NHL Playoff Prediction Thread

Discussion in 'Non-Wrestling Archives' started by Big Sexy, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. Big Sexy

    Big Sexy Deadly Rap Cannibal

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    The NHL regular season has ended which means it is time for playoff hockey. This thread will be dedicated to predicting the NHL playoffs round by round.

    Western Conference

    Vancouver vs LA- I’m taking the Canucks in 4. The Kings have a lot of talent but Vancouver is hot going into the playoffs. My only concern with Vancouver is the mental state of Roberto Luongo. He struggled at times during the playoffs last year and with the way Cory Schneider has played this season, Luongo will be on a short leash.

    St Louis vs San Jose- I’ve got St Louis in 5. The Blues aren’t going to wow you with anything but they are second in the NHL in home wins and they lead the NHL in least goals against. The Sharks are having a bad year and I think this is a bad match up for them.

    Phoenix vs Chicago- Give me the Blackhawks in 7. This will be a long, tough series but I think Chicago just has the more talented team. The Coyotes have won 5 straight going into the playoffs so it won’t be easy but the Blackhawks have too much offensive fire power.

    Nashville vs Detroit- This is another series I see going 7 and I’m picking the Red Wings. Detroit is finally starting to get healthy and they obviously have the experience factor. These teams are very evenly matched and this may be the best first round series.

    Eastern Conference

    NY Rangers vs Ottawa- I’m going with the Rangers in 5. Ottawa has a very good offensive team but they are going against an elite goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist. The Senators will find a way to win one but the Rangers are just the better team.

    Boston vs Washington- I’ve got the Bruins in 6. Any time you are going against Alexander Ovechkin it isn’t going to be easy but the Bruins are too physical for the Capitals. The defending champions are a veteran team and will take care of the underachieving Capitals.

    Florida vs New Jersey- Definitely taking the Devils in 4. Florida may be the 3 seed but New Jersey is the superior team. The Panthers have the least amount of ROW’s of all the 16 playoff teams and they have lost 5 of 6 going into the playoffs. On the flip side New Jersey has won 6 straight and Martin Broudeur is hot going into the playoffs. Brodeur turns 40 on May 6th and I see him still in the playoffs on his birthday.

    Pittsburgh vs Philadelphia- This is a tough one but I’m taking Pitt in 7. Just like the 4 vs 5 matchup in the West, this is going to be a great series. Both teams know each other extremely well as division rivals and both teams have a ton of talent. The deciding factor for me is Pitt having home ice advantage for a potential game 7. They lead the Eastern Conference in home wins.


    That gives me second round match ups of Vancouver/Chicago, St Louis/Detroit, NY Rangers/New Jersey, and Boston/Pittsburgh
     
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  2. LSN80

    LSN80 King Of The Ring

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    Western Conference

    Vancouver vs LA- Vancouver simply has too much all-around talent for the Kings right now, I like LA, they've got a great nucleus of fairly young guys that will only get better, but they're simply not in Vancouver's class. However, unlike what would usually be the case when playing Vancouver, the Kings have the better goaltender in Jonathan Quick. It won't be enough, but I could see him stealing a game or two, especially if Luongo isn't on top of his game. Still, this Vancouver team is good enough to beat you 5-4 if need be, and they'll make fairly short work of the Kings, who blew getting the 3 seed in the season's final days. Canucks in 5.

    St Louis vs San Jose- San Jose is hot at right now, but they're such an up and down team that it's really hard to get behind them in any meaningful way. They won't face the "pressure" of being a favorite this year, which might bode well in their favor. To me, this Blues team is too consistent defensively to really allow San Jose to get on track offensively over the course of the series. One concern for St Louis is their lack of scoring, as their leading scorers TJ Oshie, and David Backes, had less points(54) then Steven Stamkos had goals. You have to figure that having the 21st ranked offense will bite them somewhere, but Halak/Elliott combined with an opportunistic lineup that can grind a team to a halt will be enough here. Ill take the Blues in 6.


    Phoenix vs Chicago- I love what Phoenix has done over the last few weeks of the season to not only get into the playoffs, but win the divison. The Blackhawks do have enough scoring to beat Phoenix even if Jonathan Toews is unavailable Even if Jonathan Toews isn't available, this team can score enough to beat Phoenix, who like St Louis and L.A, don't have enough firepower to be a serious Cup contender.
    On the converse, no playoff team other then Ottawa has given up more goals then the Blackhawks. Although the Coyotes have the 5th best GAA in the NHL, Ill take the 'Hawks explosive offensive that sits at 6th overall in the NHL in a tight series. Blackhawks in 7.

    Nashville vs Detroit- Other then Penguins/Flyers, this could be the best series of the first round. Like with Pens/Flyers, this is a hard luck matchup between two teams that deserve better in a first round matchup, but it is what it is. Detroit is better overall both offensively and defensively then Nashville is by the numbers, although injuries have put a damper on what once looked like another year of Detroit dominating the West. Still, I think they're the better team, even if records ever so slightly indicate otherwise. They have the experience factor of guys who have done it before. I'll take the Wings in 7.

