Come on people, it's 2 weeks until the Playoffs!!!

Where the heck is the article about this!?!?!? I did my Oilers article the other night, and I’m not going to lie, it’s because I’m pumped that they look like they’ll make it (knock on wood). But how are we all not pumped as can be that the playoffs are just 2 weeks away. 2 weeks from today, we’ll be beeking each other back and forth over who will take out who, and in how many games, and who will go all the way. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” That isn’t just a Christmas song you know! So let’s look at who will finish where.

In the West…….


2)San Jose








10)Los Angeles

Now, for those of you who did read my article the other day, I had San Jose and Dallas flipped. Defintly still could happen, but San Jose came back with a big win vs the Wings last night to move 3 up on Dallas having played the same amount of games. Add to this Zubov’s injury last night(which no one seems to know about, can’t be good news for Stars fans). I think we’ll know for sure by Monday, and whoever wins the game on Sunday will have an excellent shot to win the divison. The game is in San Jose, and San Jose gets LA twice(who they seem to own lately), Calgary and Vancouver at home(both in slumps)and Phoenix on the road. As for Colorado…..up 2 on Chicago headed to the 3rd you must win that game. I know you don’t think it means much, but it does. Now San Jose is tied with them. Back to back vs Detroit(not easy), and Nashville the final day of the year will be difficult as well. Trust me, Colorado probably would love to get the Canucks in the 1st round, but want no part of Calgary. Calgary has played them very tough this season, are bigger, tougher, and have a great allbiet unproven goaltender. Dallas is rolling, and I’m really looking at them to go to the Conference finals. But who really knows with the way this season has gone! Edmonton is scorching and I wouldn’t look for them to cool off anytime soon(knock on wood), they’ll finish 7th, maybe 6th if Calgary continues to slide(who would have thought that was possible a month ago!?!?). St.Louis and Nashville will go down to the last day for 8th. St.Louis on paper has the inside track to 7th really(easier then Edmonton too), but this team lacks desire(in my eyes). I think they’ll slip up in one of there easier games, and will lose to Edmonton and Nashville. Los Angeles has simply run out of gas and luck. They deserved a better fate Monday night vs the Oilers and it just didn’t happen. With 2 more games vs the Sharks, and games in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Colorado, they’re done.

Having said all that, I still didn’t touch on Detroit. I think they’re locked in 1st in the Conference, and probably overall, but man do they have problems right now! As I write this, we don’t have any word on Cujo and his injury in warm ups tonight. Lang has broken ribs, Draper has the shoulder injury, Hatcher I don’t believe will be 100% the rest of the year, and Chelios and Yzerman are injury prone(although Yzerman has impressed me all season). Bottom line here is…..there is no clear cut favorite in the West, but I think it will be one of Detroit, Dallas, or Colorado comming out of it.

Now on to the East…….

1)Tampa Bay




5)New Jersey



8)NY Islanders


I said this before, I’ll say it again, I think Tampa is due to get upset this year. It’s the first year that they’re looked at as a hardcore favorite, and the Isles have been tough the last 2 years in the playoffs. Last year they ran into a phenominal Ottawa team, and they nearly knocked out the Leafs the year before that. Add that to the fact that they’ve beaten up on Tampa this year(from what I hear). Boston improved there team the best at the deadline if you ask me because they got exactly what they needed. They’re on fire(of course last night was thanks to Patty Lalime), and will make a strong push for there 2nd Eastern crown in 3 years. Philly just seems to stay consistant, and they’ll win the divison and finish 3rd. Toronto seems to be cemented in 4th, and I think Ottawa will slide to 6th. I know from extremely good sources that this team believes they can just push the playoff button and they’ll be fine. I hope for there sake that Lalime is the one that pushes it! I know Montreal is hot, and my buddy Lint gets mad when I say this, but I don’t think they’ll get out of 7th. Then again, they could be the one, not Jersey, that gets T.O in the first round(how sweet would that be???).

So that is how I think it will end up. Some of it is HOPING that’s how it will end up. Nashville/Detroit would be outstanding. Edmonton would have an excellent chance to knock out San Jose. Colorado vs Vancouver…..need I say more? Calgary vs………let’s just be glad they’re here!!! Ottawa vs Philly, you all know about that one. Boston vs Montreal, same thing.

