PLAYOFF PICTURE Eastern Conference

Here’s the top 8, the matchups, and material for debate on who will win the series.


EASTERN CONFERENCE

1 Montreal 104
2 Pittsburgh 102
3 Washington 94
4 New Jersey 99
5 NYR 97
6 Philadelphia 95
7 Ottawa 94
8 Boston 94

Montreal and Boston

Montreal in 5. Habs have simply too much skill, too much grit, an overpowering offence and creative defence style that isn’t boring or stuffy but effective and flowing. They are a pleasure to watch, and should overtake the bruins easily, especially with the crop of injuries Boston is facing. O yeah, and arnt the Habs something like 23-7 against Boston in the postseason? Habs in 5

Pittsburgh and Ottawa

Pittsburgh got a nice matchup here, as Ottawa has been freefalling for the better part of 40 games. With Alf and Fisher down, that won’t help them shut-down the Pens top scorers. Gerber has looked very beatable and can’t seem to hang on to the first shot. And don’t even thing about tossing Emery the cancer in net.
If Fleury can be the goalie he has been of late, the pens should minimize Healtly and Spezza, and have plenty of opportunities to bury a shaky team.
Pittsburgh in 6

Washington and Philadelphia

Of course the stupid NHL system which hands the leader of each division a top 3 slot helped out the Caps with home ice. If not for that, I would call them the underdog. This one looks to be a physical matchup with plenty of potential for bad blood. The Caps still seem too young and inexperianced to go deep, but I predict Huet can match Biron in met, and is AO is still AO, Washington won’t go down easily.
I say the home ice makes the difference, look for the Caps in 7.

NJ and NYR

Goaltenders battle – one of the NHL’s finest will be eliminated in round 1. Marty is still a wonder in net, and Lundqvist has become the next great youngster with all the marks of franchise on him. Rangers Defence has held up admirable over the season, to the suprise of many including myself. Rangers have the advantage in leadership and firepower up front, with vets like Drury, Jagr, Shanahan and co. Dubinsky has become a PP specialist. Special teams may be the difference in this matchup, I call for the Rangers in 6.


189 Responses to PLAYOFF PICTURE Eastern Conference

  1. flyav says:

    Montreal is the only team that scares me in the East as a Flyers fan.  A series between those two would come down to speed and the transition game, and that worries me looking at the season series.

    Don't listen to Bru hes just jealous because the Flyers are the second hottest team in the East right now.  Plus they dominated the pens in the season series, are the only team with 7 20+ goal scorers and the most scoring from players under 25.

    Too bad when Malkin starts making more money than Crosby, they will end up like the Lightning without the cup

  2. HABSSTAR says:

    So what you want to avoid is playoff hockey!  Philly is in Pitts head.  I'm sure it's been talked about enough but it says volumes about the Pens that they tanked that last game to avoid Philly.  If I was a Pens fan I'd be seriously doubting what my team was made of that they'd go to that length to avoid a team. 

  3. flyav says:

    Now I know what hit your talking about, someone needs to post a Vid cause we have different opinions and arguing is not going to go anywhere

    I don't know what your talking about in regards to Richards, because he did Tie and Win some key games down the stretch for us with some timely goals.  And he does so much more.  But since you obviously you only watched the Flyers maybe 8 times this yr Im not going to even bother.

    And now I understand why all you Pens fans stand up for Crosby, and I quote you "I thought the Gonchar play was good because it was Hartnell"  So obviously according to your logic you think the refs should call penalties differently depending on what players are involved.  If Crosby get inadvertently tapped and falls down thats a penalty because its Crosby, but if someone takes a baseball swing at Sean Avery thats not a penalty because no one likes Avery.

    As for your evidence for the Flyers diving too, Downie was nailed face first into the boards of course he was down on the ice for a few seconds.  It hurts a heck of a lot more than getting your hand slashed, and yes I do play hockey and have had that happen to me and it hurt, but I only shook my hand around and yelled I didn't lie down on the ice and start crying.
    As for whether or not he had a concussion or not he obviously didn't but I didn't realize the league required the results of a CAT scan before they hand out penalties.  And I applaud him for coming back later in the game and fighting, thats called standing up for yourself and thats what the league desperately needs more of, because trust me if they get rid of the instigation penalty the amount of cheap shots will go down.