    Eastern Conference

    NY Rangers vs Ottawa- I won't be surprised be surprised if Ottawa doesn't wins a game here. Although they've shown they can score goals, the Rangers are one of the NHL's best defensive clubs, starting with Henrik Lundqvist. The goalie matchup of Lundqvist/Anderson is rediculously lopsided here, and the Rangers roll 4 lines as well as anybody. They aren't a terribly potent club, but they're certainly capable of turning in up when they need to. I don't see them failing to do so against the worst defensive club of all playoff teams. Rangers in 4.

    Boston vs Washington- The Capitals certainly hit their stride as the season came to a close, but they're a mess. How much can they count on Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom? Green hasn't been the same player since he returned from injury. The Bruins drew a favorable matchup in the Caps and the winner of the Panthers/Devils series, and I dont see the defending champs being one and done here. In a tighter series then most will think, Ill take the Bruins in 7.


    Florida vs New Jersey- This series is everything I hate about the NHL seeding system. Instead of rewarding teams with the most points, division winners automatically get the higher seed.In this case, it's the malingering Panthers, who had opened up a huge lead in a terrible division, only to have to win their final game of the season to back their way into a division title with 94 points. That won't be good enough against New Jersey, who has won 6 in a row and has a decent amount of firepower, led by Ilya Kovalchuk, and still plays a responsible defensive system. Jose Theodore vs Martin Brodeur- even with Brodeur at 40- isn't much of a matchup in net, The Panthers are a nice story with their first playoff berth in 11 years, but they won't last long. Devils in 6.

    Pittsburgh vs Philadelphia- The homer in me wants to say Pens in 4 and be done with it, but that's clearly not going to be the case here. The Penguins and Flyers match up better then perhaps any teams in the NHL, and the argument could be made for this being the NHL's best rivalry. I will take the Pens and their 1-2 punch of Crosby and Malkin alongside legitimate scoring linemates, something the Pens have been looking for years to get for both. Philadelphia's goal tending situation is somewhat unknown with Bryzgalof's foot injury, and Marc Andre Fleury is about as consistent as they come. I see this being a hard-fought, close series, but the Penguins simply have more, at least on paper. They hadn't won against the Flyers at home over the past 2 years, but hopefully that first win there Saturday will give them that momentum. I think it will. Pens in 7.


    My second round match ups are Vancouver/Chicago, St Louis/Detroit, NY Rangers/New Jersey, and Boston/Pittsburgh.
     
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  3. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
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    Western Conference

    (1)Vancouver vs (8)Los Angeles : They have a lot to prove after being humbled by the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals last season, so I think the Canucks will be hungry to exorcise their demons from last season. However, lots of controversy between the pipes, and a tougher Kings team than some people give them credit for. This one will be more competitive than some guys think. Canucks in 7

    (2) St. Louis vs (7) San Jose: The Blues had a terrific season and seriously challenged for the President's Trophy. However, I remain unconvinced. The window may be closing on San Jose, but I don't believe it has shut quite yet. Sharks in 7

    (3) Phoenix vs (6) Chicago: My prediction all season has been for the BlackHawks to win the Western Conference, so I will stick with them. Phoenix will be unable to hang with the younger and more talented Hawks. This one will be short and sweet, in the swan song in the desert. For Coyotes fans who live in the desert, I hope you have a cable TV package which features action from Quebec City for next season. BlackHawks in 5

    (4) Nashville vs (5) Detroit: Rinne versus Father Time. Advantage, Rinne. Age has finally caught up with the Wings, and I think they will fall to the younger and hungrier Preds. Nashville has been good for a couple of seasons now, and it's their time, at least in this round. Predators in 6

    Eastern Conference

    (1) New York vs (8) Ottawa: New York is limping into the post season in a lukewarm and unimpressive fashion. But they are still a very strong team with solid goaltending. Ottawa isn't and doesn't. Rangers in 5

    (2) Boston vs (7)Washington: Come on now, check the username! The defending champions, hitting their stride entering the post season, versus a team who is very fortunate to even be there and a team with all kinds of questions swirling around them. Alex who? Bruins in 4

    (3) Florida vs (6) New Jersey: Usually, the number 3 seed is favored and for the number 6 seed to win, it's considered an upset. In this case, however, the number 6 seed will win easily and it will hardly be an upset. An aging Brodeur should be more than enough to halt the overachieving Panthers. Devils in 5

    (4) Pittsburgh vs (5) Philadelphia: This should be a long, drawn out, physical affair, with plenty of bad blood, tension, and drama. For obvious reasons, I hope this one goes seven games of double overtime or longer ;) In the end, though, the better and more balanced team should prevail. Penguins in 7

    As I see it, this sets up Vancouver/San Jose and Nashville/Chicago in the second round out west, with New York/ New Jersey and Boston/Pittsburgh in the east.