But the bottom line in this article is I’m stoked!!! No real favorite, the East and West look equal, 6 Canadian teams, no real big threat of a Anaheim/Minnesota type of team…… has potential to be one of the best playoffs of all time! Let me know what you think people!!! Blues fans, Sabres fans, Kings fans, I’m sorry. Everyone else, tell me how your team is going to do, I wanna know! Get pumped people, it’s playoff time!!!!!!!!!

67 Responses to Come on people, it's 2 weeks until the Playoffs!!!

  1. LeafsFan_1710 says:

    Stupid Montreal fan, what makes you think that the Habs, who have no toughness or size up front, can beat a team like New Jersey or Philadelphia. Shear size would kill the habs. I would love to see a Toronto/Montreal series, it would be pure mayhem in both cities.

    The only team I can see Montreal upseting is Boston. They are playing too well right now and are due for a slump. It will come in the first round, especially if they play the Leafs.

    And as for Ottawa, they do not have the heart or toughness to win the east. They have proven time and again. And I don’t wanna here they came within a goal last year, bottom line, they lost. Nevertheless, they can prove me wrong because I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually do win the east. But sorry bud, I don’t think Montreal has what it takes. They shoule have picked up what they needed, a power forward, not Kovalev, that it just more of what they have, skill.

    My pick:

    Toronto, depending on Eddie.

  2. mattf says:

    st. louis was never a serious contender? are you on crack?

  3. TC_4 says:

    You gotta love how the refs think too. “Well, he didn’t pull TOO hard on him” or “well, it was a hook that prevented a goal, so good defensive play” or “Well, Moore gave Naslund a cheap shot…………………….”

  4. TC_4 says:

    The problem is, they could have an unbelieveable power house right now had they not done that deal with Florida. Take away DiPietro, Parrish and Kavasha, and put in Luongo, Heatley, and Jokinen. Not bad, I THINK I would do that trade!!!

  5. TC_4 says:

    I know I know!

  6. TC_4 says:

    I have. If the injury to Cujo is serious you think they could convince Dominik to come back??? Word had it a few weeks back he’s not as injured as he’s let on.

  7. Bubblenuts says:

    “So before you start saying stuff like Raycroft has proven himself more than Esche, come up with some evidence to support that cuz the numbers don’t prove that at all.”

    You don’t think playing 16 games less than Raycroft has any bearing on Eshe’s numbers?

  8. Bubblenuts says:

    I guess it would depend on how his legs will hold up, running from the law can tire a man out.

  9. cgolding says:

    erm… gaa and sv% are statistical averages and thus have zero bearing on the number of games that someone has played assuming they’ve created a wealth of numbers to justify using them.

    the one thing you can look at and attack is that Raycroft has faced a lot more shots than Esche, but since sv% is an average, you cannot argue that his save percentage would go down if he had faced as many shots.

    this is completely avoiding the true idiocy of that question because Esche was excellent last year as well, prior to Checko taking over the starting role and him being benched for like 10 games at a time(which led to him getting lit up in his last few starts last year, skewing his statistical line). so in truth, he’s proven himself over the past two seasons, not just the one that Raycroft has under his belt.

    Once again, I think Raycroft is going to be an excellent goalie, but i also thought that Brian Boucher was going to be good based on how he played when he was first with the Flyers… that panned out well.

    Bubblenuts is a great name by the way.

    nevermind the bullox,


  10. cgolding says:

    Toronto can beat anyone… but I don’t think those old bodies can survive the playoff run to get out of the east. 37 is too old for the stanley cup playoffs, no matter how you slice it. Especially if they draw Boston in the first round that will be a tough physical series.

    And depending on Eddie is a BIG question considering 38 year old backs tend not to get much better playing every other night, and you don’t think teams are going to be running over him to tweak the thing? This is disregarding the fact that Toronto has struggled mightily with the better teams in the east this year… their last drubbing by the Lightning only one more example.

    The other reason you won’t win… Barry Melrose is a moron and he’s picking you.

    nevermind the bullox,


  11. cgolding says:

    hahaha… dominik hasek… only goalie to go from stanley cup champion to roller hockey goon… just too funny.


  12. JeffBurnz09 says:

    Actually stupid Dallas fan to be correct…

  13. HabsNick says:

    Stupid Leafs fans who’ve got barely no defense, old players, and a goalie with a wonky back who still think they’ll win the Cup year after year for the last 36 years or so.

    We’ll reach our 25th cup way before your team gets another one. It might not be this year, but it’ll come soon enough.

