Friday, April 21, 2006

bring it on...

the west.

detroit red wings vs. edmonton oilers...

enormous regular season for the wings should make them overwhelming favourites in this match up. however, the oilers could make a game of it. that's only if physical play is allowed. this maybe THE upset of the first round.

on paper: wings in 6.
upset potential: remote to good

dallas stars vs. colorado avalanche...

dallas must be early cup finalist favourites. awesome team speed. awesome team balance. superior regular goaltending. the avalanche will go down swinging. sakic and blake better bring their A game. can goalie jose theodore kick it up a notch? not so far he hasn't...

prediction: stars in 5.
upset potential: remote.

calgary flames vs. anaheim ducks...

forget about the flames' inadequate offensive output. it's all about kiprusoff, baby... perhaps, the best player in the nhl/universe. giguere pales in comparison. having said that, the ducks, next to the san jose sharks, have been one of the hottest teams in the stretch. selanne, macdonald, and scott neidermayer were just awesome this season. should be a good challenge for the flames.

prediction: flames in 7. all victories will be of the one goal variety.
upset potential: good.

nashville predators vs. san jose sharks...

should be the showcase series of the western conference playoffs. the absence of goalie tomas vokoun is problematic for the predators. could mean a feeding frenzy for the white hot san jose sharks. could be a cake walk for the likes of joe thornton and his best buddy jonathan cheechoo... however, the pred's are a fine, hardworking team somewhat reminiscent of the calgary flames. their goalie better stand his head...

on paper: preds in 6.
upset potential: excellent. sharks in 6 or less.

the east.

ottawa senators vs. tampa bay lightning.

possible upset here. if it weren't for the final game of the season where ottawa wacked the rangers, the senators are at best lukewarm right now. their goaltending is suspect. hasek is projected to return in round 2, if the senators make it to that far. as for the lightning, they picked up their play in the last couple of weeks. if their goalies don't show up, as they didn't in the regular season, they'll fold like a house of cards, eh.

prediction: senators in 6. if hasek makes a surprise start, sens in 5.
upset potential: good to very good.

carolina hurricanes vs. montreal canadien.

the 'canes are about as cold as it gets. staal might be burnt out. gerber's been playing subpar. they parachuted in some help in terms of recchi and doug weight. they don't seem to have fit in well. don't know many teams who can turn on the afterburners on command. 'canes might go down to a hotter canadien's team. the hab's controversial goalie situation is moot. in the case of huet, it's not a case of what you did to get us in the playoffs but what have you done for us lately... i think gainey will start aebischer. objectively, i predict a hab's upset despite the losing in a lopsided seasonal head to head series with the 'canes.

on paper: 'canes in 5
upset potential: very good. habs in 6.

new jersey devils vs. new york rangers.

the rangers were on the slide for the latter part of the season, culminating in the devils finishing ahead of them in the standings. this maybe the difference. lundqvist will have to come up big but i'm not sure if he can outplay his counterpart marty brodeur. brodeur is just too experienced and playing way too hot. no one's been able to stop their #1 line of elias, gionta, and gomez. jagr's up against the trap. this one maybe a cakewalk.

prediction: devils in 5.

buffalo sabre vs philadelphia flyers.

to be honest, i hate the flyers and their gm. i don't like their porous goaltending. they sucked in the last week and frittered away the chance of finishing 1st in their division. the sabres on the other hand are a team on the rise. outstanding speed. plus, they can put the puck in the opposition's goal like there's no tomorrow. their forwards should make pilons out of the flyers' snail like defense.

prediction: sabres in 4.

further predictions.

the flames will make it out of the west just barely. the devils will make it out of the east.

the big prediction.

the devils will be champs. devils in 6. just too scary...ouch.
upset potential: very good. flames in 5.

my preference

i don't really care who wins. just as long as it's not the edmonton oilers, T.O. Maple Laffs, or any american based team.


Len said...

Huet's the starter for the Habs. I think it's the right idea, I mean 7 shutouts in how many games?

bubba said...

i hope it's the right decision. i watched huet's last 2 starts before gainey went with aebischer. not purdy, eh.