    For the record, if there are any staff members out there who wish to make things a little more interesting, I'd certainly be willing to discuss it :)
     
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  4. NSL

    NSL Life's A Bitch, And Then You Mosh

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    1 NEW YORK RANGERS v. 8 OTTAWA SENATORS - I am a big Rangers fan, and I'm trying not to be overconfident, but it's hard not to be, when you have King Henrik in goal, and a top-notch defense. Hopefully the power play stays on their mini roll as well. Ottawa has some big names, but they are lacking severely where the Rangers have strength. Rangers in 5

    2 BOSTON BRUINS v. 7 WASHINGTON CAPITALS - I like how Washington pulled it together to make the playoffs, but their goaltending woes can't be overlooked. Boston has been even hotter than they were, and will expose their shortcomings. Bruins in 4

    3 FLORIDA PANTHERS v. 6 NEW JERSEY DEVILS - Like the Red Wings, the Devils have aged. OK, maybe not the entire team, but their netminder has. Unfortunately for Florida, he's one of (if not) the best goaltenders of all time, and his experience rules here. Florida finally has the hype of winning the Southeast, and finally getting back to the playoffs, but their road ends here. Devils in 5

    4 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS v. 5 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS - The match-up everyone seems to be looking forward to. Philadelphia was largely overlooked this season, due to Bryzgalov under-performing his contract, and the simple fact that the Rangers and Penguins stole every headline the Atlantic had to offer. Giroux is outstanding, and Hartnell had a solid season, but can either of them duplicate those results now, when it matters? Can Bryzgalov step up, and stay hot? No matter what the answers are, sadly, the Penguins still sport the MVP, the crybaby, and a stellar supporting cast. Should be great to watch, and hard-fought. Penguins in 7

    1 VANCOUVER CANUCKS v. 8 LOS ANGELES KINGS - This is an interesting match-up. Los Angeles has played well, and could pose a threat here. Quick would have my vote for the Vezina, if not for Lundqvist, and Kopitar is probably the best player noone has heard of. If Quick can withstand the onslaught of the Canuck offense, it may get interesting. Canucks in 6

    2 ST. LOUIS BLUES v. 7 SAN JOSE SHARKS - San Jose should feel lucky to just be in the playoffs. Niemi was a bomb this year, and they got little-to-nothing from anyone not on their top line. Pavelski's name is right under Kopitar's on the list of unknown greats right now, and he'd need to become All-World for the Sharks to even eke out a single win here. Elliott and Halak are simply too much. Blues in 4

    3 PHOENIX COYOTES v. 6 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS - I applaud Mike Smith for his play down the stretch, and it may serve the team well here. They're facing a Blackhawks team who was missing their leader, on and off the ice, and seemed lost without him at times. He should be back, but there may be a game or two adjustment time for Toews. Phoenix needs consistent production from the likes of Whitney and Vrbata to take advantage of their late division crown. Blackhawks in 6

    4 NASHVILLE PREDATORS v. 5 DETROIT RED WINGS - I thought a few weeks ago that the Wings would rather play anyone than Nashville. Rinne is outstanding, Weber and Suter have the blueline locked down, and their offense has been unbelievable. But if you actually watch a full Red Wings game, you realize that none of it matters. Yes, they're "aged". They're also experienced. No one can take over the ice like Datsyuk. Zetterberg and Holmstrom are just always "there". Their defense has grown throughout the season. Howard can shut any team down on his best nights. This will either be a tough 7-game series, or a blowout either way. Red Wings in 7

    My Second Round: 1 NYR v 6 NJD, 2 BOS v 4 PIT, 1 VAN v 6 CHI, 2 STL v. 5 DET
     
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  5. LoudClearVoice

    LoudClearVoice Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    EAST (I don't follow the East too closely so take my predictions for what they're worth)

    (1)Rangers vs. (8) Senators: Rangers will win this series with relative ease. Rangers take it in 5.

    (2)Boston Bruins vs. (7) Washington Capitals: I actually think the Caps give the Bruins a little scare here but Boston in 6.

    (3) Florida Panthers vs. (6) New Jersey Devils: Devils got a great draw here. Devils in 4.

    (4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (5) Philadelphia Flyers: This will probably be the best first round series in the East. The league will do everything it can to help the golden boy advance but it won't be enough. Philly in 7.

    Second Round Matchups: Rangers vs. Devils, Bruins vs. Flyers


    WEST:

    (1) Vancouver Canucks vs. (8) Los Angeles Kings: This is pretty much a tune-up series for Vancover. LA fans will point to the regular season series between these two (2-2) as a reason to have some hope but it won't matter. I give the Kings a lot of credit for building their team back up but they're not quite there yet. Canucks take it 5.

    (2)St. Louis Blues vs. (7)San Jose Sharks: This will be a great series. What a turnaround for the St. Louis Blues. Oustanding regular season and they appear to have a team that has a little bit of everything you need to win the Cup. However, St. Louis does not score a lot of goals(although they don't give up any either) and they have a mediocre power play. I think this will be does them in ultimately. The Sharks have a great power play and don't give up a lot of goals. Expect a tough series but I like the Sharks in 6.

    (3)Phoenix Coyotes vs. (6) Chicago Blackhawks: Chicago was the better team in the regular season, IMO (although Phoenix won the season series 3-1). The Blackhawks are dealing with a lot of injuries, in particular Toews, but as much as it pains me to say this, I think they'll win this series, relatively easily. Chicago in 5.

