(1) Washington Capitals vs (8) Montreal Canadiens
Many people believe the Washington Capitals steam roll right over the Montreal Canadiens. I beg to differ. Why you may ask? Simple, the Canadiens played nearly half the season without veteran defenseman Andrei Markov which started the Canadiens off slow. Since his joining of the team, he makes a big difference, add this to their golatender Jaraslov Halak, and the Candiens are a tough team.
Still though I am a fan of Ovechkin and that almighty offense of the Washington Capitals. They should beat the Canadiens, not easily, but still beat them.
One little prediction: Washington’s goalie will play well the first round, leaving fans to wonder why they ever doubted the Capitals goalie woes, but not so stellar in the second round reaffirming the Capitals are still another year away from the Stanley Cup.
My Pick: Washington Capitals
(2) New Jersey Devils vs (7) Philadelphia Flyers
Call me crazy, callme whatever, but I see an upset in New Jersey’s future.I picked the Philadelphia Flyer’s to win the Stanley Cup, my mind has changed for the champion, but I still am going to pick them to win in the first round.
The Philadelphia Flyer’s playoffs started a month ago, while the New Jersey Devils have been coasting since then. Expect a tough physical game that will play in the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers. NewJersey has the upper hand in goaltending, but their offense won’t be able to sustain the black and blue bruises given to them from their opponents.
My Pick: Broad Street Bullies
(3) Buffalo Sabres vs (6) Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins have had a tough late season, with injuries to key players and a bruised lineup. Their heart is there yes, but it will be crushed much like your girlfriend leaving you for the much better guy than you Eddie at HWB. Oh it hurts!
Buffalo is an under the radar team that has a definitely on the radar goalie. Ryan Miller will lead them to the finals, but like the Olympics, fall a little short.
My Pick: Buffalo Sabres
(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs (5) Ottawa Senators
Say it is a Detroiter’s hatred of the Pittsburgh Penguins, say it is crazy pick, but I believe the Pittsburgh Penguins do not have what it takes this year to be back to back Champions, let alone get pass the first round.
The Ottawa Senators were hot this year, red hot, but cooled off for a little bit. Since then, the ball has started rolling again with a 7-2-1 finish in their last 10 games. The loss of Alex Kovalev will hurt, but not as much as everyone expects. Daniel Alfreddson, Jason Spezza and Mike Fisher have enough to keep the team going, throw in trade deadline acquisition Milan Michalek, the Senators will play the Penguins tough and beat those powder blue sissys.
Note: If the Senators start goaltender Pascal Leclaire over Brian Elliot, I revoke my pick and will petition for the firing of head coach Cory Clouston.
My Pick: Ottawa Senators
(1) San Jose Sharks vs (8) Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche have been stellar this season, eating everyone’s expectations. Unfortunately for them, their road ends here. The Avalanche’s youth works in the regular season, but not in the playoffs.
The San Jose Sharks are a powerhouse, full of talent, a well balanced team and a good net minder. The Sharks age and experience will help ease their defeat of the Avalanche.
Note: The only chance the Avalanche have at beating the Sharks is if the San Jose Shark’s first round woes continue. Not likely, but I will be rooting for the Avalanche for an upset.
My Pick: San Jose Sharks
(2) Chicago Blackhawks vs (7) Nashville Predators
Perhaps one of the most under publicized team in the NHL, the Nashville Predators, look to dethrone one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. The Predators come into the series with one of the most well balanced team in the league. Scoring up forn from the likes of Patric Hornqvist and Martin Erat, defensive play from Shea Weber and Cody Franson, all supported by a solid .910 save percentage in Pekka Rinne. Can they overshadow the superstars that are the Chicago Blackhawks?
In a simple answer, no way!
The Chicago blackhawks have one of the most offensive powerhouse teams within the league. With 3rd in the league in goals and 1st in shots on goals, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and the rest of the squad of the Chicago Blackhawks should be able to walk circles around the Nashville Predators.
My Pick: Chicago Blackhawks
(3) Vancouver Canucks vs (6) Los Angeles Kings
Ok, ok, I know this is pure crazy of a pick. Wait, but is it?
The Vancouver Canucks have Roberto Luongo. Sure he won the Gold Medal this year in the Olympics, but when it comes to the playoffs he is a no show. The Sedin twins do have enough firepower to to take on an army, but the mix of young and old Los Angeles Kings might just surprise the Canucks and the League.
Call me crazy, but man Snoop roots for them, so shall I.
My Pick: Los Angeles kings
(4) Phoenix Coyotes vs (5) Detroit Red Wings
I save the best for last. My home town team the Detroit Red Wings, the one I have grown up to love and will till the day I die, against a young, back against the wall Phoenix Coyotes.
The reality, both teams are great, superb to be exact, one playing a control game the other a much more work till you drop game. I will be happy with either team winning, my hope is for the Red Wings, but seeing all that the Coyotes have faced this year and have overcome, I see the Wings being another hurdle the Coyotes are capable of clearing.
Note: The winner of this round will win the Stanley Cup. Both teams have what it takes, experience, determination and most importantly, heart.
My Pick: Phoenix Coyotes