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The NHL Playoffs: My Picks

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I don’t do college basketball, though I paid more attention to it this year than I have before. I’m a hockey guy, and even though the cable deal the league got with OLN assured me of rarely getting to watch the game on TV, I paid attention this season. Now it’s playoff time, and it’s time for my predictions:

In the East:

Rangers/Devils: I don’t like either team, but I REALLY don’t like Jersey. I’d love to pick New York, but I don’t see the Devils dropping this one. My pick: Jersey in six.

Lightning/Senators: Tampa is starting off on the road, and they are expected to lose to the Sens. If I were a gambling man, I’d take the Lightning just because of the odds, but I wouldn’t spend much. My pick: Ottawa in five.

Hurricanes/Canadiens: This is the series everyone is looking forward to — high-speed hockey. I think that every game will be high-scoring, but in the end, there can only be one. My pick: Carolina in 7.

Sabres/Flyers: My sister is a Flyers fan, even though she lives in Tampa now. That makes me really want the Flyers to win. But she’s had a good run in fantasy hockey this year — she won the BHL championship, and smoked me the last time we played — so she can handle a little disappointment. My pick: Buffalo in six.

In the West:

Red Wings/Oilers: This one’s almost a gimmie. The Wings are the most consistent team in the NHL right now, while Edmondton is streaky. The Wings can win on the road. And I don’t care what ESPN says, the Legace/Osgood goalie tandem is great. Yzerman is hot right now. My pick: Detroit in five, maybe four.

Stars/Avalanche: Dallas has the advantage in goal with Marty Turco, Mike Modano is on a roll, and they’re probably the easiest team to underestimate in the NHL. I like Colorado, but … My pick: Dallas in five.

Mighty Ducks/Flames: If you’re looking for an upset, this is the place to do it. The Ducks have been steadily improving in the latter half of the season, Teemu Selanne is healthy this year, and they’ve got a bumper crop of rookie talent. The big question is whether they can beat Kiprusof, who has been key in the goal for Calgary. My pick: Anaheim in seven, in a close one.

Sharks/Predators: The Predators are the favorite in this one, but they’re hurting. Vokoun is missing in the net, Zidlicky and Sullivan are missing and presumed gone for the season. They DO have a rapidly improving replacement goalie in Chris Mason, but is that going to be enough against Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo? I’m not so sure… My pick: San Jose in six, maybe seven.

So there you have it. Argue away — after all, if I knew it all, my sister wouldn’t have smoked me a few weeks back, and my team would have been better than fifth in the BHL this season.

About Warren Kelly

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    As long as the refs only count goals that go through the front of the net and not the side, I agree with your Sabres assessment.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    The Devils have won 10 in a row…they will win this round easily on momentum alone…

    Ottawa has been playing lousy lately, winning only 3 of their last ten…if their goaltending doesn’t get better ASAP, Tampa is going to advance…

    The ‘Canes should have little problem with Montreal…

    Buffalo will take out the Flyers in 5…

    The Red Wings are going to destroy Edmonton in 5…

    Dallas over the hated Avalanche in 6…

    Calgary’s goaltending will get them into the 2nd round…

    San Jose is one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now…they’ll win in 7…

  • Steve Moore

    I want to post my predictions see if anyone can agree

    Ranger / Devils – I have to think Brodeur will come up big. Jersey is playing well, Rangers are struggling. Jersey in 6.

    Lightning / Senators – This one could be a high scoring series, depending on Tampa’s two top lines. If they struggle, this series is over before it starts, if not could be an upset in the making depending on Emery in goal and Ottawa’s struggling defense of late. Ottawa in 6

    Hurricanes / Canadiens – Both teams are fast, and can put the puck in the net. I like the Canadians in this one. Just can’t see Gerber playing better then Huet – Habs in 7

    Sabres / Flyers – Can Philly overcome an unhealthy Forsberg? Me thinks not.
    Sabres in 5

    Wings / Oilers – Alot of people have this one picked already. Detroit being the most consistent team this season…only because they played St Louis, Columbus and Chicago. Were 2 – 2 against Edmonton this year. This is my upset in Edmonton can get some goaltending. Oilers in 7

    Dallas / Avalanche – Turco over a struggling Theodore in goal. Modano resurging is a huge boost on the scoresheet and in the locker room. Stars in 6

    Anaheim / Calgary – Can a soaring Anaheim be contained by a strong Calgary defense? Great mix of players and scoring on Anaheim. Selanna is back and flying. Give the edge in goal to Kipper. Series could go either way, but I like the Flames in grinding 7 if the offense can get going.

