NHL Playoffs: First Round Predictions

AJ JarnickiCorrespondent IApril 8, 2008

So the playoffs start tomorrow, and my *sniff* Leafs aren't in it. Three years, yes I know. But instead of crying over their suckiness, I cut to the chase and predict the first round of these, the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Let's start off with the East.

(1) Montréal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins (8)
Ah, the one-eight matchup, where the most amazing upsets happen. Edmonton a couple years ago, Pittsburgh in 1999, San Jose the year after to just name a couple. But usually, the number one wins dominating. I see this as one of those series. The scoring for Montréal goes deep with names like Plekanec, the Kostitsyn brothers, Koivu, Kovalev to just name a few. The D is absolutely great and the phenom goalie to back them all up, the very young Carey Price. Boston is more than likely getting Patrice Bergeron back for this series, which will make it close, but they just aren't as good as them. Habs in 5.

(2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators (7)
This will be a sick matchup, whether or not Sidney Crosby and Daniel Alfredsson are healthy. The Sens have a really good lineup all the way down their roster and a goalie that has yet to perform in the playoffs, and will have to be hyped to go now. The Penguins, although a young team, have been here once before, against these same Senators. They were kicked out easily, mostly because of their youth. They are much better this year, with name like Malkin, Crosby, Christensen, and Staal with playoff experience. And a old guy named Gary Roberts who will help the young'ins through this first round of the playoffs. Pens in 6.

(3) Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers (6)
Ugh, I hate this matchup. Ovechkin, the cherry picker and the Broad St-, oh sorry the Philadelphia Flyers. Both these teams I could not care less about. But the Caps are a really hot team right now, but have nearly no playoff experience. In reality, both these teams are really young. I don't see anyone else performing other than Ovechkin. The Flyers have a few players with playoff experience, including Briere, Gagne, who is injured, so he'll be of no help. I don't know, I just don't care about this series. Caps in 7.

(4) New Jersey Devils vs New York Rangers (5)
This will be a good series, regardless of what you Rangers homers think of it. Martin Brodeur can keep any team in a playoff series. I bet he could get into the playoffs with a team like Tampa Bay. The Rangers have a bunch of highly paid players who haven't performed to capacity (what else is new?) like Drury and Gomez. I believe Brodeur, Parise and Elias steal the show and take this series in another great one. Devils in 7. Now lets go out west past the hundredth meridian, where the great plains begin.

(1) Detroit Red Wings vs Nashville Predators (8)
This will be a better series than most think. The Red Wings have a couple of goalies who could be really good or really bad in Osgood and Hasek. Both are old and could just be tired. Remember Osgood and the All-Star Game? Yeah, I bet you do. The Predators had to play really good hockey to get in and I say they continue it what will be the most insane greatness series ever done on ice or ground or floor. The scorers for Nashville can perform and even though I hate southern hockey, the Preds will be phenomenal. Preds in 7.

(2) San Jose Sharks vs. Calgary Flames (7)
The Sharks, ah the Sharks. What an amazing team. Great goalie, great defense, great scorers. Can this team be any better? Probably not. The Flames are so overmatched in this series. Even though I love what Iginla did at the end of the game in Vancouver, there isn't enough depth on the team to match what San Jose brings to the table. Thornton, Campbell and Nabokov stand on their heads as this is a shorter series than most expect. San Jose in 4.

(3) Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche (6)
This matchup is very interesting. Holy jeeez, the Wild who are pretty good, pretty good. Take a gander at the standings, they ended up only 4 points worse than the Anaheim Ducks, who are really great, as they were last year. Gaborik with his best year offensively, I think. I'd have to check, but I think it was his best. Rolston good as always, and Backstrom the man who can stand on his head for this team. Then there's the Colorado Avalanche. I've seen a few other predictions for this series and it seems people are doubting the Wild. I can't see why. Their best player has playoff experience (Gabby) and their goalie will be good as well. the Avs are just old and injury prone. Well, at least Forsberg is. Never liked him. They may have a ton of playoff experience, but they are just in the too old part of their careers. Wild in 6.

(4) Anaheim Ducks vs. Dallas Stars (5)
Holy mackinaw, I love these 4-5 matchups. Always a good series. Even if it is over in five games, all of the games are close. The same can be said for this. Turco is really not a playoff performer, but there's a first time for everything, I say he can keep this a really good series. Ribeiro, Modano, Richards and Morrow are 4 really good players, but who else is there on D other than Zubov? Isn't he injured too? So, I guess Boucher is the only other one. The Ducks on the other hand have a sick defense corps and the offense just keeps getting with the addition of Selanne. As if they weren't good enough already. The goalie Giggy is already great, that goes without mention. It is said when your good, you get luckier. This can be said for the Ducks they have a really good team and they just can't be beat in this series. Ducks in 6.

Well, there you have it, the first round analysed by me. Hopefully, you will do great with betting and whatnot throughout the playoffs. I'll be back for the second round with my predictions and maybe I'll post a random blog. Until then, see you later!