like they're liable to do? Who's going to goaltend for Chicago? Is Kipper burnt out?

Ultimately, I'm going to go with my heart and pick Calgary. I think Iginla's going to explode on Chicago's mostly young defence, and Kipper's got enough in him to be the difference maker should there be a goalie duel... but I don't know if he's got much in the tank after that.

PREDICTION: CALGARY IN SEVEN



And finally...

TWITTER™ QUICKER STANLEY CUP PICK

San Jose over New Jersey

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
kyuusei
Apr. 15th, 2009 12:05 pm (UTC)
Who's going to goaltend for Chicago?

When it comes to playing Calgary, Khabibulin is the easy pick. He's owned us forever and ever. :'(
burning_phoneix
Apr. 15th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC)
I haven't watched NHL in years so when I read over that list my reactions was:

WTF? Ottawa didn't make it into the playoff? WTF?
lordglenn
Apr. 15th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
The Sens were sitting 3-deep out of even being in the playoffs. Not exactly a spectacular year for them. (I would have liked to see them in the playoffs again though. Let the Pens run straight through them again. >_>)
superbus
Apr. 15th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
It wasn't close; this was a terrible season for the Senators.
lordglenn
Apr. 15th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
PREDICTION: PITTSBURGH IN SIX

I can believe this, especially after last season's Conference Finals. Well, that added to the fact that Philly has a healthier roster this time too...

(Go Pens!~)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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