Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The rest of the Stanley Cup playoffs
I'm not only watching the Caps and honestly, it's been an interesting playoffs so far. The home teams are struggling a bit. I'll start with the rest of the Eastern Conference.
Philadelphia vs New Jersey:
I kept hearing that Philly wasn't a team you wanted to play in the first round and they've handled New Jersey pretty well. Boucher has been pretty solid in net for Philly and they need that if they're going to get anywhere. I'm not sure the Devils can put together a win streak and take control of this series. They haven't been able to generate enough offense and Philly has been a scrapy team and getting to Brodeur. I like Philly winning this series but it might take 7 games to do so.
Buffalo vs Boston:
With Vanek out the Sabres are in trouble. Yes, Miller is great in goal and he can keep them in games but you need to score to win games and these tight 2-1 games are going to be tough for Buffalo to get. Boston has a tough defense with Chara leading the way. If Cooke comes back for the Bruins it'll be lights out for Buffalo. I'm not willing to tip my hand to Boston yet because Ryan Miller has been outstanding in goal. But this series probably also goes 7 games.
Pittsburgh vs Ottawa:
I thought this would be a close series but with Pittsburgh taking the series lead I'm giving this series to the Penguins in 5. Ottawa will have to do something tonight to get me to change my mind. I don't think the Sens have enough to stop Crosby and Malkin and I feel like Pittsburgh is beginning to hit their stride and they could be tough going forward. Pittsburgh's goaltending might be a cause for concern going forward but I don't think Ottawa will be much trouble/
San Jose vs Colorado:
Poor San Jose. They can't catch a break. They lose game 1 at home causing everyone to go ahead and call this another year where San Jose can't get it done in the playoffs. Then with the series tied at 1 a piece they make a huge mistake at the beginning of overtime; the defense puts the puck into their own net and Colorado gets the win. It's embarrassing. Goaltending was a huge problem in the first two games of the series and the Avalanche could very easily be up 3-0 in this series. And I'm not buying into San Jose. I don't think Colorado has any real punch going forward in the playoffs but I like them beating the Sharks in 6.
Detroit vs Phoenix:
Bryzgalov. Remember that name. Hockey town might be the favorites in this series but the Coyotes are the number 4 seed and were one of the hottest teams going into the playoffs. Bryzgalov has been the man in goal and I like Phoenix's chance against Detroit in this series. The Red Wings won't lie down so I'm seeing a hard fought 7 game series but the Coyotes are coming out the victors.
Chicago vs Nashville:
Despite dropping game 1 and despite Nashville's goaltender Rinne playing great I still like Chicago. I think in Nashville tonight, they'll manage to take game 3-1 and win this series in 6. The Blackhawks are the better team and even though these series have all been pretty even matched and surprising to some extent, I still think Chicago takes their experience from last year and put this series to rest. Rinne will be tough to beat in goal but the Hawks have enough weapons to make it happen. They won't need to score much more then 2 or 3 goals a game to win.
Vancouver vs LA
Hello LA. The Kings are the most surprising series leader of this years playoffs so far. LA has been fantastic on the power play and were 3 for 3 last night in the victory that sent Luongo to the bench. Quick has made the big saves when he had to and the Kings are being tough on the forecheck. Vancouver can still pull this series out and I'll still give the Canucks an advantage in this series but it'll take 7. I'll Vancouver in 7 but they need to be better on the penalty kill or LA will win this series in 6.