    Finally I don't think my team is spotless or has no room for improvement.  What Downie did at the start of the yr was retarded and what Boulerice did was inexcusable.   Plus there a few Pens I would love to add to the Flyers: Malkin, Hossa (even though he has hasn't done much recently).  I just have no respect for players who are always complaining for penalties, and yes on occasion the Flyers complain and I don't like it when they do.  But it just seems like Crosby is doing it on every shift.

  4. jayhabsjay says:

    you and bru both have good ideas. although im not a fan of crosby, he and ovechkin are the face of the nhl. a slight lead going to sid though. i personally like the idea of the cup winning captain but either would be good. 

  5. Radio says:

    It's all laid out before us:

    Crosby is not 100%.
    Hossa is a ghost in the post-season.
    Malkin has only had minimal success vs the Sens.
    Pens D cannot contain Heater and Spezza.

    And of course the two-and-a-half words that will truly be the Pens undoing:

    Marc-Andre Fleury. 

  6. Radio says:

    Countdown to you being proven wrong, 13 days.

  7. caliplayr21 says:

    The reason I say it's because it's Hartnell is because he got hot headed for no reason. He was head hunting.  If he would have waited for a clean hit, fine. Plus, he could be really good anyways.  His goal last Wed was nice. And as for Richards, I like him too. He's one of a few Fleyrs I like to see. 

    I wish I could watch more NHL games but I can't afford it.  I do get CSN but Flyers games are blacked out.  But I stick up for Sid becasue he never cried about anything.  He plays hard every shift.  Everyone else thinks he dives and complains because its in the news alot. You'd have to watch every game to appreciate how he plays.  I'm never gonna say he doesn't embellish, i know he has.  But alot of players do.  And for Downie, he should be a little bit smarter about how to stand by the boards, especially with a player like Laraque (which I thought should have been suspended for that hit).

    And when Sid gets hit, it's usually a good play.  I hate when home fans (Pens) boo when he or Malkin get hit in the slot trying to make a move when it was a good defensive play. Maybe they should stop trying to be so pretty. 

    I'm just trying to say that Sid doesn't complain alot, and not nearly as much as he did in his rookie year. It's an old profile.

  8. Radio says:

    They also predicted the Habs wouldn’t make the playoffs from the begining of the season.

    I wouldn’t put too much weight on that opinion.

  9. Radio says:

    I vote for Crosby with a leg brace on.

  10. senators101 says:

    Don't bother man.  If the Pens do it (cheap shots), its cuz the other team deserved it. If the other team does it, there's a bunch of missed calls he's complaining about.  His logic is so one-sided, it's unbelievable. 

    He is surely one *****y Pens fan.  Anyone who predicts Ottawa will win the series, he comments on it asking them if they are serious.  I don't think Ottawa will win, but for a team that knocked them out in 5 and handled them like it was a pee wee team last year, I'd give the sens a little more respect than that.

  11. BruMagnus says:

    Given how close the points in the East were, I'd say they'd have been in with the Canes, Caps, Flyers and Bruins there (and Sens at the end).

    Regardless, they certainly would NOT have won the Atlantic for the first time ever without Malkin and been fighting for 1st in the East all 2008.

  12. BruMagnus says:

    Whether they actually went out to tank, or were disinterested is debatable. The comments from Therrien seem to be he was pretty pissed off at their performance, and guys like Staal are mad they didn't win the East after their year.

    I just thought hockey_lover gave a totally unique, interesting post. There are always two sides to a coin. Even I could be wrong.

  13. BruMagnus says:

    In fact it's the Pens and Habs.

    How are those 10 straight losses feeling now?

    How about 8-0 last year?

    hahaha

  14. BruMagnus says:

    Since you apparently want to dwell on last year, maybe I should bring up how the Pens beat the Flyers in ALL 8 games last year… or how the Flyers were DEAD LAST…  maybe we shoulda given them THAT respect in the Finale…. you know why things changed? BECAUSE TEAMS CHANGE! Even in one year!

