Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Playoff Predictions- East

1) Welcome to the NHL's second(real) season. We would argue that there is NO better all around tournament in all of pro sports. Let the games begin! We will go through each series; dissect what the most important factors are, and come up with who will win in how many games. We hope to do even better than our regular season predictions. First we will do the unpredictable East. Followed by the power house West. Enjoy.

2) Canadiens (1) vs. Bruins (8):REGULAR SEASON SERIES ( 8-0 Canadiens) On paper it would seem the Bruins have little chance to advance. For good reason. The Habs wiped the Bruins 8-0 this past season. The Bruins just can't match the Canadiens speed and offensive fire power. Without Savard (he may play but not nearly at 100%) the Bruins are at a distinct disadvantage. Keys: For the Bruins to overcome the mental block of beating their divisional rivals. For the Habs, to see if Carey Price can at 20 be a top playoff goalie and all the pressure that entails.
Canadiens in 5

3) Penguins (2) vs. Senators (7): REGULAR SEASON SERIES 3-0-1 Ottawa. Normally you would think a 2-7 series would be a mismatch, but in the tight East there are no gimme series, and this is no different. The Senators sent the upstart Penguins packing in last year's playoffs in 5 short games. They also handled the pens during the regular season. However this Penguin team is NOT last year's! For one the team no longer relys exclusively on Crosby as evidenced by Malkin's break-out season. They also added Marion Hossa who has something to prove that he's not a playoff albatross, not to mention its against his former team. The Senators lost 2 key players when Fischer and captain Dan Alfredsson were lost to late season injuries and probably from the first round. Keys: Goaltending! Gerber has been great in spurts and awful in others. Fleury since his return has looked like the goalie the Pens knew he can be.
Penguins in 5

4) Capitals (3) vs. Flyers (6): REGULAR SEASON SERIES 2-2. Despite the rankings the Flyers actually had 1 more point than the Caps. The two teams split their 4 games, many which were quite nasty/contentious. The Caps, and more specifically likely Hart trophy winner Alex Ovechkin have become the darlings of the hockey world with their improbable rise from 15th to 3rd in the East (winning11 of their last 12) to get back into the post season for the first time in 5 years. Amazingly Flyer starter Marty Biron will be starting his FIRST playoff game! Huet on the other side has appeared in a mere 6! Flyers got bad news when Derrien Hatcher was cleared to play. ; ) Keys: For the Flyers they need to use their allotment of talented forwards to wear down the caps and try to physically intimidate the upstart caps/get them off their game. The Caps need to do exactly what got them into the playoffs; Play smart, get great goaltending from Huet, and have their best player BE the best player.
Capitals in 7

5) Devils (4) vs. Rangers (5): REGULAR SEASON SERIES 1-4-3/7-0-1 Rangers. As we have mentioned on other sites/our blog, this is NOT the same Ranger team that went to the playoffs the past 2 seasons. Its no longer the NY Jagr's/Czechs. This team is full of young/hungry players to compliment the likes of Gomez and playoff star Chris Drury. Jagr for his part is playing the best he's played all season. The Devils were unable to beat the Rangers in regulation in 8 tries. Their anemic offense is led by dynamic youngster Zac Parise, but the Devils rely heavily on Brodeur keeping them in games. After playing 77 contests is he going to be sharp or start to fatigue like last season? Keys: For the Devils to play their defense first game and be opportunistic and better the rangers on special teams. For the Rangers, use their superior depth of forwards to pepper and get folks in Brodeur's face (Avery) upsetting his rhythm.
Rangers in 6


Duncan N. Komani said...

We are gonna kick some Capital butt! That Russian guy is gonna have to be carried off the ice when my boy Downie gets done with him.

Rogo said...

Facing that jersey goalie ascares me. I know we beat him in the playoffs a few times but geez he don't lose often. I hope them fellas we got last summer throttle it up.

Shmee said...

As always, you are correct! The Caps will overtake the Flyers.

Oh, yeah and I agree with the other ones too...:)

The Dark Ranger said...

If my boys take this Friday night at THE ROCK, having already taken away home-ice advantage from the Devils - I am going on the line with a:

RANGERS IN 4 (sweep)

Now THAT is going on the line.


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