    (4)Nashville Predators vs. (5)Detroit Red Wings: This could be the best opening round series (either conference). Two VERY evenly matched teams that played to a 3-3 tie in the season series. The Red Wings looked like they were going to run away with the President's trophy, a couple short months ago and then lost half of the team to injuries.
    Nashville, made some great additions this year before the deadline and at the deadline and this finally seems to be a team with a little bit of everything needed to win.
    Detroit scores a lot of goals and doesn't give up a lot but the special teams are horrendous and could be the difference against Nashville's top power play in the league and top ten in PK. Ultimately though, with a full contingent of players back (Helm is expected back "anytime" after Game 1) and likely Lidstrom's final postseason, the Wings should have enough motivation to play up to their abilities and beat Nashville. Wings in 6.

    Second Round Matchups: Canucks vs. Sharks, Red Wings vs. Blackhawks.
     
    #5
  6. Steve0904

    Steve0904 Pre-Show Stalwart

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    Western Conference


    Vancouver vs LA- I’m taking the Canucks in 6. Admittedly I don't see hardly any of L.A living on the East coast but I watch a lot of hockey and I know how good Quick is, and I've even heard that the Kings could pull an upset from some "experts" and people. However, I don't see it. D Sedin could be back for the start of this and Luongo is a bit worrisome, but he'll be on a very short leash and I think Schneider and team are good enough to overcome his inexperience should it come to that. Vancouver will get pushed but they will win IMO.


    St Louis vs San Jose- I’ve got St Louis in 5. This is one of those series where San Jose is good but the 4-0 season series (I don't usually take much stock in season series) actually means something here, simply because SJ hasn't been able to score on STL at all. 5 games to STL.

    Phoenix vs Chicago- Give me the Blackhawks in 7. Not much to say here. Goaltending is not great for Chicago, but they should get by Phoenix on firepower alone but only just.


    Nashville vs Detroit- Nashville in 7 games. This one will be great. Hard one to pick, but I think home ice does it for NSH in the end. Plus Pekka Rinne is absolutely ridiculous.

    Eastern Conference

    NY Rangers vs Ottawa- I’m going with the Rangers in 6. Home ice, and a pretty sizeable adv in goal should do the trick for the blueshirts.


    Boston vs Washington- Bruins in 4. Get out the brooms! Bruins too physical for a team like Washington. Hate calling teams heartless, but that's exactly what this Caps team is.

    Florida vs New Jersey- Devils in 5. Hate the seeding system in the NHL for this reason. However, Brodeur hasn't been great at all the last few years he's made the playoffs but they will get by Florida. If they don't I'll be shocked.


    Pittsburgh vs Philadelphia- This is a tough one but I’m taking Pitt in 6. 6 games or less just seems to be the standard for these series. Easily the series I'm most excited about, but the Flyers made the critical mistake. They poked the bear. I don't care what Philly has done in Pitt this year or the 4-2 PHI season series record. Come playoff time and a 7 game series, the Pens win, just like they have the last 2 times these teams played in the playoffs.
     
    #6
  7. Poop Master Flex

    Poop Master Flex Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    Vancouver vs LA- Canucks will take this is 4 or 5 games. They are just the stronger team, nuff said.

    St Louis vs San Jose
    - St. Louis in 6. I think San Jose will put in more of a fight than expected (they usually do) but St. Louis has been on a tear for a while so I don't see them slowing down. With that said next round they are done.

    Phoenix vs Chicago
    - I'll go Chicago in 5. They are just the better team and have more talent. They would be much higher in the standings if they weren't in such a tough division.

    Nashville vs Detroit
    - I'll take the Wings in 6. I don't go against my team and even though Nashville is matched well with Detroit the Red Wings have experience and they are healthy again.


    Eastern Conference

    NY Rangers vs Ottawa- Rangers in 5. Rangers are too strong for Ottawa. I think Ottawa will upset them in game 1 or 2 but after that its all Rangers.

    Boston vs Washington- The current champs in 4. I just don't see Washington breaking their stereotype and Boston is a much stronger team and Washington hasn't played too well this year. Bruins are stronger, have more depth and will make quick work of the caps.

    Florida vs New Jersey- Even though the Devils are better I'm taking the Panthers in 6. They got Home Ice advantage and hard working teams like Florida usually upset their way through a round or 2. Jersey is better, but Florida won't quit and work their asses off through a series win.


    Pittsburgh vs Philadelphia- Tough one and probably the best series in the opening round of the playoffs. I think Pittsburgh is due for a series win here and they've been playing good hockey all year long. Lets go with the Crosby Crew in 7.
     
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  8. Steve0904

    Steve0904 Pre-Show Stalwart

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    Discuss what? Your picks. And why does it have to be a staff member? Am I missing something here?
     
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  9. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
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    Hey, another Newfoundlander! Welcome to the Wrestlezone Forums, there aren't many of us on here.

    This is just a little friendly trash talking between myself and a couple of my favorite posters on here who just happen to be on the staff. They know who they are. And I think it's time for a name change for them, compliments of my Boston Bruins. And I'm still waiting guys.
     
