My “Uneducated-Guesses-Type” Picks for the Stanley Cup Playoffs
Round one of the most difficult trophy hunt in all of sports begins this week, and so I’m gonna put it out on the line and give my picks for the various round 1 match ups. I won’t be responsible for any lost money from wagers made based on my completely unscientific and unsupported picks. So don’t whine if u go with these and lose. Thanks
West (First Cuz I’m Western):
1: Detroit Red Wings (1) vs. Calgary Flames (8) –> Mainly cuz I totally hate Calgary (I know, I know…I’m Canadian and should support the Canadian teams… Bah screw that. I HATE Calgary) I think Detroit will take this one. Anyways, Kiprusoff is not his best this year, and the Hasek (although he did play a third less games) has a way better GAA. I also think the Red Wings have the depth, size and talent to take this one fairly quickly. Yes, the Flames have Iginla and Phaneuf…but I don’t know if it’s enough. Regardless, there will probably be alot of big hits and cheap shots in this series. The winners will be tired for round two if it goes much past 5 games. Detroit in 5 (maybe 6).
2: Anaheim Ducks (2) vs. Minnesota Wild (7) –> Being a Vancouver fan and having my dreams crushed by Minnesota in the past, I gotta go for Anaheim here. Plus, Anaheim is all around a much better, more explosive team than the Wild. By stats alone it looks like a romp for the Ducks. Having said that, the Wild do have their system, and Brian Rolston… But Anaheim has Teemu Selanne, Chris Pronger, Scott Neidermeyer, etc. I say it will either be a long series with not alot of scoring or a total rout, a sweep. I’m really not sure which so ima take the easy route and say both. Don’t complain, it’s MY picks 😛 . Ducks in 7 or 4.
3: Vancouver Canucks (3) vs. Dallas Stars (6) –> Well of course I’m going to pick the home team here. But…there’s reasons for that other than they’re the home team. The teams are fairly even, the season series being 2 wins Vancouver, 1 win Dallas and 1 OT win Dallas. The goals for averages (from the season) are tied at 2.60 each, and the goals against gives Dallas a slight edge. But…Dallas’ game all season has been the trap, defensive play without alot of shots on goal. Overall, Luongo is a better goalie than both Turco and Smith. The Canucks have a better penalty killing team, and I think guys like Matt Cooke are gonna come into play in this match-up, forcing discipline lapses and giving the Canucks the edge overall. I also think Luongo’s gonna be so psyched to be in his first playoffs that his door will be even more shut than normal. Vancouver in 5.
4: San Jose Sharks (4) vs Nashville Predators (5) –> This one is a tough one for me to call. Cheechoo and Thornton vs Kariya and Forsberg…yikes. Both teams have 51 regular season wins. The Predators we’re soooooo hot for so much of this season…but San Jose’s been on a big run of late. I think I’m going to go with San Jose in this one and it’s going to be an ugly series. The Sharks and the Preds both have their chippy cheap shot players, and I think there will be some big hits and big fights and lots of emotion. I don’t see the winner of this series having a whole lot of steam left afterwards if it’s more than 5 games, but I’m gonna say: Sharks in 5.
Eastern (Here comes the undereducated guesses… I just don’t see these teams as much)
1: Buffalo Sabres (1) vs New York Islanders (8) –> My first instinct is that New York Islanders are going to be to this years playoffs what the Oilers were last year. I think they’re going to beat the number 1 Sabres thru sheer teamwork and grit alone. I don’t know why I think this, but I do. There’s no logic to it at all…it’s a feeling. The Islanders will go up or down early and the it will be a 7 game series, with 3 wins for 1 team to start it off. Islanders in 7.
2: New Jersey Devils (2) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (7) –> Two words : Martin Broduer. Can Lecavalier and the Lightning figure him out? I don’t think so. New Jersey plays a good system as well, and although they may have a lower Goals For average, they’re wayyyy lower in the goals against side of things. I think it will be a short series. Devils in 5.
3: Atlanta Thrashers (3) vs New York Rangers (6) –> Hossa vs Jagr, Lehtonen vs Lundqvist … I think this might be the most exciting series of the first round. Stats are pretty even all around, but the Rangers have better special teams. And slightly better goaltending, which is what the playoffs are all about. So, with those things in mind, I have to go with: Rangers in 6.
4: Ottawa Senators (4) vs Pittsburg Penguins (5) –> I really really want to pick ottawa here, cuz they’re the Canadian hope out East and the only Eastern Canadian team that doesn’t make me want to spit rocks. But I struggle with that. Every year, the sens are the great hope and every year they make it into the playoffs and tank. Having said that, Ray Emery is a way better goaltender than Marc Andre Fleury. But Sidney Crosby…man… Plus the Pens have Jarko Ruutu, one of my all time favorite pesky players… Hrmm…so do I make the call with Emotion (Sens) or with Logic (Pens)??? Maybe people can give me their opinions on this one, but for the purposes of this particular blog post i’m going with Emotion: Sens in 6.
Ok, so now everyone feel free to slam, bash, pick apart, or agree with my picks in the comments section. I don’t profess to be a sports analyst or a hockey genius, so my picks may be completely out to lunch. Or they may be spot on and you’ll be glad u went with my calls in your hockey pool.