Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Quick and Dirty Playoff Picks: Round One
(1) NEW YORK RANGERS vs. (8) OTTAWA SENATORS
Prediction: Rangers in Six
Reason: While the Sens have been a Cinderella in the East, the Rangers have the goaltending and intangibles. That said, I expect the Sens to steal a game at home, but the Rangers will be too much.
(2) BOSTON BRUINS vs. (7) WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Prediction: Bruins in Six
Reason: The Caps have struggled all year and you can't really bet against the Cup champs, even if Tim Thomas is in Barack Obama's house. Plus, the Caps goalie duo is an injured Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby with Dany Sabourin in the wings.
(3) FLORIDA PANTHERS vs. (6) NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Prediction: Devils in Five
Reason: The Panthers hobbled down the stretch and their goaltending is a little suspect at best. The Devils will have too much offense for the Panthers to handle.
(4) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS vs. (5) PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Prediction: Flyers in Seven
Reason: The Flyers will beat and bang the Pens into submission, even with the stars the Pens have-- the Flyers physicality will be the story of this series.
(1) VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs. (8) LOS ANGELES KINGS
Prediction: Canucks in Six
Reason: One of the better goaltending match-ups in the first round, the Kings don't have the offense to help out Jonathan Quick. Roberto Luongo may get a little shaky, but will bounce back.
(2) ST. LOUIS BLUES vs. (7) SAN JOSE SHARKS
Prediction: Blues in Six
Reason: Defensively, the Blues are solid and should be able to take away any offense the Sharks could bring up. If they can get to Antti Niemi, all the better.
(3) PHOENIX COYOTES vs. (6) CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Prediction: Blackhawks in Five
Reason: The Hawks will be back healthy and since they played in one of the competitive divisions in the league-- should be battle tested. Mike Smith may have peaked with his solid play too early.
(4) NASHVILLE PREDATORS vs. (5) DETROIT RED WINGS
Prediction: Predators in Six
Reason: The Preds are not only due, but probably one of the more complete teams they've had. They have the tools, the confidence, now to get over the Wings hurdle.