Well, it’s playoff time again, so I suppose I will be growing the beard out again. Yes indeed, this is one of my favorite times of year, even though my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs have finished their season already, finishing out of the playoffs for the 4th consecutive year. Oh well, it could be worse. At least the Leafs are taking the steps to be better next year.
But I am not writing this article to talk about the Leafs, this is a playoff article, and I will purely talk about those teams involved. To start, my pick to win the cup this year will be the Detroit Red Wings. They are just too good, they will not be stopped this post-season, much in the same way as last year.
Saying that, I do not want the Wings to repeat as Stanley Cup Champs, I would like to see the Calgary Flames or the Anaheim Ducks win it all this year, however I don’t think the Ducks are getting out of the first round, so LETS GO FLAMES.
Anyway, lets get to the predictions shall we?
#1 San Jose Sharks vs. #8 Anaheim Ducks
Any other year, this would be one series that I would really be looking forward, but seeing as the San Jose Sharks were absolutely amazing this year, I don’t really see the Ducks having much of a chance in this series, therefore making it hockey that won’t necessarily be fun to watch. However, stranger things have happened, and if J.S. Giguere really heats things up, the Ducks could give the Sharks a run for their money.
Prediction: Sharks in 6
#2 Detroit Red Wings vs. #7 Columbus Blue Jackets
This is one series where I have seen certain people predicting an upset. Let me just say, you people are WRONG. Detroit is going to win this series, but Columbus will put up a bit of a fight. Steve Mason is an incredible goalie, but it won’t be enough to carry them past the power house Red Wings. The Blue Jackets will manage to steal a couple of games due to goaltending, but like I just said, it won’t be enough.
Prediction: Red Wings in 6
As a good old Canadian boy, I am obviously going to take the Vancouver Canucks to win this series, however it is not because I am a Canadian that I am going to do so. Vancouver is the superior team in this series, and I think they are going to walk all over the St. Louis Blues. While the Blues do have a lot of young talent, I don’ they have what it takes to make a dent in Robert Luongo and the Canucks.
Prediction: Canucks in 5
#4 Chicago Blackhawks vs. #5 Calgary Flames
I haven’t had any upsets thus far in my predictions, so let this be my first. This is going to be one of the best series of the first round of the playoffs. Both of these teams have stellar goaltending, as well as great talent, both offensively and defensively. Some people have said lately that Miikka Kiprusoff is tired, and therefore will be outplayed by is counterpart at the other end of the rink, but I think that is ridiculous. Kiprusoff will have another great playoff year, and will help his team get the wins they need.
Prediction: Flames in 7
Well that’s the Western Conference, so now lets get to the East and see what’s going on.
I hate the Montreal Canadiens. I mean, I REALLY hate them. That’s why it makes me so happy to say that they are going to lose this series. Tim Thomas, in my opinion, is the best goaltender in the Eastern Conference going into the playoffs. Carey Price, on the other hand, has been nothing but inconsistent all season, and that trend will continue into round 1. While the Canadiens may pull off a victory in this series, in the long run, the Bruins will prevail.
Prediction: Bruins in 5
Some people have stated that goaltending is going to be the deciding factor when it comes to this series, however I think that this statement is wrong. Yes, the New York Rangers have the superior goalie in Henrik Lundqvist, and yes, Jose Theodore is not as consistent as the Capitals would like, but this series is going to be about the weapons that Washington has. The Caps have Alexander Ovechkin, likely going to win the Hart Trophy again this year, 56 goals during the regular season. He is going to be the difference maker. Now add Mike green into this 30+ goals during the regular season, and a strong defensive force. The Rangers have no players who had 30 goals this season. Its just a matter of math. The Capitals win quite easily.
Prediction: Capitals in 6
This series is another one that has potential to be a great series. The New Jersey Devils are just an all around great team, and they are facing the Hurricanes, who have been one of the hottest in the league over the last couple months. Both goaltenders have been playing great, and I do believe that it will be a strong defensive battle. Expect to see a long series. It is going to be close, but I think the Devils will narrowly escape the Hurricanes.
Prediction: Devils in 7
I bet that the Philadelphia Flyers are regretting where they ended up at the end of the regular season. The Pittsburgh Penguins are coming off a very hot end to the regular season, and with the team that they have, especially on offense, the Flyers must be a little nervous at the moment. With the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jordan Staal up front, Sergei Gonchar and Hal Gill at the back end, and Marc-Andre Fleury in net, the Penguins are strong all around, and the Flyers won’t be able to persevere in the long run.
Prediction: Penguins in 6
Well there you have it. My Predictions for the upcoming 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. You may not agree, but that's alright, because you’ll be wrong.
Just Kidding. My Predictions are no better than anyone else’s.