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  10. Steve0904

    Steve0904 Pre-Show Stalwart

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    For the record I'll hate the habs forever as well, but I'm not a Bruins fan either. You should be able to guess now, and I don't care what you say, I know they suck.

    As for the second round matchups. I didn't post them in my earlier post, but obviously they are NYR/NJD and BOS/PIT from the East and VAN/CHI and STL/NSH in the West.

    Btw, I was also wondering, maybe we could predict the whole playoffs (i.e. past the first round.) I proposed this idea on a forum from some time ago.

    It was 10 pts for picking the right team and 10 for predicting the correct amount of games in each series. There was also 30 points for predicting the correct SC final matchup and 50 pts for picking the winner. Whether it's for bragging rights or username changes doesn't really matter to me. I just decided to pass along the idea. Of course if you screw up which everybody is likely to do, picks will just reset and you would pick that rounds matchup(s) as they are.
     
    #10
  11. tripolie atche

    tripolie atche Pre-Show Stalwart

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    West

    #1 Vancouver vs #8 Los Angeles - Daniel Sedin should be ready by Game 1, but even if he doesn't play, VAN is deep enough to get past Quick & the Kings. However, Luongo will have a couple of games where he gives up 4 or 5 goals that'll cost VAN but that'll be it. Canucks in 6.

    #2 St. Louis vs #7 San Jose - Yes, STLs offense isn't great but I think they'll get past the Sharks despite it. Like in their four regular season matchups, which ended in a STL sweep, I think STLs D will be too much for SJ & it won't matter who's at goalie for the Blues. Also, STLs penalty kill was excellent against SJs as they only gave up 1 PP goal in their four regular season matchups. Blues in 6.

    #3 Phoenix vs #6 Chicago - We don't know if Toews will make his return for this series, but if he does come back I think he'll struggle to get back to where he was before the concussion. Despite this, CHI has a deep offense & are talented enough to beat the Coyotes to advance into the next round w/o him, but I just don't think it will be enough to get past the red hot Mike Smith. Also, the play of Corey Crawford this year didn't live up to the pre-season expectations he had & if he struggles early on, we could see Ray Emery start. However, another reason I think the Coyotes will win is because they haven't won a playoff series in about 25 YEARS when they were in Winnipeg lol, & I'm sure their players, coaches, & fans are well aware of it. Coyotes in 7.

    #4 Nashville vs #5 Detroit - These two teams are about even & despite DETs experience, I think NSH will advance because of the their power play & DETs below average penalty kill, & also because the Wings’ offense will struggle against Weber & perhaps future Red Winger Ryan Suter. However, another reason I'm choosing NSH is because I expect this series to go 7 games & having home-ice advantage will prove to be the deciding factor in this series. Predators in 7.

    East

    #1 NY Rangers vs #8 Ottawa - I expect Michalek, Spezza, & Alfredsson, who combined for almost 100 goals, to lead the Sens to 1 or 2 wins this series, but no more than that. In the end, I just think the Rangers' defense & Lundqvist are too much for OTT to handle over the course of a seven game series. Rangers in 5.

    #2 Boston vs #7 Washington - I want to say that the Bruins will sweep here since they have depth at pretty much every position, Tim Thomas, & simply because the Caps have been inconsistent all season. However, having Ovechkin & the fact that the Caps are playing the underdog role for the first time since Ovechkin's arrival could actually benefit WAS, & if it does the series will be close but still not enough for the Caps to advance into the Semis lol. Bruins in 6.

    #3 Florida vs #6 New Jersey - Congrats to the Panthers for ending their 12-year playoff drought, ironically the last time they played in the playoffs was when they were swept by the eventual champion NJ the first round in 2000, & just like in '00 NJ will eliminate FLA once again. Yes, FLA won their division & is the higher seed, but they had a goal differential of -24 & 18 OT Losses while NJ had 8 more points & 10 more wins than the Panthers. In addition to, I think Kovalchuk & Parise will be too much for Clemmensen and/or Theodore & FLAs blue line to handle, while Brody will posts a couple of shutouts in this series. Now let's see if Brodeur & NJ can make another run at the Stanley Cup. Devils in 5.

    #4 Pittsburgh vs #5 Philadelphia - This will be a tough, hard fought seven game series which PIT will prevail from. In addition to having the home-ice advantage, I trust Andre-Fleury more than Bryzgalov, & PIT is currently a lot more healthier than the Flyers are. Although, Briere should be back at some point during the series, van Riemsdyk & Meszaros certainly won't be. Also, PIT has the two best players in this series in Malkin & Crosby, who will be playing in their first playoff series since they were upset by the Canadiens in '10, so I'm sure they're hungry & focused more than ever for another shot at the Stanley Cup. Penguins in 7.

    So my 2nd round matchups are: #1 VAN vs #4 NSH, #2 STL vs #3 PHO, #1 NYR vs #6 NJ, & #2 BOS vs #4 PIT
     
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  12. LSN80

    LSN80 King Of The Ring

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    To keep this on topic, Ill just say that I expect it to be Boston/Pittsburgh in the second round. Why? Boston will advance because they're facing the undisciplined Caps. which was the knock on Bruce Boudreau and why he was shown the door. Well, they've marginally improved, and played well down the stretch, but the Bruins lead the NHL in overall +/-, and they're not a team that makes many mistakes.

