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Playoff Predictions

April 12, 2010

Now that the matchups are set, I figured I’d take the opportunity to give everyone my predictions for this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, beginning with the first round and going right through to the Finals. Feel free to criticize my predictions and let us hear your own.

Here we go:

1st ROUND:
EASTERN CONFERENCE

#1 Washington Capitals vs. #8 Montreal Canadiens
The Habs come into this series having lost the last two games of the regular season to two of the leagues bottom seven teams – Carolina and Toronto – but still managing to squeak in. They also come into this series with three of the leagues top 8 leaders in giveaways: 3. Roman Hamrlik (86), 4. Jaroslav Spacek (81), 8. Hal Gill (76). I’ll give the Habs the edge between the pipes, but Washington dominates in every other department. Hall Gill’s propensity to body check his own goalie will keep the Habs from winning a game. Prediction: Capitals in 4.

#2 New Jersey Devils vs. #7 Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers managed to get into the playoffs with a shootout win on Sunday. Their goaltending is questionable. They’ll win one game but not much else.
Prediction: Devils in 5.

#3 Buffalo Sabres vs. #6 Boston Bruins
This the only matchup in the Eastern Conference that I think has upset potential. It should be a close exciting series, but unfortunately for Bruins fans their lack of scoring and Ryan Miller’s awesomeness will seal their fate. Luckily, they have a high draft pick to look forward to, courtesy of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Prediction: Sabres in 6.

#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #5 Ottawa Senators
The only way the defending champs could lose this series is if they rely too much on Alexei Ponikarovsky to hit open nets. Since they’re playing the Sens he may get enough open net chances to actually pot a few. The Sens are a much improved team this year, I’ll give them that, but without Kovalev they don‘t stand much of a chance.
Prediction: Penguins in 4.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

#1 San Jose Sharks vs. #8 Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche surprised many people this year, lead by rookie sensation Matt Duchene and goalie Craig Anderson, whose finally gotten a job as a number one. They’ll be in tough against the San Jose Sharks, but it’s playoff time and you know what that means; it’s time for Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton’s annual disappearing act. See you in September.
Prediction: Avalanche in 7.

#2 Chicago Blackhawks vs. #7 Nashville Predators
I haven’t seen much of the Nashville Predators this season but I don’t expect them to be much of a challenge for the stacked Chicago Blackhawks. Of course if Chicago’s goaltending falters, they could be out in the first round. I think they’ll win this one regardless of goaltending.
Prediction: Blackhawks in 5.

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs. #6 Los Angeles Kings
This should be an exciting series. The Kings will give the Canucks all they can handle in their first playoff appearance in a while. Luongo and the Sedins will prevail.
Prediction: Canucks in 7.

#4 Phoenix Coyotes vs. #5 Detroit Red Wings
The young exciting Phoenix Coyotes vs. the team no one wants to play in the first round. A couple of weeks ago the Wings were neck and neck with Calgary for 8th place, but a finally healthy Detroit team went on a tear and finished the season 5th in the West. Bryzgalov may stand on his head but it won’t be enough.
Prediction: Red Wings in 5.

2nd ROUND:
EASTERN CONFERENCE

#1 Washington Capitals vs. #4 Pittsburgh Penguins
The series everyone wants to see. The rematch. The Washington Capitals are a much better team this time around and Pittsburgh has struggled as of late. However, they’ll get it going by then and Washington’s goaltending isn’t good enough. It will be close, but Crosby will win again
Prediction: Penguins in 7.

#2 New Jersey Devils vs. #3 Buffalo Sabres
The greatest goaltender in NHL history vs. the NHL’s MVP. It’s not official but many believe that Ryan Miller should be this year’s MVP and rightfully so. It will be a goaltender’s duel but in the end, Brodeur will prevail.
Prediction: Devils in 7.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

#2 Chicago Blackhawks vs. #8 Colorado Avalanche
They may get past the playoff choking San Jose Sharks but the dominance of the Blackhawks will be too much for the young Avs.
Prediction: Blackhawks in 5.

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs. #5 Detroit Red Wings
It will be a long, hard-fought series. The Canucks will be looking to prove that they can take the next step as a hockey team, while the Wings will be looking to prove that they are still a dominant force in the Western Conference. In the end, back to back seven game series will prove to be too much for Roberto Luongo.
Prediction: Red Wings in 7.

CONFERENCE FINALS:

#2 New Jersey Devils vs. #4 Pittsburgh Penguins
I try never to bet against the New Jersey Devils because they’ve been there before many times and they know how to win. I’ve picked them to go to the Stanley Cup Finals every year since the lockout and the one year that I don’t pick them could be the year they do it. With Kovalchuk in the mix, the Devils are as big a contender as any. However, the defending champs are younger and also know what it takes to win. In the end, I have to stick with my pre-season prediction.
Prediction: Penguins in 7.

