Articles

The Cup Predictions

In Hockey Hits on April 14, 2010 by geespotting

…Have no fear…they are here:

ROUND ONE

EAST

1 WASHINGTON VS. 8 MONTREAL

– The Caps will be served up another President’s Trophy jinx, in the form of a Habs upset. Ovie, Backstrom, Green and the gang will get their share of chances, and put up some good numbers, but, the numbers won’t be as big as Theodore, Varlamov, Riggin, or whomever starts in the pipes for the Caps. Montreal has nothing to lose, a ton of under-rated talent, and maybe the best goalie from the Olympics on in Halak, not to mention a healthy Andrei Markov. CANADIENS IN 6.

2 NEW JERSEY VS. 7 PHILADELPHIA

– The Devils have Brodeur, and the Flyers have Boucher. Nuff said, right? Well, hold on a second. When was the last time Martin stole a series for the Devils? Hey…he might out-play Boucher in this series…but, I am not sure that Jersey out-plays the Flyers. They have some players limping into the playoffs, but, still a team that was built for the post-season. As for the Devils, they have put most of their marbles on Ilya Kovalchuk…and his 0 and 4 playoff record. Gimme another upset. FLYERS IN 6.

3 BUFFALO VS. 6 BOSTON

– Both teams could stand to score a few more goals…but, the difference is the Sabres will score more. No Marc Savard will hurt for sure for the Bruins. Even without an injured Tim Connolly and Jochen Hecht, the Sabres have enough up front depth to win. A goalie duel features a more experienced Ryan Miller out-dueling rookie Rask. Even the battle of defensive towers, it will be close between Zdeno Chara, and rookie of the year Tyler Myers, but, won’t make the difference in a Sabres win. SABRES IN 7.

4 PITTSBURGH VS. 5 OTTAWA

– The Champs will be better than the Sens, and in this case, experience counts. Ottawa is a much more disciplined team than in previous years, and have a better sense of playing a system (you might see Spezza in his own zone on occasion), and that will keep this a close series. The Kovalev injury will hurt, as well as some in-experience on the back-end. Too much Pens firepower, and they move on. PENGUINS IN 7.

WEST

1 SAN JOSE VS. 8 COLORADO

– I don’t think this is the “Year of the Shark”, but, they will get out of the first round… barely. This should be a fun series with the attack of the Sharks and their depth at forward, and the incredible youth and speed of the Avs. In the end, I think battled blue-liners like Blake and Boyle will be the difference in a game 7 win. SHARKS IN 7.

2 CHICAGO VS. 7 NASHVILLE

– Some might see this as the upset, given the way Pekka Rinne has played in net for the Preds. I don’t see it that way. Chicago has 4 incredible lines, and lines that will find ways to pound the talented Nashville blueline, and ways to distract Rinne. Byfuglien, Eager, Bolland are guys that come to mind. And even without Brian Campbell for the first round, the Hawks defense corps are too mobile and quick to be out-skated and out-smarted by the likes of Sullivan, Arnott and Dumont. BLACK HAWKS IN 6.

3 VANCOUVER VS. 6 LOS ANGELES

– For whatever reason (maybe the Kings 8-3 shellacking of Vancouver in the past few weeks), this could be a wide open, nasty series. Each team has the artillery to find the back of the net, and they each have the guys you want to pummel to the back of the net. (Kesler, Burrows, Brown, Johnson etc.) Despite the worries of Canuck fans with Luongo in goal, I think the Sedins, Demitra, Samuelsson and others will be able to score more often on an in-experienced Jonathan Quick. It will go the distance. CANUCKS IN 7.

4 PHOENIX VS. 5 DETROIT

– Many are picking the Wings to roll by the Coyotes, and maybe even roll to another Cup, but, still some questions in Motown. Despite being healthy finally, they do have some players with a long history of getting hurt. In other words, just because Franzen is fine now…doesn’t mean he will last the series. Also, Jimmy Howard was a workhorse down the stretch to get the Wings into contention, and not too sure of how he will play come puck drop. As for the Coyotes, they don’t score a lot, but, their fore-check is second to none, and their defense scores just as often as anyone else in the game. Like when Khabibulin stood on his head in a Jets loss to the Wings in 96…this time around, another Russian tender will stand on his head…but, this Bryzgalov comes through! COYOTES IN 7.

STANLEY CUP FINAL

CHICAGO OVER BUFFALO IN 6.

– Not a far stretch to pick the Hawks to win…but, might be a far one to see the Sabres there. I like the Hawks with their up-front depth, and able to roll 4 effective lines, and their mobile defense, which will be bolstered soon when Campbell returns. As for Buffalo, obviously the key is Ryan Miller, but, the Sabres have found ways to win all year against some of the very best in the East.

– Should be fun…updates each day…at the Playoffs…this is Geespotting!

– By the way…the final edition of “The Award Goes To” comes out later this week.

 

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