    To continue with the explanation, the Flyers simply aren't as good as the Penguins. Neither Bobrovsky nor Bryzgalof are the steady presence that is Marc-Andre Fleury, and they lack the scoring depth Pittsburgh does. The Pens roll three lines that can put the puck in the net, including 3 25 goal scorers, a 40 goal scorer, and a fifty goal scorer. When none of them is Crosby or Steve Sullivan, that's scary depth. Giroux is a star, Hartnell is a legit goal scorer, Jaromir Jagr can still turn it on, while Matt Read and Wayne Simmons have provided good bacl;ome scoring. But they dont have that real game-breaker, and things always tighten up in the playoffs, so I think the Pens win.

    Still, even if both won, that's no guarantee you'll see Pitt/Boston in the second round. However, Id be shocked if the slumping Panthers who backed their way into the division title beat the Devils. The Rangers should handle the Sens easily, as the Sens are the worst defensive team in the playoffs in either conference. So, I'm leaning towards a Pens/Bruins second round.

    Give me your best offer, Habs, and Ill take it. This stuff's about to get serious. ;)
     
    #12
  13. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
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    Very simple actually. I'm throwing down the gauntlet to you and one other moderator who has yet to chime in with his predictions. You know, one very nervous New York Rangers fan. And it's a very simple concept.

    Of course, I am a Bruins fan, you favor the Penguins, and IDR roots for the Rangers. In order to win this bet, your team has to win the Stanley Cup. If the Bruins win it all, you and IDR have to undergo a name change, of my choosing. If the Penguins win, you pick a name change for me and IDR. And of course, if the Rangers win, IDR selects a new username for you and for me.

    I'm not interested in who wins a particular series. There's no cause for bragging rights if your team eliminates mine, or vice versa, only to go on to lose to someone else. It only applies to the team in question winning it all. If neither team wins the Cup, no one changes anything.

    The only ground rule I suggest is that the name changes remain tasteful. No "Gaping Anus" (sorry hyourinmaru) or anything else like that. Reasonable name changes to be chosen by the guy whose team hoists the Cup in a couple of months time.

    I expect you to be on board with this, but I wouldn't be surprised if IDR elects to opt out. After the way the Rangers limped into the playoffs, he may not have the confidence to accept the bet, which I would totally understand ;)

    Let me know :)

    As I see it, the Bruins are heading into the playoffs on a bit of a hot streak. They have what should be an easy first round opponent. If they could be fortunate enough to see the Panthers eliminate the Devils, they could have an easier opponent in the second round as well.

    In contrast, the Penguins face a tough task in the first round against their cross state rivals. If successful, they could be looking right at a matchup with the Rangers, which would be tough too. They may not be at their best by the time they reach the third round, if they get there.

    The Rangers have struggled in the past, and in the regular season, against the Senators. They should advance but could be in tough against the Pens in round two (again, if the Devils fall to the Panthers). If not, even Brodeur could possibly be a formidable opponent for the offensivey challenged Rangers.
     
    #13
    LSN80 likes this.
  14. LSN80

    LSN80 King Of The Ring

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    From what Ive read since returning from my absence, he seems to be anything but nervous about his Rangers.

    I can dig this, but with one small change: I understand and agree with the idea that simply having our team, in my case the Penguins, beating your team being enough. However, I propose one small change.

    As much as Im not a proponent of second place having bragging rights, all three of our teams reside in the Eastern Conference. And any hockey pundit will say- and Im sure the three of us as well- It's apparent one of our three teams will win the Eastern Conference. And that's where I suggest the change. Whomever's team wins the East, if it's one of the three, gets to make the name change.

    Im not interested in bragging rights over a particular series either. While I'll take great satisfaction if the Pens defeat the Flyers, the Devils, Panthers, Rangers, or Bruins could await them. But there's bragging rights for sure in being the Eastern Conference champs, having definitively overcome the other two teams, even if they didn't play them.

    Im on board with this as well, in fact, this would be a deal breaker for me. Ive stayed with the same name for my entire tenure here essentially, and for good reason. Im not about to change to something crude or offensive. So Im with you here as well. I just dont think the Cup should be the deciding factor, I think the Eastern Conference victor should. Not that I doubt my Pens, because I believe they will win it all.

    So, in a bet between the three of us, I think this is the best solution. It's not as if this bet is extended to a member who supports a Western Conference team, so why include that in the equation?

    If you mean the Rangers lost their last two as "limping" into the playoffs, then I suppose you're right. But they're still the Eastern Conference champs, so Id say confidence in the Blueshirts is pretty damn high.

    I'm in. Consider my counter bet, but if you're unwilling to change your terms, I'm still in. With your confidence in the Bruins sky high, I can't imagine a reason you wouldn't take my counter, however. ;)

    Yes, they've come in well, and under the radar as well, which is a nice place to be. You mentuoned the Rangers "limping" into the playoffs, well, if that's the case, then the Panthers have "crawled" in. Washington, despite the uncertainty in goal, have all their stars back, and will be a tougher out then I think you imagine.