#2 Chicago Blackhawks vs. #5 Detroit Red Wings
A great matchup between the aging Wings and the up and coming Blackhawks. It will be a long series between the Hawks’ high powered offense and the dynamic and steady Wings but in the end, the torch will be passed on to the younger Hawks, as Marion Hossa makes his third consecutive trip to the finals.
Prediction: Blackhawks in 7.

STANLEY CUP FINALS

#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #2 Chicago Blackhawks
This is the finals matchup I predicted in the pre-season and I’m sticking with it. The Blackhawks have a great young team all around, but the one question mark is in net. If their goaltending holds up enough to get them to the finals then it may hold up enough to win them a Cup, but I’m not betting on it. Hossa loses in the finals for the third consecutive year. Pittsburgh wins another cup before next year’s Leafs dynasty takes over.
Prediction: Penguins in 6.

2010 Stanley Cup Champions: Pittsburgh Penguins

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  1. mycokes
    April 12, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    nice compilation. I don’t agree with all the quick first rounds you have in the west. what you set up leaves us with some dream matchups, but I don’t think some of these teams are for real. I say it goes Washington in 4; Devils in 7 (Flyers swept the season series I believe); Buffalo in 5 and Pit in 4. In the west i see Sharks in 7; Hawks in 6; Kings in 6 and Phoenix in 6.

    Next round I got Pittsburgh in 6 and Devils in 6. In the west I got Kings in 6 and Hawks in 5.

    Semis would have Pitt in 6 and Kings in 7.

    Pittsburgh is crownwed champion again as they teach the young kings a thing or two. this kings team is the penguins of the west.

    Pens in 5.

  2. April 12, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    I like your 1st round picks, except I’d give more games to OTT and MTL. I think they’ll be able to win at least one game each. Also, as much as I don’t like the Sharks chances to go far I’d still give it to them over the AVs. They really fell off in the last quarter and they are a young team.

  3. Keon
    April 12, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    Wilson regrets:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=317786

    “If I could do anything over again, I would have gone with all the young guys I thought had made our team at training camp (and) had outplayed a lot of veterans”

    Tell us something we don’t already know

  4. LeafMan
    April 12, 2010 at 8:35 PM

    Keon :
    Wilson regrets:
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=317786
    “If I could do anything over again, I would have gone with all the young guys I thought had made our team at training camp (and) had outplayed a lot of veterans”
    Tell us something we don’t already know

    All they had to do was listen to HH, Burn, you and me and we would not have to go thorough this all this pain! :)

    • Shawn M.
      April 12, 2010 at 8:40 PM

      What am I? Chopped liver??

  5. mycokes
    April 12, 2010 at 9:14 PM

    Keon :
    Wilson regrets:
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=317786
    “If I could do anything over again, I would have gone with all the young guys I thought had made our team at training camp (and) had outplayed a lot of veterans”
    Tell us something we don’t already know

    it is best this way. they have a better organization going forward and managed to actually get rid of the shit instead of merely burying it. and …. they got phaneuf and giggy out of that pile of shit. it all worked out for the best.

  6. April 12, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    LeafMan :

    Keon :
    Wilson regrets:
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=317786
    “If I could do anything over again, I would have gone with all the young guys I thought had made our team at training camp (and) had outplayed a lot of veterans”
    Tell us something we don’t already know

    All they had to do was listen to HH, Burn, you and me and we would not have to go thorough this all this pain! :)

    You bet.

  7. April 12, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    Kadri’s season is over. 8-3 loss.

    • mycokes
      April 12, 2010 at 10:54 PM

      i wonder how long he is going to hold onto the OHL scoring lead

    • komikazey
      April 12, 2010 at 11:01 PM

      WOOO GO RANGERS GO!!!

  8. komikazey
    April 12, 2010 at 11:04 PM

    Also the one thing I’m not so sure about is Ryan Miller for MVP… I think bryz gets the nod when it comes to goalie nomination this season. I don’t even know if Miller will win the Vezina. Brodeurs stats are right up there with Millers but with more wins and shutouts. Also Calder has to go to Rask imo… only reason Bruins made the playoffs… fucking JFJ

  9. April 13, 2010 at 6:48 AM

    komikazey :

    Also the one thing I’m not so sure about is Ryan Miller for MVP… I think bryz gets the nod when it comes to goalie nomination this season. I don’t even know if Miller will win the Vezina. Brodeurs stats are right up there with Millers but with more wins and shutouts. Also Calder has to go to Rask imo… only reason Bruins made the playoffs… fucking JFJ

    As much as I hate it, I think Miller gets the Vezina. He’s 2nd in GAA, S%, 4th in wins 4th in shutouts. None of the goalies have had a strong enough season for HArt.

    Also, I don’t think that Rask played enough games (not that there are rules for that, but for the voters to consider him I think he’d have had to play more). I think Myers wins the calder.

