Time to finally give my home continent league a little love on the blog. It’s been a long while since I’ve written about the National Hockey League so the next few weeks should be full of amazing highlights and banter. I probably should’ve posted this yesterday before the start but there’s no time better than the present! Only one day of games has been played and well, my predictions aren’t off.
EASTERN CONFERENCE – FIRST ROUND
Series A A1 Boston Bruins vs W2 Detroit Red Wings
Boston in 6.
Detroit’s good luck AHL team’s steam has to run out at some point and the Bruins are just the roadblock to do it. Boston will play the body as they usually do leaving the Red Wings looking mighty small. Both goaltenders will be up to the task and this matchup will come down to pressure in the offensive zone.
Series B A2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs A3 Montreal Canadiens
Tampa in 6.
One game has already been played in this series and I took in the whole thing. From watching 9 goals get scored in a Montreal win, it’s quite obvious to point out that the goaltending and defence was a train wreck. While that is somewhat normal for the Habs in pressure-cooker games, it’s unusual for the Lightning. Watch for them to regroup and come out in full force in game two. Their spirits will continue to rise with the welcoming addition of Ben Bishop back in the lineup.
Series C M1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs W2 Columbus Blue Jackets
Pittsburgh in 6.
Holy cow, what a game was game 1 of this series. I don’t think anybody had the Jackets having two leads in this game. I don’t know what it is with Pittsburgh, their defence, and Marc Andre Fleury in big games. Ever since they hoisted the Cup a few years ago, they’ve been terrible in the post season ever since. However they’ll be able to get to round 2. Unfortunately as much as I want Columbus to succeed, especially with Sergei Bobrovsky, the mighty Sid the Kid and Evgeni Malkin will silence their parade.
Series D M2 New York Rangers vs M3 Philadelphia Flyers
Tie. I just can’t choose.
That’s not because I’m being biased either. This series is going to come down to goaltending. With reports that Ray Emery is starting for the Flyers, it may be downhill already. The rest of both teams are pretty much evenly stacked. If King Henrik can stand on his head, I’ll give it to the blue shirts. But not until then.
WESTERN CONFERENCE – FIRST ROUND
Series E C1 Colorado Avalanche vs W1 Minnesota Wild
Colorado in 7.
This was another tough one. The younger squad of the Avalanche may have the upper hand in this series. Their speed and skill can’t be matched by the Wild. As much as I love Ilya Bryzgalov, he doesn’t really have the best post-season record. I’ll be fine with whoever moves on though, both teams deserve it.
Series F C2 St. Louis Blues vs C3 Chicago Blackhawks
St. Louis in 7.
It’s going to go the distance, it’s going to go that extra mile. Two big strong teams duking it out for round 2. The Stanley Cup champions will be stunned however and will be left singing the Blues all the way back to Illinois.
Series G P1 Anaheim Ducks vs W2 Dallas Stars
Anaheim in 5.
As much as I really really really REALLY want Dallas to win, their post season inexperience will cost them. Dallas’s first line of Seguin, Benn and Nichushkin won’t be enough against the Ducks who can roll four lines deep. That being said, this won’t be the last you’ll here of the Stars in the playoffs. There’s a new star rising. They’ll raise Lord Stanley within 5 years.
Series H P2 San Jose Sharks vs P3 Los Angeles Kings
San Jose in 6.
I love the Sharks and it’s time for them to shine. This might be their year as they’re as unsuspecting as anybody. They’re always the bridesmaid but never the bride. They’ll breeze right through to the conference finals which then is when they’ll be heavily tested.