  14. HabsNick says:

    I can’t fight those numbers. I know Esche is a solid goalie and Philly won’t have to go shopping for a starter for years to come. But everybody tends to say rookies and young players are a question mark come playoff time, and I wonder if the coach will want to pick him over Burke to start in the playoffs. But that would be a big mistake, because, yes, Burke has been pretty horrible.

    My argument that Boston has better goaltending for these playoffs comes from them having Potvin who’s known to excel in spring, compared to Burke who has a losing record in spring.

    Esche and Raycroft might be putting up similar numbers this year, but i’m pretty confident that Raycroft will be better in the long run. Time could prove me wrong as you never know what’s gonna happen to a player.

    I can’t contest the fact that Philly has a very good team, i even said so in my first post. I give a slight edge to Boston though for the reasons above plus a gut feeling that Philly is outsted in the second round.

    Philly could make it to the finals though, but i have a gut feeling they wont and my money is still on Detroit winning it all no matter who they face.

    Again, time might prove me wrong.

  15. cgolding says:

    In my opinion the goalie situation is a dead-heat. And I’m more just tired of hearing about goalie question marks and whatever else. You gotta play to find out, and they’ve both played well and until they prove you wrong there is no reason to believe they will fail. Not to mention teams fail because of skaters in the playoffs usually, not because of goalies. The argument that a goalie is the reason the Flyers have choked is moronic for anyone that has watched those series, they’ve gone out early because their skaters don’t finish in front of the other teams net.

    I’m not sure you can make the argument that Boston is a better team in front of the net than Philly when we are healthy. They are both excellent teams, but the skaters for philly are so deep this year it’s amazing.




    Brashear(i wish it wasn’t so)-Lapointe-Somik/Sharp/Fedoruk



    Pitkanen-Malakhov/Timander(who has been very solid)

    with Primeau and Roenick both back, and Desjardins as well the Flyers can throw out an amazing group of skaters that matchup well with anyone. You got a big center? Take your pick, Handzus or Primeau to cover him? You got two(no one really does but us, unless you really want to count Antropov as a scary player) we got two.

    This is completely avoiding the fact that our third line will suddenly have a sniper on it, to go with the 1st and 2nd lines that have been on fire since trading for Zhamnov. Not to mention, as i’ve said before, the best coach in the East(if not the league). And your backup doesn’t matter in the playoffs. If you have to go with them, you in trouble simply because they will not have seen game action in some length of time. It simply hard to be a good backup goalie in the playoffs.

    This is all avoiding the fact that whoever gets into the 4/5 is gonna have a REAL problem getting out of the 2nd round. Which is what happened to us last year, we were just too banged up to take out Ottawa and we still pushed them to 6 games.

    I’ll match our skaters with anyone, and I’ll match our coach with anyone. I’d take a healthy Belfour(he’s not), hot Theodore, and Brodeur of course over Esche and no one else. Khabi has proven to lose series not win them through his career… and I see no difference between Esche and Raycroft.

    Flyers very well may lose in the 2nd round. But you can say that about ANYONE this year. The first round is a crap shoot for anyone 2nd seed down, and Islanders have been playing very well of late so the 1 seed isn’t a cake walk necessarily. Anyone can beat anyone. The simple truth is that the Flyers have been without their top dman since january and our two top centers since February and are somehow 1 point out of the top seed behind a team that has lost something like 14 man games…

    Detroit will not win the west, i’ll almost guarantee it. Their goaltending is a complete mess at the moment. They are VERY old. Colorado is deep and tough. Vancouver even without Bertuzzi can cause some problems, and Turco is capable of beating anyone. And that is disregarding San Jose who are playing very well at the moment as well. God help anyone that runs into Calgary as well. The cup playoffs are a Marathon, and I don’t care how good a player is, once your avg. age starts to climb it gets harder and harder. Which is why I really think teams like Toronto and Detroit will have problems with all those old bodies roaming the ice.

    nevermind the bullox,


  16. kidhenry1 says:

    Like I said, the Luongo deal was a mistake under any cir*****stances. He might be the best goalie in the NHL. But the deal doesn’t seem so lopsided with DiPietro playing so well.

    And you’re right, because Bates has been injured again recently, so he probably won’t see that much action in the playoffs.

  17. distance7 says:

    Well, when i think of a hook to prevent a goal I usually think it’s a “good penalty taken.” The refs now are just awful. I’ve never been so mad at a hockey game before. Let’s not get into the Naslund thing though…

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