I was hoping to do a full fledged playoff preview before the playoffs started, but with papers and exams I didn't have the time to.
So here are my predictions.
1. Montreal vs. 8. Boston
This was the team I was hoping Montreal would play in the first round since the Habs have dominated them their past bunch of games including going 8-0 against them this season. Montreal has too much fire power, and Boston can't score enough goals. And for some reason Alex Kovalev can make Tim Thomas look like Red-Light-Racicot.
Prediction: Montreal in 5
2. Pittsburgh vs. 7. Ottawa
The Hills or Ray Emery? You decide, both have enough drama. But can you really blame a team's demise on a guy who sometimes seems like he cares more about his looks then being on time? Losing last years playoff sensation Alfredson hurts their chances, and so does the injury to Fisher. Can Heatley and Spezza out gun Malkin, Crosby, and Co.? Not a chance.
Prediction: Pittsburgh in 6
3. Washington vs. Philadelphia
Take your pick, do you go for the team that finished in the basement last year then bullied their way to respectability and a playoff spot this year? Or do you go for the team with the leagues most exciting player? (Ovechkin of course). Both teams have some exciting players, but in the end I think that Philadelphea will be too much for Washington to handle. And the Caps have Huet in nets...Montreal traded him for a reason.
Prediction:Philadelphia in 7
4. New Jersey vs. New York
Brodeur is the best player come playoff time right? Well yes it is true that he has had success in the past, but last year showed that come playoff time playing 84 regular season games can tire any human. And for some reason the Rangers have Brodeurs number. The Rangers didn't go out and dish out millions for Gomez and Drury for the regular season, no they're being paid for the playoffs where both have proven to be monsters.
Prediction: New York in 5
1. Detroit vs. Nashville
For most of the season Detroit looked like the best team in the league by far. A mid-season slip had people unsure, but a strong finish solidified their spot as best team in the league. The Nashville-picked-apart-in-the-off-season Predators snuck into the final spot in the West with some stellar goaltending from Ellis. But do they stand a chance against Lidstrom, Rafalski, Hasek, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Holmstrom.....well you get the point.
Prediction: Detroit in 5
2. San Jose vs. Calgary
Brian Campbell. What a difference one player has made to a team, making San Jose's powerplay a thing that makes opposition goalies want to go into hiding like Osama Bin Laden. San Jose has to win this year. If they don't they'll become like the Sens; a team loaded with talent that can't get it done. Thornton still has to go the next step to truly be a superstar. On the flip side the Flames do have a great goalie in Kipper, and one of the NHLs most dangerous snipers in Iginla. But the Jekyl-Hyde routine make them a hard team to expect to go far. Nonetheless, they should put up a good battle.
Prediction: San Jose in 7
3. Minnesota vs. Colorado
Francois Giguere must have bumped into Doc from back to the future, because here we have Forsberg, Foote, and Sakic leading the Avs in the playoffs again. Jose Theodore has refound his MVP and Vezina winning form, and the Avs are once again a force to be reckoned with in the West. Minnesota on the other hand plays stifling defense and rely on Gaborik up front to pop some goals in. Should be a close series, but:
Prediction: Colorado in 7
4. Anaheim vs. Dallas
Brad who? The big acquisition of the trade deadline made a big splash with a five point night in his first game. But like the rest of the team took a downward spiral at the end and no longer look like the Stanley Cup contender many predicted in early March. Anaheim on the other hand is looking to defend their title, and for the first time in a while have everybody back from injuries and suspensions that have plagued them all season. This series is up for grabs, but in the end I like Anaheim in this one.
Prediction: Anaheim in 7