    Even as a huge Pens fan, it's easy to see that the Penguins will have the toughest road back to the Cup. So perhaps Im silly in taking the bet, but Im that confident in the Pens. I said earlier that the Pens have 5 forwards with more then 25 goals, and that doesn't include a rejuvenated Matt Cooker with 19, a buzzsaw in Steve Sulllivan with 16 who really keys the PP, and that Sidney Crosby guy who lead the league in scoring in the 21 games since his return.

    However, The key for the Pens, I believe, will be their big money defensive acquisitions from last off-season. I'm not referring to longtime mainstays in Letang and Orpik, I'm talking about Zybnek Michalek and Paul Martin. If they play to their capabilities, the Pens have two shut down pairs of defensemen who can move the puck, and back their all-world stable of forwards. That Marc-Andre Fleury guy, who falls under the radar, gives the Pens an advantage over almost any team they'll play as well, and certainly the Flyers. But the Penguins undoubtably have the toughest road, but they made the Cup Finals in 07/08 & 08/09 from the four seed, so its not unfamiliar territory here.

    The Rangers may not have the firepower of the Penguins(1st overall), or the Bruins(2nd overall), but they aren't bereft of offense, as they're 11 overall ranking shows. Gaborik, Richards, Stepan, and Callahan are all productive ranging to explosive, and the Senators defense is awful. I know the Sens won the series over the Rangers in the regular season 3-1, but history shows that the regular season generally means very little.

    So in conclusion of this long-ass post, Id bet a tidy sum that one of our three teams wins the East. Saying that, my counter offer is that we make the name change bet over who wins the East. But if you're not good with that, Ill go with what you suggested. Hopefully IDR will as well.
     
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  15. It's Damn Real!

    It's Damn Real! The undisputed, undefeated TNA &

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    I'm A-OK with the bet, and I actually like LSN's suggestion to be the team that takes the East. It's not that I or any of you aren't confident enough that our teams will win the Cup, but it takes into account the entire West, which could kill the bet entirely. By limiting it for the team winning the East we all stand a much, much more likely percentage chance of winning the bet outright.

    As for the thread, I don't do predictions. Sorry, fellas. I'm a firm believer in the jinx, and as such I stay the fuck away from "predicting" anything, even for my enemies. It never pans out well.
     
    #15
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  16. Davi323

    Davi323 semi-retired from WZ

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    For the most part, I am right here with ya. Even with my Red Wings fandom bordering the line towards cockiness, I will not make any kinds of predictions when it comes to the NHL playoffs for precisely that reason.

    I would make a suggestion for your name change bet though, if you are going to do it, the names should be hockey related, in such a way that they would be annoying to the losers. Like, make Habs change his to Loveshabsforever, or HatesBruins, or something like that. They should be fun, and designed to tweak the loser's hockey sensibilities. If LSN is a Pens fan, make him change his name Skidmark Crybaby, that kind of thing.
     
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  17. Big Sexy

    Big Sexy Deadly Rap Cannibal

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    Not the best first round for me going just 3-5 but it is what it is. Here are my second round predictions.

    Western Conference

    St Louis vs LA- I'm taking the Blues in 6. I didn't give LA a chance against Vancouver and they proved me wrong but their run stops here. The Blues are mentally tougher then the Canucks and have much stronger goaltending.

    Phoenix vs Nashville- Preds in 6. Nashville probably had the most impressive performance of all the first round teams. They are very physical and grind away at you all game. The Coyotes are going to need a hell of a series from Mike Smith to have a chance.

    Eastern Conference

    NY Rangers vs Washington- I'm giving it to the Rangers in 7. They didn't play all that well against Ottawa but they survived and that all that matters. The Capitals were able to upset the Bruins but I don't think the will have enough left to do it twice.

    Philadelphia vs New Jersey- I've got the Devils in 7. Philly looked damn good on offense against Pitt but their goaltending was horrendous. New Jersey is a much better defensive team then Pitt and they have the greatest goalie to ever play the game in net. Martin Brodeur is going to turn 40 during this season but he is going to show that he is far from over the hill.

    That sets up a West Final of St Louis vs Nashville and an East Final of the NY Rangers vs New Jersey.
     
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  18. tripolie atche

    tripolie atche Pre-Show Stalwart

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    not bad as I went 5-3 in the 1st round

    West

    #2 St. Louis vs #8 Los Angeles - Quick vs. Elliott, this is pretty much all you need to know about this upcoming series & the reason why this will be a low scoring series that'll feature several OT games, perhaps even a few double-OT or triple-OT games. Even though I think Quick is a better goalie than Elliott, I'm going with the Blues here because of how successful they were on the PP in their previous series, while LA struggled with their PP which is the one thing they couldn't do right against VAN lol. Anyways, I think that will be the difference in a tough 7 game series. Blues in 7.

