Now that the matchups are set, I am gonna lay down my predictions for this years playoffs…..feel free to make your own as well, that’s the fun part!
1 Dallas Stars vs. 8 Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton is a very good, young team. However, even without Guerin, the Stars should dismantle the Oil machine. Stars in 6.
2 Detroit Red Wings vs. 7 Anaheim Mighty Ducks
Hmmm….possibly the best matchup for the Wings. The Ducks aren’t overly physical, which should benefit the Wings older players. In the previous 2 meetings in the playoffs, Detroit swept both times. With thier depth, I expect it to be Sweep #3. Red Wings in 4.
3 Colorado Avalanche vs. 6 Minnesota Wild
Quite possibly the most interesting matchup. Colorado couldn’t get it going for the longest time, and Minnesota wasn’t expected to be in the playoffs at the beginning of the year. Call me crazy, but I think Minnesota’s boring style could pull off the upset. Wild in 6.
4 Vancouver Canucks vs. 5 St. Louis Blues
The Canucks should’ve won thier division, plain and simple. The Blues don’t have the smarts to play well, or with class, when it counts. Stupid penalties will cost them, as the Canucks will take advantage. Canucks in 5.
1 Ottawa Senators vs. 8 New York Islanders
The return of Yashin….again. He will never live down his contract standoff, and the Sens are explosive. Without a clear-cut number one goalie, the Isles are doomed. Senators in 5.
2 New Jersey Devils vs. 7 Boston Bruins
The Bruins are getting alot of positive press these days, but really, they had alot of trouble locking up that playoff berth. With Broduer in net, I don’t see them pulling off the upset. Devils in 6.
3 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. 6 Washington Capitals
The Caps have the experience, the Lightning have the youthfull enthusiasm. Should be a great series…..great in terms of Southeast Division hockey. Capitals in 7.
4 Philadelphia Flyers vs. 5 Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs were major players at the deadline….unfortunately, thier acquisitions are dropping like flies. Belfour has played great, but, I think Hitchcock’s system and a great series by Roman Cechmanek lead the Flyers to Round Two. Flyers in 7.
1 Dallas Stars vs. 6 Minnesota Wild
Ah, another interesting series. I don’t think the Wild could pull off another upset though. The Stars, as said before, are just too strong for many teams to handle. Stars in 5.
2 Detroit Red Wings vs. 4 Vancouver Canucks
The re-match of last year’s opening round series. I think the Canucks made great strides this year, but, I still think they are a year away from making the big step forward. Red Wings in 7.
1 Ottawa Senators vs. 6 Washington Capitals
The Senators and Capitals……call it the battle of the lawmakers. Always remember that the Senate rules the capital, thus, I say Senators in 6.
2 New Jersey Devils vs. 4 Philadelphia Flyers
A great second round matchup and a throw back to the Wales Conference battles. I am a strong believer in the Flyers this year, and I think they keep motoring along. Flyers in 6.
1 Dallas Stars vs. 2 Detroit Red Wings
The Clash of the Titans. In a series that may be as good as Detroit/Colorado from a year ago, I think the skill for skill aspect of the skaters is a wash. In what will be a goaltender-decided series, I think CuJo takes the series over Turco. Red Wings in 6.
1 Ottawa Senators vs. 4 Philadelphia Flyers
Sadly, I think this is where the Canadian boat gets off. The Sens will not fall easily to Philadelphia, but Philly has alot of good weapons, and Ottawa, I think, will fall just short. Philadelphia in 7.
Stanley Cup Final
Detroit Red Wings vs. Philadelphia Flyers
The re-match of 1997 should be more competitive. In what will be a tightly played defensive struggle, I think it will come down to bounces to separate the two teams. To call it either way is difficult, so we’ll just go with the alphabetical order way to pick it (lol). Detroit in 7.
Let the replies begin!