As you all should know by now, the NHL playoffs are not far off. In fact, the regular season ends on Sunday, April 12, 2009.
A couple days back, I looked at the Western Conference playoff picture, and today, it's time to look at the East.
The Eastern Conference is the place to be when you’re in search of offense. The East has 3,408 goals in total, while the West trails with just 3,190 goals.
The Eastern Conference is also the home of Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeni Malkin.
That said, it finally looks like the East is the place to be, but does that mean that they can end the West’s two-year winning streak? Only time will tell.
Here is how the East stacks up.
1. BOS – 50 – 110
2. WSH – 47 – 102
3. NJD – 48 – 100
4. PHI – 42 – 94
5. CAR – 43 – 93
6. PIT – 42 – 92
7. MTL – 40 – 90
8. NYR – 40 – 89
9. FLD – 38 – 87
10. BUF – 38 – 85
11. TOR – 32 – 77
12. OTT – 33- 76
13. ATL – 34 – 74
14. TBL – 24 – 66
15. NYI – 25 – 59
Not that long ago, the Montreal Canadiens were on the verge of missing the playoffs. However, they seem to have found new life under head coach Bob Gainey. Look for the Habs to make the playoffs.
Even though Florida—and the Rangers—have a game-in-hand on Montreal, they are still three points back. To get into the eighth spot, the Panthers need to start winning, and the Rangers have to start losing.
Buffalo’s chances at the playoffs are slim to none.
I'd be extremely surprised if Pittsburgh misses the playoffs, as they are on a three-game winning streak with no end in sight.
With teams 11th and down officially out of the playoffs, this race only goes from seventh to 10th.
So, finally, here are my predictions on who will make the playoffs:
As you can see, there is absolutely no change in the playoff race.
Now, here are my other playoff predictions.
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Stanley Cup Finals
8. New York
2. Washington 1. Boston
7. Montreal 6. Pittsburgh 6. Pittsburgh
Vs. 6. Pittsburgh
3. New Jersey 2. Washington 5. Carolina
6. Pittsburgh 5. Carolina
I do understand that these predictions are going to confuse some people, make some mad, and maybe even have some screaming at me like I’m an idiot (with YOU ARE AN IDIOT included in the comment).
But, so we can try to avoid some of that, let me explain.
Boston and Washington are just flat-out good teams. Pittsburgh and Carolina have found something with their new coaches, and they will all advance to round two.
Now this is the part that has the potential to create some controversy.
Yes, Boston is on a roll. However, they are one of the most inexperienced teams in the league. The players that have lots of experience are not the most talented in the league.
In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Penguins will be too much for Carolina to handle, and they will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals against San Jose.
Stanley Cup Finals 2009 Stanley Cup Champions
Vs. San Jose Sharks
Once the finals roll around, San Jose will have the depth and skill to finish off the Penguins and become the 2008-09 Stanley Cup Champions
*All stats as of 6:08 p.m., Saturday, April 4