  10. April 13, 2010 at 6:49 AM

    komikazey :

    WOOO GO RANGERS GO!!!

    Booo…

  11. LeafMan
    April 13, 2010 at 8:46 AM

    Shawn M. :
    What am I? Chopped liver??

    Oversight on my part!

  12. Scott
    April 13, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    In a perfect world it was real easy to say play the kids over the vets but realistically you can’t just park 12 to 14 mil in the AHL, even if you are MLSE. Even if they did do it, sure the lineup would have had more pep, but in net would have been Reimer and Engalage and they still with all probability lose the first 10.

    But that is all history, Goose got himself healthy, we have Giggy and a younger lineup to look forward to, and the driftwood has been cleared off the beach!

  13. Scott
    April 13, 2010 at 9:17 AM

    (1)Was 4 (8)Mtl 2
    (2)Njd 4 (7)Phi 2
    (3)Buf 4 (6)Bos 2
    (4)Pit 4 (5)Ott 2

    (1)Was 4 (4)Pit 3
    (2)Njd 4 (3)Buf 2

    (1)Was 4 (2)Njd 3

    (1)Sjs 4 (8)Col 2
    (2)Chi 4 (7)Nas 2
    (6)Lak 4 (3)Van 3
    (5)Det 4 (4)Pho 3

    (1)Sjs 4 (6)Lak 2
    (2)Chi 4 (5)Det 2

    (2)Chi 4 – (1)Sjs 2

    (2)Chi 4 – (1)Was 2

  14. LeafMan
    April 13, 2010 at 10:03 AM
  15. Scott
    April 13, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    LeafMan :

    Cox being, well Cox

    http://thestar.blogs.com/thespin/2010/04/here-we-go-again.html

    Well he isn’t wrong though is he? A player should never be penciled in, just because. However, what Cox is being a cock about is that Wilson is trying to undermine Burke.

  16. hoolihan
    April 13, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    Wilson has never seen a “mike” he didn’t love! (Burke either, for that matter.) Wilson may not be trying to undermine Burke, but he is sure setting him up to be the “bad guy” if they decide Kadri isn’t NHL-ready next September.

    The message to Bozak, Hanson, Grabovski, Mitchell and all the other centres in the organization is that Kadri, who has done NOTHING in the NHL, has one of the top two centre spots locked up for 2010/11. That’s a bad perception to have out there when you’re trying to get these guys, including Kadri, to prepare HARD for next season.

    Wilson needs to think a little more before he speaks. That goes for what he has to say about players and/or their performances before and after games, too.

  17. Keon
    April 13, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    From what I saw this year, Kadri has a ton to learn and should be Marlie bound in the Fall. I don’t care what Burke and Wilson have said lately, he’s not going to the correct the mistakes he makes on the ice over the summer. Send him down for a few months, look at Bozak, best thing that ever happened to him and the Leafs.

    Wilson’s walking a bit of tight rope with his comments the last couple of days. I think he’s shortening his own leash.

  18. LeafMan
    April 13, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    Out of the blue and unrelated, hottest roockin’ chick playing a guitar since Lita Ford

  19. LeafMan
    April 13, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    We alreaddy know this may happen but…

    Wilson all but names Phaneuf next captain

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2010/04/13/phaneuf_captain/

    • mycokes
      April 13, 2010 at 3:59 PM

      at least wilson is keeping leafs fans interested in teh team past the end of the regular season. maybe that is part of his job description … ensuring fan interest until the end of the first round.

      • Shawn M.
        April 13, 2010 at 5:26 PM

        As long as this summer it doesn’t involve an overblown comment that gets more tampering charges being investigated. Hahaha.

  20. April 13, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Scott :

    In a perfect world it was real easy to say play the kids over the vets but realistically you can’t just park 12 to 14 mil in the AHL, even if you are MLSE. Even if they did do it, sure the lineup would have had more pep, but in net would have been Reimer and Engalage and they still with all probability lose the first 10.

    But that is all history, Goose got himself healthy, we have Giggy and a younger lineup to look forward to, and the driftwood has been cleared off the beach!

    MacDonald?? he gave the Leafs a better chance to win than Vesa “I don’t practice” Toskaloss.

    • Scott
      April 14, 2010 at 9:18 AM

      Burn :

      Scott :

      In a perfect world it was real easy to say play the kids over the vets but realistically you can’t just park 12 to 14 mil in the AHL, even if you are MLSE. Even if they did do it, sure the lineup would have had more pep, but in net would have been Reimer and Engalage and they still with all probability lose the first 10.

      But that is all history, Goose got himself healthy, we have Giggy and a younger lineup to look forward to, and the driftwood has been cleared off the beach!

      MacDonald?? he gave the Leafs a better chance to win than Vesa “I don’t practice” Toskaloss.

      Our Savior! LOL

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