Finally! The best time of the year. For those of you who would like to know just how little I know about hockey, here is your chance. Without further ado, my playoff predictions:
Montreal vs Boston:
It's about time this great rivalry got going again isn't it? I'll admit, I didn't think Boston would make it but here they are. They will be really hurt by Savard not being available. Montreal on the other hand could be without their captain Koivu. I don't think that will hurt them very much, and I think Carey Price is the real deal. No playoff meltdown here. Habs in 5.
Pittsburgh vs Ottawa:
Ottawa nearly had the most historic collapse of all time. Don't look for them to do any better in the first round. Alfredsson will be out, which only means he won't have an opportunity to choke. Martin Gerber on the other hand will have multiple opportunities to choke. The Penguins firepower will be too much for Ottawa to handle. Crosby, Malkin, Malone, Stall and yes, even Hossa. I look for the Pens to put the puck in the net, and do it often. Pens in 6.
Washington vs Philadelphia:
The Caps come in to the playoffs the hottest team in the East. I think they have the fourth most points in the NHL since Boudreau took over (for those of you who HAVE to know the numbers you can look it up on your own). Ovie will SHINE in the postseason. Huet has been great. And if he falters they have Olie The Goalie to fall back on. This could be the year the Caps put their postseason blues behind them. As you can see, I don't think much of the Flyers. Caps in 6.
New Jersey vs New York:
Two great goaltenders. That is what the playoffs is all about. I don't think the Devils will score enough to win this series. Plain and simple. The Rangers could make some serious noise in the playoffs, especially with the East as wide open as it is. And they have some guy named Chris Drury. I hear he is pretty good in the clutch. Rangers in 6.
Detroit vs Nashville:
What a job by Nashville to make it to the playoffs. Unfortunately, they have to play the Wings again. I think this is the 4th year in a row the Preds have made it, and haven't won a round yet. The Wings have some holes, but I don't think Nashville is the team to expose them. I'm not high on the Red Wings, but I think they will hang in there for at least one round. Wings in 6.
San Jose vs Calgary:
Best matchup of the first round. San Jose was my preseason pick to win it all. And it looks like they are peaking at the right time. They have the scoring, defense and goaltending to do it all. And I think they are tough enough. The Flames are built for the playoffs, and any team that beats them will have to earn it. The battle of Kipper and Nabby will be awesome! I look for this to be an absolute classic first round match. Sharks in 7.
Minnesota vs Colorado:
The Wild have the playoff toughness to win, but for some reason I just can't fall in love with them. Backstrom will have to prove himself. As will their offense. The Avs on the other hand could be the most interesting team in the playoffs. Can Forsberg stay healthy enough to make an impact? Will Theodore recapture some of his old magic? If he can the Avs could be in it for the long haul. Avs in 6.
Anaheim vs Dallas:
I hate the Stars have I ever mentioned that? There is nothing more that I enjoy than watching them suffer, and I couldn't be happier that they drew the Ducks in the first round. They could very well repeat as Champs. I look for them to steam roll the Stars. Huge checks, tough D and timely goaltending. Ducks in 4.
For The Blueland Chronicle, I'm Big Shooter.