Wednesday, April 19, 2006

NHL Playoffs

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.

Eastern Conference

(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.

Western Conference

(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.



His Better Half said...

Don't rule out San Jose just yet.

Czobit said...

You're right. I shouldn't.

The problem I have with San Jose is that Joe Thornton hasn't performed well in the playoffs, or at least not to the level he has in the regular season. But if he plays the way he can, then San Jose does have a good shot at the Cup.

His Better Half said...

Point taken. I'm glad you agree!

I'm still crying about the Leafs.

Czobit said...

The Leafs are the champions of getting everyone's hopes up. Most Leaf fans--the one's not divorced from reality--knew the Leafs had little chance of making the playoffs after they lost the two games against the Habs. And yet, they got hot enough to make everyone believe.

And while "There's always next season" is a Leafs fan official, tired motto, next season really should be better if they stay young and fast.

Until then, we'll just have to enjoy Ottawa embarassing themselves in the playoffs again. Hey, maybe Alfredson will play one good playoff game this season? Yeah, right.

Kaitlyn said...

Calgary Calgary Calgary Calgary Calgary.

I may masquerade as a Leafs supporter in the T.O., but we all know where my true support is lent.

Go Flames!

His Better Half said...
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His Better Half said...

Yeah, I wasn't implying I had much hope for the boys as of late.

Actually, forgive me, but I was hoping they'd finish dead last and have a shot at some decent draft picks.

I'm depressed because after [however many] years of watching the boys in blue and white, this is the first time I can remember them not making the playoffs.

Yes, I think next year should be different. We need to blow up the team and add some new blood.

Czobit said...

The blowing up has begun with Quinn's firing today.

It's a good first step, because I was afraid with that last ditch run, which as you mention cost us a better draft pick, Quinn would keep his job. Not so.

And Kait, your Flames have a good chance this year. I can't say they don't deserve it. Had Martin Gelinas's goal in game 6 in 2004 counted, they'd be in good position to repeat this year.

His Better Half said...

I am so out of the loop! I didn't even know he got the boot until I read your comment.

I'm not shocked.. but at the same time, I kind of am. I really loved that guy.

Czobit said...

Ferguson was a bit evasive in the press conference, but it looks like Paul Maurice will be the head coach and Keith Acton will coach the Marlies next season.

I thought Quinn was a great coach. But someone has to be the scapegoat, although Ferguson won't say that's the case.

His Better Half said...

I can't say I agree with it. There was one year left on his contract, right? And he's been here for what, 7 or 8 years? This is the first time the team hasn't made the playoffs. Ehhhhhh. I don't know.

I still love him. I'm sad for him.

Czobit said...

We'll see next season whether it was a mistake. But I wouldn't be surprised if Quinn has another coaching job by the summer.