Wednesday, April 09, 2008

NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions

Well, tonight starts the NHL's playoffs. For the fifth straight year, the Blackhawks are not a part of the festivities.

Here are the match-ups and my predictions:

Eastern Conference
1- Montreal
8- Boston

Montreal in 6, Boston will win a game or two, but that's it.

7- Ottawa

I am a big Ottawa fan, but they have slumped so badly down the stretch that it's hard to have confidence in them. That being said, Pittsburgh is very talented, but they have yet to play as a favorite. Pittsburgh in 5, though Ottawa's top line if healthy can give Pittsburgh problems.

3- Washington
6- Philadelphia

Washington won the Southeast Division, a very weak division. Alex Ovechkin is the Caps' star, scoring 65 goals and leading the NHL in Goals scored and Points. Usually a center wins the Scoring title, because it's easier to rack up assists than goals in hockey. I like the Flyers in 6 or 7.

4- New Jersey
5- New York

New Jersey has Brodeur, a great goaltender, that's about it. Rangers in 6.

I am sure that the NHL wants the Rangers to nail the Devils for marketing and ratings purposes.

Western Conference

1- Detroit
8- Nashville

Detroit in 5. The Predators are lucky to be in the playoffs. We don't need Southern teams in a winter sport.

2- San Jose
7- Calgary

Sharks in 6. San Jose is a better overall team with Joe Thornton and Cheechoo and Patrick Marleau. However, Calgary has Jarome Iginla, who was third in scoring and is one of the ten best players in the NHL, so he can win a game or two for the Flames.

3- Minnesota
6- Colorado

Some experts like the Avalanche (Colorado). I don't. Colorado is an older team without the overall skill that they used to have about 5-8 years ago. Minnesota in 7.

4- Anaheim
5- Dallas

Anaheim is the defending champ and should win, but I think Dallas is ready to break through.

Dallas in 6.

Next round I like Montreal over Philly and New York over Pittsburgh, setting up a Rangers-Canadiens final and I think that the Rangers will win the East.

West. Detroit-Dallas and San Jose Minny, Detroit over Dallas and San Jose over Minny leaving us with a Wings-Sharks final and the Sharks will win their first West championship as well as hoist the Cup in June by beating the Rangers in 6.


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