My First Round Predictions, Sir
If the Leafs had made the playoffs, we all know the City of Toronto would be drafting the parade route. But hell didn't freeze over, so they're not in. But 16 teams are, and here are the match-ups with my predictions. Oh, and if you're team is down below and I've pegged them to lose--believe me, it's personal.
(1) Ottawa vs. (8) Tampa Bay
Tampa in seven. Without Hasek, Ottawa doesn't have a chance in these playoffs. And based on their abysmal play against the Leafs last Saturday (proof had there been a Leafs-Sens, Part V, the Leafs would have won), Ottawa will be lucky to hang in seven games with the defending Cup champs. But they will, because of Tampa's equally horrible goaltending situation.
(2) Carolina vs. (7) Montreal
Carolina in five. Montreal has limped into the playoffs, losing four of their last six. The dream run by Huet is over.
(3) New Jersey vs. (6) NY Rangers
New Jersey in six. The Devils are the hottest team going into the playoffs, having won their last 12. If New York is to win, they'll need Jagr to play the best of his career and Lundqvist to play like he did in the Olympics.
(4) Buffalo vs. (5) Philadelphia
Philly in seven. Sorry Sabres fans, did you forget? Buffalo is cursed. This is a city that's had numerous chances to win a championship in football and hockey in the last 16 years (I think the number is five) and they've come up with a big, disgusting Zero. Philly will grind them into the ground.
(1) Detroit vs. (8) Edmonton
Detroit in six. There are some people who think Edmonton will upset Detroit in this series. Those people need to put down their bongs and put away their crack. Dwayne Roloson is Edmonton's goaltender. Do I need to say more?
(2) Dallas vs. (7) Colorado
Dallas in six. The Stars are one of the best teams this season (you can see that with their #2 ranking). The Avs have Jose Theodore. Theodore isn't Roy, and the Avalanche aren't the AVALANCHE without Forsberg.
(3) Calgary vs. (6) Anaheim
Calgary in five. Flames are on a mission. Unfortunately for the Ducks, they're in the way.
(4) Nashville vs. (5) San Jose
San Jose in four. No Vokoun = no chance for Nashville. San Jose is another hot team going into the playoffs.
Stanley Cup winner: it'll be from the Western Conference. Either Detroit, Dallas or Calgary.