Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Practical Playoff Predictions

by Jes

With all of my heavy workload at work and school, and with the Canucks practicing their chip shots, I'm finding it hard to really get into the playoffs like I normally do.

That sucks, I know ... the best time of the year for hockey, and I'd need the hockey equivalent of Cialis to get me in the mood to watch the action on the ice.

Wayne, our Southern Correspondent, feels much the same way.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm just not feeling a buzz for this year's playoffs...I guess the only place in the U.S. where there would be palpable excitement would be Washington...

It used to be that the early rounds of the Cup playoffs were far more entertaining than the NBA's; but after the lockout, everything's now in the NBA's favor. Maybe it's Versus, I don't know...

If the NHL were a fast food, it would be Burger King french fries...

If the NHL were a TV sitcom, it would be "According to Jim"...

If the NHL were any other sport, it would be the PGA Tour MINUS Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Well, that's rather harsh. Why aren't the NHL's first round match-ups entertaining? Hell, I can think of quite a few series that you ought to be watching.

Anyway, I might as well make some predictions and use my Jedi powers for something other than stealing Yu-Gi-Oh cards from schoolchildren.


Montreal (1) over Boston (8) in 5 games.
The Habs are a finely tuned machine, and the sum is greater than the yada yada yada. The Bruins are a surprise entrant into the playoffs, and will certainly be destroyed by Tomas Plekanec and the Montreal Power Play.

Pittsburgh (2) over Ottawa (7) in 7 games.
This should be a fun series to watch if you love goal scoring. Both the Sens and Pens have some of the most talented offenses in the NHL, and both teams have major question marks in goal.

Still, I'd go with the hot hand, and Crosby/Malkin is greater than Spezza/Heatley. The Sens are struggling, and are obviously mentally beat up.

Washington (3) over Philadelphia (6) in 6 games.
I don't think Philly is going to get away with murder as much as they want, and the Caps are just on frickin fire. With the addition of Huet and Fedorov, and Ovechkin on performance enhancers, the Flyers won't be able to keep up with the speedy Caps.

Good. Nobody wants Philly in there, anyway

New Jersey (4) over NY Rangers (5) in 7 games.
ZZZZ... the must-not-watch series of the first round pits two of the most defensive-minded teams in the league against each other. Thankfully, nobody outside of the New York area will be subjected to this dreck.

Martin Brodeur...never bet against him, especially when the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist struggled most of the season.


Detroit (1) over Nashville (8) in 4 games.
I am not as high on Detroit as many others, but Nashville is not going to be the team to derail them. The Wings have a serious hole in goal, but should have no problem tearing the Preds a new one.

San Jose (2) over Calgary (7) in 6 games.
I did a preview of this series over at FanHouse. Suffice it to say, only fans of grinding, "Blue Collar" hockey will enjoy this series. Not fun to watch.

Minnesota (3) over Colorado (6) in 6 games.
As if I'd go against Demitra and Mr. Potatohead!

The Avs have a scary offence, but questionable goaltending. Minnesota, despite some hiccups, is still a far superior systematic team to the loosey-goosey Avalanche.

Ducks (4) over Dallas (5) in 5 games.
The Stars suck, and will choke in the playoffs once again. Turco is not that great of a goalie, and Mike Ribeiro is living off of an unusually high shot percentage. His scoring won't last ...

Ever since Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne returned, the Ducks we know and hate are back to their old "beat em on the ice, beat em in the alley" ways that won them a cup last year.

So, not one upset pick in the bunch. Not that I don't think the Avs could beat the Wild, but I just don't see much upset potential in the first round.

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