    Sharks / Predators – Vokoun gone, Zydlicky ad Sullivan as well. Thorton and Cheechoo won’t be contained. Should be a walk for the sharks. Sharks in 5.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    You picked Edmonton over the Wings? Are you crazy?

    I’d be willing to put big bucks on the Wings winning this series, in 6 or less…

  • Rob

    Seems like I’m in the minority, but I think Edmonton can pull off an upset. Detroit’s on a roll, but they played 24 games in total against St. Louis, Chicago and Columbus this season, bloating their season stats. They also have Datsuk, Lang and Zetterberg, who seem to slow down in the playoffs and are missing McCarty for this run. I don’t know if Shanahan, Yzerman and Lidstrom can pull this one off?
    I like Calgary or Dallas coming out of the West and Ottawa or New Jersey coming out of the East.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Let’s go NorthStars (clap clap clapclapclap)

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Wings 1, Oilers 0 ;)

  • http://pewview.mu.nu Warren

    The Avs and Nashville are trying to make me look bad! I’m a little worried about my Dallas pick — watched them play against Columbus in the final regular season game and they looked flat. Figured the key players were resting or something, but after that 5-2 loss I’m wondering.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Aw, it’s a 7-game series. Don’t sweat until they’re down 2-0.

    … are they down 2-0?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Wings 1, Oilers 1

    Grrr…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Well, fuck.

    Oilers up 2-1, in Double OT…

  • http://pewview.mu.nu Warren

    I have to say I’ve been impressed with Edmonton lately. I don’t think they’ll take the series, but they are certainly making things interesting.

  • http://pewview.mu.nu Warren

    Well, it’s looking like Jersey is going to ice things this afternoon — the Rangers haven’t been much of achallenge this series, seems to me. Dallas woke up and actually won a game, and Philly is trying to make things interesting.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Oilers 3, Wings 2…

    Devils swept the Rangers…

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Oh noes, the Wings are on the brink of elimination

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Fuckin’ Red Wings…every year, they kick everyone’s ass in the regular season, and then they completely choke in the playoffs against an inferior team…WTF?

  • Ontario dude

    I really couldn’t believe all the people who just assumed the Wings would throttle the Oilers in 4 or 5 games without trying. The season series was tied. Every game was close – three in OT/SO.
    The Oilers are not as bad as their record indicates… they spent 63 games playing with goalies who had an .880 save percentage BY FAR the worst in the NHL. The team can skate with any team in the league and they have a fabulous checking line. I picked the Wings in 6 or 7 myself, because despite being an Oilers fan, i’m a realist. But I always believed the Oil could win it if Roloson played very well.

    The team has a lot of grit and character and two lines that can score (did anyone know they had 7 players with 18 or more goals? They make lack a superstar on offense, but balance can win playoff games)

    The Oil also rather notoriously finished below .500 against the ten worst teams in the league. They simply didn’t bring it against bad team and consistently gave good teams fits. That’s not the sign of a bad team, it’s the sign of a very good team that needs to have something to get their act together for.

  • http://secondvibe.blogspot.com Q Bit

    Go Flames!

    RJ u r just having a bad time – the Oilers r good!

  • http://pewview.mu.nu Warren

    Congrats to the Avs, the Devils, and the Sens so far. Looks like I’m 2-1 in my picks (though if the Oilers can keep bringing their A game, I may drop to 2-2).

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Weird stat:

    The top 4 seeds all won in the Eastern Conference…and the top 4 seeds all LOST in the Western Conference…discuss amongst yourself…