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First Round Predictions!
Posted By Shane Hoopfer On Apr 12 2011 @ 10:14 pm In NHL | 2 Comments
The Champ is here! Oh wait I think someone else has that tag line already. Regardless your defending Pro Sports Blogging and Stillnoname.com playoff predictions champion is here to tell you who is going to win. Who is going to lose. And why backing up my record of 12-3 in 2009 and 11-4 in 2010! Lets get right down to it in the Eastern Conference.
Washington Capitals (1) vs New York Rangers (8)
You are going to have a really tough time convincing me that the New York Rangers can match up anywhere on the ice with the Capitals other than between the pipes. I do think Henrik Lundqvist can steal a game or two in this series but he won’t be able to hold off the Caps long enough. I expect Ovechkin to have a huge series here.
Washington in 6
Philadelphia Flyers (2) vs Buffalo Sabres (7)
I really, really, really want to pick the Sabres to win this series but I can’t. Philly is just too deep and Chris Pronger will be back sooner rather than later and that makes the biggest difference in this series. Buffalo is going to put up a heck of a fight but it just won’t be enough.
Philadelphia in 7
Boston Bruins (3) vs Montreal Canadiens (6)
I don’t think I have picked a Canadiens series correct since 1989 so Montreal fans should be thrilled with my pick. I just don’t see how the Canadiens are going to be able to push their way through the Bruins to get enough quality chances on Tim Thomas who just put up the best save percentage for a season ever. Chara will be a monster. This is easy.
Boston in 5
Pittsburgh Penguins (4) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (5)
I’ve had a lot of trouble deciding who I think is going to win this series. This looks like it could be a great match-up and a fantastic series. Offensively the Bolts have the edge until some guy named Sid decides to return which could be soon if he’s needed. The Penguins have a far superior defense, and I think the Penguins have a slight edge in net and that to me is the deciding factor.
Pittsburgh in 7
I think the Western Conference is so much harder to pick than the Eastern Conference because any team in the West could give the Capitals a run for their money and probably beat them. But picks need to be made so here we go!
Vancouver Canucks (1) vs Chicago Black Hawks (8)
God I hate the Canucks! Almost as much as I hate that stupid Chelsea’s Dagger song in Chicago. Lets be blunt Vancouver is better than Chicago everywhere on the ice except perhaps with the captains. Chicago lost all their depth this off season must importantly some large fellow named Byfuglien to Atlanta. Without the big man to cause Roberto Luongo a continuous nightmare I don’t see the Hawks doing much of anything.
Vancouver in 5
San Jose Sharks (2) vs Los Angeles Kings (7)
What a great series this was going to be until Anze Kopitar went down with his broken ankle for the Kings. San Jose is rolling at the right time, and even though I think the Kings have the edge in goal between Quick and Niemi I don’t think the Kings can match up anywhere else right now.
San Jose in 5
Detroit Red Wings (3) vs Phoenix Coyotes (6)
Detroit is deeper than Phoenix. Detroit has more playoff experience than Phoenix. Detroit may have home ice advantage in all seven games over Phoenix in this series. So this should be easy right? Oh hell no! Phoenix has two things. The best coach in the league in Dave Tippett and they have an all world goaltender in Ilya Bryzgalov. I think Coach Tippett will have a game plan but Bryzgalov will have to have the series of his life for the Coyotes to win.
Detroit in 6
Anaheim Ducks (4) vs Nashville Predators (5)
I will be watching every minute of this series that I possibly can! This series will be a knock ‘em down, drag ‘em out, all out war! Anaheim has the better top end scoring. The Predators have better depth up front. Nashville has the best defense pair. Anaheim’s D may be a little deeper. It comes down to Pekka Rinne vs whoever Anaheim throws into the net as they have a bunch of solid goaltenders. I think this is finally the year though.
Nashville in 7
Not a lot in the way of upset picks this year around but I call them as I see them. Keep an eye on the PHI/BUF series in the East and the ANA/NSH series in the West. Both should be barn burners!
Check back to see how I did and for my round 2 predictions!
Follow me on twitter! @shanehoopfer
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