April 15, 2010
2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs Predictions 1st Round
I know I'm a day late and four games have been played already, but I'm haven't changed any of my picks in the last two days. These are the same picks I put into my hockey pool and the Stanley Cup Playoffs Challenge on NHL.com
1) Washington vs 8) Montreal
Montreal can't match up offensively with the Caps. I give them no chance there. On the blueline, everyone says the Caps aren't deep, but you can't finish first in the league without some defence. In goal is the only place the Habs may have an advantage. However, Theodore was playing well for Washington down the stretch.
PICK: Washington in 4
2) New Jersey vs 7) Philadelphia
New Jersey has Brodeur who has had 2 bad playoffs in a row. I think he wants to prove something this year. Philly has a team built for the playoffs, but their goaltending is questionable. Usually in a long series it comes down to goaltending.
PICK: New Jersey in 7
3) Buffalo vs 6) Boston
Boston had trouble scoring goals this year and Ryan Miller did a good job not allowing goals this year. That's not good news for Boston. Boston is well coached and plays great defensively. Tukka Rask will have to outplay Ryan Miller every game for the Bruins to advance. The Sabres just have too much offense for the B's to contain.
PICK: Buffalo in 6
4) Pittsburgh vs 5) Otatwa
As a Leafs fan, I can not endorse or promote any type of success for the Ottawa Senators. I was hoping for a sweep with each game being 9-0. The Sens ruined that dream in game 1. Seriously, I think the very talented and experienced Pens offense will out-duel the inexperienced goaltending of the Ottawa Senators in the long run.
PICK: Pittsburgh in 6
1)San Jose vs 8)Colorado
The Sharks choke in the playoffs like the Sens in a series against the Leafs! Of course I thought, "this time the Sharks got it" No, not true as shown to us by the Avalanche in game 1. The Avalanche are out matched everywhere here, but it's San Jose so anything can happen.
PICK: San Jose in 5
2)Chicago vs 7)Nashville
Nashville just happened to fall into the 7th seed. Seeds 4-7 might as well be looked at on the same level. Chicago is very good and with last year's losing experience they seem ready to win. Nashville has never won a road playoff game in their history. I don't see that changing.
PICK: Chicago in 6
3)Vancouver vs 6)Los Angeles
This is going to be the best series in the first round. Vancouver's defence is lacking because of injuries. Los Angeles' defence is excellent and healthy. Vancouver had the highest scoring player in the league this year. Los Angeles is a step behind the Canucks forwards, but that may be offset by Vancouver's lacking defence. In goal, Quick was faltering down the stretch as was Luongo. This will go the distance.
PICK: Vancouver in 7
4)Phoenix vs 5)Detroit
After the Olympic break Detroit has been one of the best teams in the league. Phoenix is the most surprising team in the league. Detroit is going in with a rookie goalie, Phoenix is going in with quite a few playoff rookies. Game 1 proved that the Coyotes can play with and beat a talented and experienced