Who's Got the Edge: Carter's Stanley Cup Playoff First Round Predictions

David CarterCorrespondent IApril 15, 2010

UNIONDALE, NY - APRIL 11: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins congratulates Evgeni Malkin #71 on his second period goal against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on April 11, 2010 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images


Eastern Conference

(8) Montreal Canadiens vs. (1) Washington Capitals

The Capitals have what I love in hockey and that’s great offense. They have scored more goals than any other team in the NHL. I think if Jose Theodore can come into the series with his A-game, then the Habs have absolutely no chance. Jacques Martin is a great coach, he’s proven himself more then Bruce Boudreau but I just think Boudreau has a better team. I think the Habs are a good team and are the ultimate underdog in this first round, but the Caps are just too much.

Offensive Edge: Capitals

Defensive Edge: Canadiens

Power Play Edge: Capitals

Penalty Killing Edge: Canadiens

Coaching Edge: Canadiens

Hotter Team: Capitals


(7) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (2) New Jersey Devils

New Jersey is coming into this series as a slighty hotter team. They also have Martin Brodeur, who is the greatest goalie ever (yes I’m serious). I think Jacques Martin can have his team better prepared in this series. If they can continue to play great defense like they have been in the regular season, they can definitely come out of this series as winners.

Offensive Edge: Flyers

Defensive Edge: Devils

Power Play Edge: Flyers

Penalty Killing Edge: Flyers

Coaching Edge: Devils

Hotter Team: Devils


(6) Boston Bruins vs. (3) Buffalo Sabres

Notice that I have the Bruins as the defensive favorite in this series. This is because I just think I would rather have guys like Zdeno Chara and Dennis Wideman more than the rookie Tyler Myers and veteran Steve Montador. However I do believe Ryan Miller is a little better than Tuukka Rask. These are arguably the top two goaltenders that have performed the best this season and I’d be surprised if either team scores more than three goals in any game of this series. The Bruins defense can possibly win them a game or two but the fact that they can’t score their way out of a paper bag just bugs me and Ryan Miller, in the end, will be too much for the B’s. Buffalo wins the series because the lack of offense for Boston.

Offensive Edge: Sabres

Defensive Edge: Bruins

Power Play Edge: Sabres

Penalty Killing Edge: Sabres

Coaching Edge: Sabres

Hotter Team: Bruins


(5) Ottawa Senators vs. (4) Pittsburgh Penguins

Ottawa comes into this series as the hotter team, but the Pens come in as the better team. I think Ottawa is going to surprise many and I think the every home team could end up winning. Pittsburgh has the better offense by a mile but the Sens have a top-ten penalty killing unit. Both of these things lead me to believe that this series could go the distance. I'm seeing the Pens winning this because of their better ability to score more goals. Plus, they ARE the defending Champions and all…I’m just sayin’…

Offensive Edge: Penguins

Defensive Edge: Penguins

Power Play Edge: Penguins

Penalty Killing Edge: Senators

Coaching Edge: Penguins

Hotter Team: Senators




Western Conference Quarterfinals:

(8) Colorado Avalanche vs. (1) San Jose Sharks

The Colorado Avalanche have absolutely no chance at winning the series. The Sharks are just better all across the board. Offensively, Defensively, on the power play, and coaching. The Sharks have also won eight of their last ten games while the Avs have lost seven of their last ten. The Avalanche are going to get crushed. I’d be surprise if they win more than one game.

Offensive Edge: Sharks

Defensive Edge: Sharks

Power Play Edge: Sharks

Penalty Killing Edge: Sharks

Coaching Edge: Sharks

Hotter Team: Sharks


(7) Nashville Predators vs. (2) Chicago Blackhawks

Like the Sharks/Avs series, the ‘Hawks/Preds series will also be a blowout. The Blackhawks are better all across the board. I think the Predators could win maybe one game but no more than that. The Hawks are better offensively, defensively, and are way better at killing penalties than Nashville. Both coaches are geniuses but I think Joel Quenneville will be the coach to hold his head high after the series. The Preds won’t win their first ever playoff series in 2010.

Offensive Edge: Blackhawks

Defensive Edge: Blackhawks

Power Play Edge: Blackhawks

Penalty Killing Edge: Blackhawks

Coaching Edge: Blackhawks

Hotter Team: Predators


(6) Los Angeles Kings vs. (3) Vancouver Canucks

Don’t be surprised if this series goes to seven. These L.A. Kings are for-rizzle. But I also think Roberto Luongo is going to play like he did in the Olympics and put his Canucks in the NHL’s version of the Elite Eight. However the Kings do have a slight edge, in my opinion, in the defensive categories and coaching. I’d rather have Terry Murray coaching my hockey team than Alain Vigneault, but by a slim margin. Basically, I think this series, is going to come down to scoring which the Canucks have the advantage at with the Sedin twins leading the way for them. I’d rather have those guys as my top two scorers than Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, even though Kopitar and Brown are both great players as well. I just think the Canucks have the overall better team but by a slim margin.

Offensive Edge: Canucks

Defensive Edge: Kings

Power Play Edge: Canucks

Penalty Killing Edge: Canucks

Coaching Edge: Kings

Hotter Team: Canucks


(5) Detroit Red Wings vs. (4) Phoenix Coyotes

I’m still shocked that the Coyotes are in the playoffs. At the beginning of the season, they were the laughing stock of the Pacific Division. Not anymore, right? Dave Tippett gets let go by the Stars and tries to prove that he’s got what it takes to lead a team into more hockey in mid-April, and the man has succeeded! He should be the favorite to win the Jack Adams Award. If not, I’m going to go crazy! The Coyotes have improved greatly, they have a better defense led by Keith Yandle and Ed Jovanovski. I think it’s going to be them to continue their success and end the Red Wings’ two year reign as Conference Champions. The former laughing stock of the Western Conference is now a “for real” team and they will prove it in a hard fought series.

Offensive Edge: Red Wings

Defensive Edge: Coyotes

Power Play Edge: Red Wings

Penalty Killing Edge: Coyotes

Coaching Edge: Red Wings

Hotter Team: Red Wings



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