    #3 Phoenix vs #4 Nashville - another great goalie matchup in the other West Semifinal, in Smith vs Rinne, which should lead to a low scoring series. However, I think the depth that NAS has on offense will ultimately be too much for Mike Smith to handle. Plus all those OT games with CHI, & the fact that the 'Yotes came out of that series a little banged up could also be advantages for the Preds. Predators in 6.

    East

    #1 NY Rangers vs #7 Washington - hard to believe that this was the #1 (Caps) vs #8 (Rangers) matchup last year. This series will go back and forth, but in the end I think Lundqvist will outlast Holtby in 7 games. In addition to, I'm going with NYR because I think their depth at defense will be too much for the Caps to overcome, & I think Gaborik & Richards will both have a great series now that Hagelin is back after serving a suspension from Games 3-5 in the previous round. Also, because WAS has beaten NYR in the playoffs in 2 of the previous 3 years, the Rangers will not take this series lightly & are definitely motivated to eliminate the Caps. Rangers in 7.

    #5 Philadelphia vs #6 New Jersey - Yes, PHI beat PIT despite Bryzgalov giving up at least 3 goals in five of their six games, but NJ who had the best penalty kill in the regular season gave up almost 10 PP goals to FLA. To beat PHI, NJ will have to stay out of the penalty box, but they won't & PHI will make them pay. Giroux, Briere, Hartnell, etc. will continue to make noise in this series, like they did against the Penguins, against Brodeur who will also not be able to overcome the offensive firepower the Flyers bring. Flyers in 6.

    So my Conference Finals Matchups are St. Louis vs Nashville & NY Rangers vs Philadelphia.
     
    #18
  19. Big Sexy

    Big Sexy Deadly Rap Cannibal

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    I went 2-2 in the last round as the Western Conference continues to be crazy.

    Eastern Conference Finals- I'm taking New Jersey over New York in 7. The Rangers are a very tough team but New Jersey looked great against Philly. The Rangers have yet to really dominate an opponent and I can't see them just squeaking by like they did against Ottawa and Washington. Plus I'm rooting for Marty Brodeur to get another Cup.

    Western Conference Finals- I've got LA over Phoenix in 6. The Kings have been the most impressive team thus far in the playoffs. They have the hottest goalie and seem like the hungriest team. Phoenix has been impressive in their own right but I don't think they have the talent to match LA.

    That sets up a Stanley Cup Final of New Jersey vs LA.
     
    #19
  20. tripolie atche

    tripolie atche Pre-Show Stalwart

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    ugh went 1-3 in the 2nd round (thank you NYR :))

    West

    #3 Phoenix vs #8 Los Angeles - Mike Smith vs Jonathan Quick should be a great matchup but I have to go with the Kings simply because I just can't go against a team that went 8-1 against the top two seeds in the Western Conference lol. Also, I think Brown, Kopitar, Richards, & Carter will be what decides this series in favor of the Kings as they'll continue to remain hot even against Mike Smith. Kings in 6.

    East

    #1 NY Rangers vs #6 New Jersey - Just like in the first two series for the Rangers, I think they'll find enough offense in Gaborik, Richards, & Callahan to get past NJ while McDonagh, Girardi, & Staal will do enough to slow down Kovalchuk & the rest of NJ's offense. Lundqvist will outperform Brodeur, & fortunately for NY, this won't end in 7 games lol as they'll clinch a Stanley Cup berth in NJ in OT. Rangers in 6.

    So my Stanley Cup Final matchup will be NY Rangers vs Los Angeles.
     
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  21. Big Sexy

    Big Sexy Deadly Rap Cannibal

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    I got both series right in the last round and now we are on to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Kings and Jonathan Quick have looked nearly unstoppable all playoffs long but they are taking on a team that came out of a deeper Eastern Conference and they have gotten better as each series has gone on. Martin Brodeur is the greatest goalie of all time and even at age 40 he can still play with the best of them. It will be a hard fought series but I'm taking New Jersey in 7 games.
     
    #21
  22. Lowdown

    Lowdown Ooh baby I like it roooaaaaw!

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    I'd say that both teams are just about evenly matched. I'm going with the Kings in 7.
     
    #22
  23. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

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    I think the Kings have too much fire power for the Kings to handle. They have the more dominant goalie (Brodeur's hall of fame career aside) at the moment, and they have the most important factor of all: momentum. Throw some fatigue and emotional letdown after the Rangers series, and I think the over achieving Devils are going down fast.

    Kings in 5
     
    #23
  24. timfly

    timfly Dark Match Winner

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    Kings in 6. They are just playing too good.
     
    #24
  25. tripolie atche

    tripolie atche Pre-Show Stalwart

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    went 1-1 in the Conference Finals.

    Stanley Cup Finals

    #6 New Jersey vs #8 Los Angeles - The Devils will prove to be a great test for the Kings, but I'm going with LA because Quick will outplay Brodeur as the Kings' top two lines will be too much for him to handle. Although LA's power play has been terrible this postseason, their penalty kill has been great & it'll continue to be in addition to probably scoring a couple of short-handed goals in this series as well lol. Kings in 6.

    The Conn Smythe Trophy will go to Jonathan Quick.
     
    #25

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