First Round Predictions
1. Boston vs 8. Montreal
There’s a reason these two teams are far apart in the standings. The Bruins are the most complete team in the Eastern Conference, and won 5-of-6 games against the Canadiens this season. It’s going to be a quick series — Bruins in 4
2. Washington vs 7. New York
Very intriguing series. Will Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals take the next step like Sidney Crosby and the Penguins did last year in their 2nd playoff appearance?
Despite New York struggling to score goals, they have the #1 penalty kill in the league and Henrik Lundqvist can steal this series. I am not a believer in Jose Theodore
Washington is the better team but I’m going with — Rangers in 7
3. New Jersey vs 6. Carolina
The Devils struggled down the stretch just like they did last year. The result was a first round exit at the hands of the Rangers.
Will history repeat itself? — Hurricanes in 6
1. San Jose vs 8. Anaheim
The Sharks are playoff under-achievers but they won’t have any problems against the Ducks. — Sharks in 5
2. Detroit – 7. Columbus
Both teams know each other very well and the Redwings have an advantage in every category expect goaltending. Chris Osgood is a major questionmark heading into the playoffs.
Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason will cause the Wings problems and has the ability to steal a few games.
The downfall of the Jackets will be their blueline as they don’t have enough depth to shutdown the Wings firepower upfront. — Red Wings in 6
3. Vancouver vs 6. St. Louis
The St. Louis Blues are a great story as no one expected them to make the playoffs after the bulk of injuries they suffered to key players.
They are 21-7-6 in their last 34 games and could get a much needed boost with the return of Paul Kariya who could play in game 2.
The Canucks have been even better going 23-7-2 since February 1st. Vancouver is the better team but it’s going to be a tough series that will go 7 games — Canucks in 7
4. Chicago vs 5. Calgary
After the addition of Olli Jokinen at the trade deadline, the Flames were being regarded as a team that could over-take the Sharks or RedWings in the West.
How things have changed in the last 5 weeks
The Blackhawks have reached the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Not a good sign for the Flames who were Flames were 2-9 in their last 11 road games. It’s going to be difficult to steal a game at the United Center. — Blackhawks in 6