It is that time of year, the time every hockey fan waits for; the playoffs. Here are some predictions.
1. Washington Capitals v 8 New York Rangers: 1. Washington Capitals
With Washington focusing this year on their defense and the Rangers relying too much on their netminder Henrik Lundqvist, look for the Capitals to take it in 5.
4. Pittsburgh Penguins v 5. Tampa Bay Lightning: 5. Tampa Bay Lightning
The Penguins are flying high but they still are without their two most valuable player; Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Tampa Bay on the other hand have all their pieces, enough to get pass the first round. Tampa Bay in 7.
2. Philadelphia Flyers v 7. Buffalo Sabres: 7. Buffalo Sabres
Perhaps this is more of a personal decision, but I do not like the Flyers and I cannot get myself to choose them. Factor in the loss of Chris Pronger for the first game for sure and possibly more, as well as the horrible end to their season, on-a-roll Buffalo will take it in 6.
3. Boston Bruins v 6. Montreal Canadiens: 6. Montreal Canadiens
Boston is big, Montreal is fast. This one is for you Ron, Canadiens in 7. Go Habs Go!
1. Vancouver Canucks v 8. Chicago Blackhawks: 1. Vancouver Canucks
The Blachawks barely made the playoffs only to go against the best team in the NHL. It is not the same Blackhawks as last year, Canucks in 5. (On a side note, from a Wing’s fan, Chicago Sucks!)
4. Anaheim Ducks v 5. Nashville Predators: 4. Anaheim Ducks
This will be a tough battle between two solid teams. A worry for Anaheim is their goalie’s health status. Still though, the Ducks have a talented offense that will carry them pass the first round in 6 games.
2. San Jose Sharks v 7. Los Angeles Kings: 2. San Jose Sharks
I think the Sharks and Kings worked together to have the shortest travel between two teams in the West which may pay dividends later. Star forward Anze Kopitar is out for the playoffs just like his team will be in 4.
3. Detroit Red Wings v 6. Phoenix Coyotes: 3. Detroit Red Wings
Deja vu? Last year the wings edged out the Coyotes in 7 games; this year look for it to be done in 6.
1. Washington Capitals v 7. Buffalo Sabres: 1. Washington Capitals
Buffalo will come from a taxing first round while the Capitals are just getting started. Defense Mike Green will be back at game speed and meshing well with his team. Capitals in 6.
5. Tampa Bay Lightning v 6. Montreal Canadiens: 6. Montreal Canadiens
As much as I want the Lightning taking on the Capitals in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Lightning’s goalies will be the weak link in this one. Canadiens in 5.
1. Vancouver Canucks v 4. Anaheim Ducks: 1. Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks were number one for a reason and will take advantage of a Ducks team who takes stupid penalties when they are frustrated. Canucks in 5.
2. San Jose Sharks v 3. Detroit Red Wings: 3. Detroit Red Wings
These two teams have a lot of history and a lot of similarities when it comes to their play styles. The Wings depth will be key, look for Modano, Helm and Hudler to be the deciding factors, as well as a healthy Henrik Zetterberg. Wings in 7.
1. Washington Capitals v 6. Montreal Canadiens: 1. Washington Capitals
The Canadiens trip has finally come to an end. Sorry Ron. Capitals in 6.
1. Vancouver Canucks v 3. Detroit Red Wings: 3. Detroit Red Wings
OK, you got me. I cannot root against the Wings. Despite my blind faith, the Wings have a talaneted and seasoned team. Wings in 7.
2011 NHL Final
Washington Capitals v Detroit Red Wings: Detroit Red Wings – 6 games
The Capitals are geeked, they have worked on their defense and it has taken them this far. Sorry Capitals, the Wings invented everything you are doing, and they still do it better. Wings in 5.