    Sort it out.

    The Flyers are now better than the Sens, and the Sens were the best in the East last year and the Flyers the worst!!!

    What a difference one year can make!

  15. BruMagnus says:

    Exactly! Who ARE you compared to the Almighty Magnus!?

  16. BruMagnus says:

    It's not so much that we "fear" the team, it's that we are cautious about playing them knowing they WILL 100% take a dirty run or cheap shot, or head shot, or Bertuzzi or slash or something to our star players.
    We have Laraque, who can kill anyone in the NHL, even Derek Boogaard. But if the Flyers just turtle and cower as they have done (Cote aside), esp. pussies like Hartnell, there's not much we can do to protect our stars. We also have big Hal Gill to defend the team, but again the Flyers have no one to match him, so they don't and instead cheap shot the team.

    The reason the rivalry is so heated is clear. It's one of the best in the NHL and is a divisional rivalry. The Flyers would still punish other teams, but I think the Flyers and Penguins have the strongest hatred for each other out of all the other teams. What I mean is, the Pens hate the Flyers the most and vice versa. There's just bad bad BAD blood that would lead to bad bad BAD injuries.

    That's all it says. It's logical and cautious not to wanna get the shit kicked outta your star players while kicking the shit outta their star players in the first round. Neither team would succeed after that. Now, if it's the Conference Finals, by all means. But neither team would likely win in the Finals, unless the West had a similar shit kicking brouhaha.

  17. BruMagnus says:

    See above post.

    It's more that the Flyers are so cowardly that they won't own up to what they do. Guys like Laraque and Gill were looking to cream the idiot Hartnell's, but instead guys like Hartnell just turtle and cower and try to skate away unharmed like the ***** he is. It's sickening! Broad Street Bullies! hahah, not a chance! Instead, a guy like Laraque has to fight a Cote or some bum instead of getting to put a guy like Hartnell out of commission for the season, as he deserves. If a guy like Hartnell is gonna run Crosby, Malkin, Hossa, Staal, Fleury, Gonchar, etc. in the playoffs, he better believe Gill or Laraque WILL fight him ala Patrick Roy's son, whether he wants to face them or not. And he will be sent to the hospital, in an ambulance, mark my words.

  18. BruMagnus says:

    I didnt understand your comment.
    The Pens won 7-1. I dunno what's better: 6-0, 7-1 or 8-2 and which is the worst. Anyways, 8-0 last year, don't forget that.

    Laraque shoulda been suspended for that baseball dive on Biron.

  19. BruMagnus says:

    I was about to write this but knew you would.
    You took the words outta my mouth!

    Hartnell was totally head hunting for no reason, and then BACKED DOWN and cowered to the bench when Laraque and Gill approached him. I think he is the player I respect the least in the NHL now.

  20. BruMagnus says:

    caliplayr21 you cannot afford $150 a year for NHL center ice? or NHL center ice online?
    that's less than a $1 a day!!

  21. BruMagnus says:

    I don't necessarily disagree with that. But the Sens goaltending is what will cost them in the end.

  22. BruMagnus says:

    By the same logic there's no guarantee the Habs will beat the Bruins.

  23. BruMagnus says:

    Agreed! Just to show how TOUGH this kid is!

    Let's not forget he played on a BROKEN FOOT all last playoffs and end of season and was still their leading scorer.

    This guy is the pure definition and epitome, the zenith if you would, of grit and passion!

  24. BruMagnus says:

    Explain to me how the Rangers and Penguins are the Conference Leaders?
    Or how the Sharks are to reach the Finals, for that matter.

  25. senators101 says:

    And the Sens record against you guys in the season THIS year was 3-0-1.  What's your point? Of course teams change, and the flyers are better than last year.  But you have waaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on your hands if you can go to every person that says Ottawa will win and disagree with them.  They're fu*king opinions… not results…. I disagree with a lot of people here on some of the other series.. and I'm sure many other people do as well.  They don't all read each person's predictions and comment on them… I've got nothing to sort out; you, on the other hand, do.

