Surprising Playoff Race

As you look at the playoff race, their are a lot of new and surprising teams in it like San Jose, Calgary, Nashville, Tampa Bay, and Buffalo, But the question is are they for real…….?Now of course no one knows that yet, but here’s my breakdown and predictions for these teams:

Tampa Bay

Now riding like an 11 game unbeaten streak, this team looks too hot too stop! This team now looks like the team to beat (sorry New Jersey) and may be the surprising team like the ducks and wild last year, or the Canes of two years ago. But can they beat teams like Philly, New Jersey, Toronto, or Ottawa? I don’t think so but they might, if they can get goal production from players other than St. Louis, Lecavelier, Richards, and Stillman.

PREDICTION: 2nd round exit

Buffalo

In the hunt for 8th spot in the east, and what do you know, if they get it the chances are they play Tampa. So I’m not expecting much from this team if they make it. They’re just not there when it comes playoff time. Unless guys like Satan, Briere, Drury, Dumont, and Hecht, outplay the fantastic four from Tampa (St. Louis, Lecavelier, Richards, and Stillman) They shouldn’t get past the 1st round.

PREDICTION: 1st round exit

Calgary

Don’t seem to have the depth, but are still winning.

And if you’re winning then you must be doing something right. Jarome Iginla is obviously the leader on this team and without him I don’t think they’d be where they are now. This team could play anyone because there is only a 3 point difference between 6th place (Calgary) and 9th place (St. Louis). If season were to end today the Flames would be playing the Sharks. Man, would that ever be a series. 2 teams who don’t look like they could make it to the second round, would.

PREDICTION: 1st round exit

Nashville

With acquisitions like Steve Sullivan, Sergei Zholtok, and Brad Bombardir, this team is definitely going for it! With Sullivan just on fire and everything else going right, I think this team will make it to the second round as long as they don’t play top 2 seeds Colorado or Detroit in the first round. The problem is they probably will. This is my favorite out of the five for an upset. I think the GM of this team, David Poile has done a great job acquiring players, and Barry Trotz has done a great job coaching them.

PREDICTION: 1st round exit

San Jose

If they can pull off winning the Pacific Division, that would be a great accomplishment, for this young team that just started rebuilding last year. All the players are playing exceptionally well, especially, Patrik Marleau, Nils Ekman, Marco Sturm, Johnathan Cheechoo, and Alyn McCauley.

Getting third place in the conference would give them home advantage for at least the first round or maybe more which would be great.

PREDICTION: 2nd round exit

Also here’s how I think the playoffs will end up:

Eastern Conference

1. Tampa Bay

2. Toronto

3. Philadelphia

4. Ottawa

5. Boston

6. New Jersey

7. Montreal

8. N.Y. Islanders

Tampa over Islanders in 5

Toronto over Montreal in 5

Philly over New Jersey in 7

Ottawa over Boston in 6

Ottawa over Tampa in 6

Toronto over Philly in 7

Toronto over Ottawa in 7

Western Conference

1. Detroit

2. Colorado

3. San Jose

4. Vancouver

5. Dallas

6. Calgary

7. Nashville

8. Los Angeles

Detroit over Los Angeles in 6

Colorado over Nashville in 6

San Jose over Calgary in 7

Vancouver over Dallas in 7

Detroit over Vancouver in 6

Colorado over San Jose in 6

Colorado over Detroit in 7

Stanley Cup Finals

Toronto over Colorado in 7

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