- Montreal vs. Philadelphia: Both teams come into this series having just completed long 7 game series triumphs. The Habs beat the Bruins in what many believed was a longer series than they anticipated, and the Flyers won an epic battle with the capitals. So there shouldn't be an advantage of rest on either side. However, we do believe that the Flyers sustained more key losses/injuries in their series. Though at this time of year no one is healthy and no one is admitting to be hurt. Bottom line though is that we don't see the Flyers defense as being able to control the swift skating Canadiens. They do have three dangerous, fast offensive lines that will do their best to take advantage of the Flyers' lack of mobility on the blue line. Also we believe that Biron's weakness for high shots will be better exploited than the Caps were able to. This shouldn't be a long series. Key players on both teams. For Philadelphis: Daniel Briere. For The Canadiens:Alex Kovalev. Prediction: Canadiens in 5
- NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh: In our pre-season-playoff predictions we picked the East's Final 4 as the Rangers, Pitt, Philly and Ottawa. We had the Rangers playing the Penguins for the Conference title. So its a round earlier? Anyway, this match up should prove to be the much more entertaining of the two East series. These teams played 8 times in the regular season so they're should be little need to get acquainted. The two contrast in style with the offensively gifted Penguins looking to/can run opposing teams out of the building, with the patient/disciplined Rangers waiting for opposing teams to make mistakes. Generally in the playoffs its the ladder that wins more games, as does the team with the better goalie (Rangers). However we will have to go against the grain here and believe that the penguins simple possess to much fire power for even Vezina candidate Lundqvist to handle. Key players for both teams: For Pittsburgh: Fleury. For the Rangers: J. Jagr. Prediction: Pittsburgh in 6.
2) Now on to the West: In our pre-season-playoff predictions we had the West's Final 4 as being: Detroit, SanJose, Colorado, and Calgary. (Eerily last September we had the Av's beating the Wild in 6 to advance this far). Anyway, the Flames didn't make, but instead we have Dallas.
- Sharks vs. Stars: The boys from SJ were our pre season Cup favourites and we didn't even believe the Stars would make the playoffs so its probably not a surprise to any of our readers that we aren't going to pick Dallas here either. We do want to give credit to them and especially Marty Turco for playing well to beat the defending Cup champs last round. It may be the battle for the coach's job here. Both coaches, Dallas' Dave Tippett and San Jose's Ron Wilson, entered the postseason with their proverbial heads on the line. If either lose this series thy might be looking for work soon thereafter. We believe the keys will be: Can the Sharks exploit the young inexperienced Stars defense and can Turco continue to carry the team. The Stars may try to throw the Sharks off their game by attempting to play a more physical game. Will/can they respond. Key players for both teams: For the Sharks: Joe Thornton. For the Stars: Niklas Hagman. Prediction: Sharks in 6
- Red Wings vs. Avalanche: If this were 10 years ago we would be talking about an epic battle about to start, etc. Actually many of the players from those clashes are still playing today, but the degree of emotion/hatred between the clubs has waned since the Claude Lemieux 'good ole days'. That said, this series has much more appeal to us at Fauxrumors than the other West match up. Both team possess an immense amount of talent with many future Hall of Famers on both sides. Oddly both starting goalies have had excellent regular seasons/playoffs, but few expected them to be in this position today. Can both continue to 'turn back the clock'? We believe that the key to this series will NOT be the older stars, but which teams young guns can step it up. Can Stastny and Wolski match Zetterberg and Datsyuk? Key players for both teams: For the Avalanche: Paul Stastny. For Detroit: Henrik Zetterberg. Prediction: Detroit in 7