  26. flyav says:

    In fact its not, from Mar 18th the Pens were 6-3-1 and the Flyers were 7-1-1 giving them more wins in less games

    Those 10 straight losses really did hurt.  We could have had home ice if we won even half of those.  I am not saying it all had to due with injuries but we had some key ones which didn't help.

    As for last yr what does that have to do with this yr.  Don't make me bring up stats from the 90s/early 00s or better yet the lifetime series 

  27. flyav says:

    Gonchar had a big hit on him earlier on the same shift.  Hartnell came over to hit him back.  It wasn't head hunting it would of been entirely clean if Gonchar wasn't so scared that he had to hit him in the head with his stick.

  28. HABSSTAR says:

    OK but the exact same could be said about Kovalev with the Habs….so does that put him back in the running??? 

  29. HABSSTAR says:

    Ok, they picked SJ and Detroit #1 and 2 in the West – conference leaders
    They then picked Pittsburgh #2 in the East…one of the conference leaders and seriously should have won the conference had they not pussed out and tanked the last game. 

    I don't have to explain NY because I covered that in my previous post that occasionally they will go off the map a bit and pick someone else. 

    I stand by my comments, I think the experts are no more expert than the guys on this site or any other site like it.  They might as well pick names out of a hat! 

    Detroit will lose early in the playoffs as they usually do, and they've been picking SJ for years now.  I guess at some point they will be right…eventually.  I just expected a bit more creativity and reason behind their picks.  

  30. habsrock99 says:

    Oh yeah I know. I firmly believe the Habs are going into the series over-confident(as are 99% of the fans) and I believe the Bruins are going to come out gunning in Game 1 and will likely catch us off guard. Not to mention that the Habs have been average overall at Home this year while being the 2nd or 3rd best Road team in the NHL. What many forget is that we upset the Bruins twice in 3 years while being the 8th seed and them being the 1st, including an improbable come from behind Series win in 2004.

  31. Radio says:

    He's also the best diver this side of Peter Forsberg!

  32. BruMagnus says:

    No, because you can say that moreso for guys like Thornton, Iginla, Gaborik, Mike Richards, etc.

    Don't forget, by your own arguments, the Habs are a deep team that scored the MOST goals in the League (or East).

    What Malkin did was SINGLE-HANDEDLY save the team. The Habs was more a team game, which was obvious since they lacked any injuries all year.

  33. BruMagnus says:

    Sorry, I didn't know you actually meant hottest as in the last 10 games specifically. You didn't specify 10 games or what the hottest meant. I assumed more than a measly 10 games. After all, even with your 10 straight losses, I wouldn't say you were the worst team in 2008.

  34. BruMagnus says:

    The reason I ask them (there were only about 3 people who did it) was because they are ALL Habs fans trying to get under my skin. They don't actually believe it but are soooo afraid of the Pens that they need to try to feel better about themselves.

    Unlike me who am confident in my team, I actually told guys like Habs_PM not to worry because the Habs will roll the Bruins.

    4-0 today. Sens looked worse than the Pens did last playoffs!

  35. BruMagnus says:

    Are you talking about Ovechkin again? The guy who got a diving penalty?
    Or about some fictional thing you imagined, because last time I checked Crosby had 0 diving penalties this year… and I believe last year as well!

  36. BruMagnus says:

    You are right that they are no experts. That's why they have a damned monkey making picks!

    I've had a better prediction rate than they have for 7 years running now… maybe they should look into hiring me?

    Conference Leader means Conference Leader. Only the 1st place team. You didn't say division leaders.

  37. MTL_HABS_24 says:

    3 for 4, in my opinion.  Bruins in 7 is simply wishful thinking and/or a serious lack of hockey knowledge, but whatever floats your boat.

  38. Radio says:

    Crosby 3:1 penalty drawing is not a badge of honour y'know. It has negative implications when you consider that the no.10 Draw is 2:1.

  39. BruMagnus says:

    Talk about stupidity!

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