Friday, October 7, 2011

Preseason 2012 Playoff and Cup Predictions

1) Next in the prediction process is to use our published projected/predicted order of finish and use these as a basis for the playoff matchups. We will briefly predict these anticipated playoff matchups and determine this far out who will win each series culminating with who we believe is going t be the 2012 Stanley Cup winner. A few years ago when we did this we were very close to getting many of the matchup/winners dead on. Last time not as well Anyway, as we note in our season projections much of this is a dart throw. This is REALLY a dart throw in the dark! But hey, everyone else is making/publishing their Cup choice so why not make it interesting. Enjoy and feel free to tell us where we're off our rockers. LOL

2) First The East: Round 1

  • Philadelphia- vs-Montreal: Montreal had to fight just to make the playoffs and it shows in this lop-sided first round easily won by Philadelphia. Flyers in 4

  • Washington-vs-Tampa Bay: A rematch from the second round last season. Last time it was a sweep by the Bolts. Not this time. The caps with fear in their eyes, go out and make the 42 year old Roloson look every bit his age. Caps in 5

  • Boston-vs-N.Y. Rangers: The defending champs defend their crown against the Rangers who had a decent season but with few expectations. The Blueshirts stun the hockey world as Lundqvist stymies the B's attack and propels NY to round 2. Rangers in 6

  • Pittsburgh-vs-Buffalo: The marquis 1st round series. Both teams come evenly matched with Pitts star power up front vs Buffalo stars on defense and in goal. Just a bit too much offense for the sabres to handle and in the end they succumb. Penguins in 6

3) Round 2- East

  • Philadelphia-vs-NY Rangers: The upstart Rangers coming off their upset of the champs are riding high and not intimidated by the conference champs. Former Ranger Jaromir Jagr though come through in a big way, leading the Flyers into the Final 4. Flyers in 5

  • Washington-vs- Pittsburgh: Grudge matchup for sure. The Caps trying to erase their recent/long term tendency to lose to lower seeds in the first 2 rounds/lose to the penguins in the playoffs fail to advance once again prompting the team to finally realize that their coach and core players are the problem not their role players. Penguins in 6

4) Conference Finals: Philadelphia-vs- Pittsburgh: Not surprising to most that the road to The Cup had to travel through Pennsylvania. The battle of the Keystone state proves to be bitter and long. So many story lines prove to make it an epic battle. Jagr is smothered well and not a factor, while Crosby pots multiple OT game winners to get the penguins back to the Finals for the 3rd time in 4 years. Penguins in 7

5) Next the West: Round 1

  • San Jose-vs-Calgary: No David and Goliath this time. Goliath easily sleighs 'David' this time as the Sharks eat up/douse the Flames. Sharks in 4

  • Chicago-vs-Nashville: Another mismatch as the Predators try to play a defensive style while the hawks try to keep it up tempo. The Hawks style is too much for Trotz's gang and the Preds fall relatively easily. Black Hawks in 5

  • Vancouver-vs-Anaheim: The Canucks attempt to get back into the Finals and they have little trouble getting past the opening round as the Ducks' top line is shut down by the swarming Canuck defense. Canucks in 4

  • LA-vs-Detroit: The only competitive opening round match up. The Kings looking to finally assert themselves do themselves proud as their superior forward depth is too much for the Detroit sextet, but not before a long tough battle. Kings in 7

6) West: Round 2

  • San Jose- vs- LA: The 'Battle of California'. The next chapter of this now seemingly annual fight for the biggest state's bragging rights goes the distance. This time the Kings are able to stave off a let down from their first round win and hold the Shark attack at bay. Kings in 5

  • Chicago- vs- Vancouver Another right of spring, a Chicago Vancouver series. The last 2 years we have seen great series between these 2 powerful deep squads. This time the result is similar to 2 years ago when the Hawks were able to squeak by the 'Nucks. Black Hawks in 7

7) Conference Finals: LA-vs- Chicago: The Kings first visit to The Final 4 since Gretzky led them to the Finals in 93. They purport themselves well under the intense pressure against a far more playoff hardened opponent. In the end though it appears that Chicago's experience is enough to help get them back to the Finals. Black Hawks in 6

8) The Finals: Chicago-vs- Pittsburgh: Gary Bettman has to be pleased with this marquis match up. he has two of the last 3 champions back. Two US based teams with super-stars on both teams giving it the intrigue TV craves. It doesn't disappoint either. Its a series won by the home team with at least 2 games going into OT. The Hawks by virtue of having had 1 extra win in the regular season have home ice advantage and the Chicago faithful are feted to their second Cup in 3 seasons. Black Hawks in 7 to win their 5th Stanley Cup and 2nd in 3 years!

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