ok ok ok.. the los angeles kings managed to stumble-fuck there way into the 8th and final playoff spot by tanking their last two games against the san jose sharks and have drawn vancouver in the first round.. hahaha..
phoenix wins their division.. who saw that coming? keep in mind that even the worst play off teams are still play off teams and are capable of stealing at least one game in a series..
here are my my first round picks..
johnathan quick maybe a vezina trophy candidate, and yes a hot goalie can steal a series, but the kings would have to score more goals in each game than vancouver.. not. gonna. happen.
vancouver in 5 games
if brian elliott doesnt play and its halak in goal, san jose could very well steal this one.. even so.. they look like a pick up team almost as much as the kings do.. anti-niemi fans will have to hope anti niemi isnt stellar in net.. oh yeah.. and the sharks need to pick it up
in the offensive zone..
st louis in 7 games
the chigago blackhawks are a shadow of the team they iced two seasons ago.. w/o johnny toews, whos been injured most of the year, the blackhawks have struggled to dominate their conference rivals.. they are iffy in goal.. mike smith has been solid between the pipes for phoenix all season and this pacific division title will spark a new level of compete in shane doan.. hes their leader.. he will inspire them.. dave tippett is a hell of a coach as well.. jack adams trophy neone? neone? their only weaknesses are off-ice shenanigans involving the possible sale and relocation of the team.. and paul bissonnette.. luv you pauly.. biznasty for mayor of glendale.. think about it.. now make it happen..
phoenix in 7 games
never count the detroit red wings out of nething.. they are always a favorite to win it all.. but lets face it.. they aint getting ne younger.. the wings have been virtually unbeatable at the joe.. on the road, nsm.. nashville has home ice in a game 7 and thats a huge advantage in this series against the red wings.. i think that the predators are stacked for an all in playoff run as suter and weber will be free agents of one sort or another in july.. this is their magnum opus.. david poile and co. may well be shown the door if the preds exit early..
nashville in 7
ottawa is way better than neone expected.. the rangers ran away with the conference in the regular season.. until pittsburgh almost caught them.. i dont give a rats ass about either of these teams..
rangers in 6
boston is defending the cup.. tim thomas has been more political and less unbeatable.. no nathan horton..
the road to the stanley cup goes through pittsburgh, new york, and maybe new jersey.. washington has been playing not terrible hockey of late.. they desperately need to win a series in this playoff year to redeem themselves.. they could steal a couple of games if ovenchicken and sexy sasha can play smart solid offensive hockey.. having backstrom in the lineup only helps.. too bad boston is way better in goal and they are a playoff tested winning franchise.. the crapitals? nsm..
boston in 6
the new jersey devils have quietly been playing some great hockey all season.. ilya kovalchuk has learned how to back check.. kinda.. who knew martin brodeur had another winning season in him.. florida won their division and the three (3) seed because. its. a. weak. division..
devils in 5
the pittsburgh penguins are the best team in the national hockey league.. they have 2 of the leagues top goal scores.. and 5 of the nhls best players.. sydney crosby is healthy.. marc andre fleury is a beast in net.. especially when it matters.. paul martin is the wild card here.. ive seen him play
great good serviceable defense.. ive seen him score a goal.. those seeings have been rare.. kris letang is key.. when he went down with concussions the defense team suffered.. if martin can find his game, and tangers stays healthy.. the pens will win the stanley cup..
they flyers are having a cinderella season.. i didnt think bryzgalov would make it past january.. i still think the flyers are gonna be playing net-minder roulette this series.. wayne simmonds and brayden schenn were major pick-ups for paul holmgren.. they have made a huge difference to philly.. the kings got fleeced in that trade.. scott hartnell claude giroux and jaromir jagr will dominate this series..
the pens and flyers are gonna grind this series out.. there will be blood.. lost teeth.. line brawls.. dirty hits.. stellar goal scoring.. there will OT.. maybe multiple overtimes in more that a few games..
we will get to see if sid-the-kid is really back.. can the malkin-neal-kunitz line deliver in the post season like they did in the regular season? does malkin go quiet if the series begins to revolve around crosby on and off the ice? no chris pronger for the flyers is gonna be huge.. his experience in the post season is immeasurable.. theyve managed ok w/o him so far.. but the second season is a horse of a whole other story..
this is the series to watch for sure.. its gonna go 7 games.. the pens would do well to wrap it up in six.. but itll go all seven.. an epic game seven to be sure as the flyers have owned the penguins at consol all season..
pittsburgh in 7