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Your 2009 Playoff Predictions

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By the way, that '02 series between the Wings and Canucks was notable. If I'm thinking correctly, that was the series where the Wings weren't scoring, and not looking good, until Lidstrom scored on a shot from the center line. After that, it seemed the Wings could do no wrong and eventually won the series and then went on to win the Cup.

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I think the Wings have as good of a chance of winning the Cup as anyone. I don't expect the Eastern conference champion to come from one of the top 3 seeds. I'll make 1st round Western picks for now:

San Jose over Anaheim in 5. - I didn't want the Wings to play Anaheim due to travel and the Ducks' playoff-seasoned roster, but travel won't be an issue for San Jose and beyond their big names the Ducks have relatively little depth. Plus the Ducks have big goaltending issues.

Detroit over Columbus in 6 - This will be a typical Wings' 1st round matchup. A less talented but hungry team trying to stop the Wings with defense and grinding. The Wings will need to work hard but will outlast them in 6. Then hit their stride starting in the 2nd round ...

Chicago over Calgary in 6 - This should be a very intense, loud-crowd series. Keenan facing one of his many former teams. Both teams slumped in the final quarter of the season, but the Hawks can turn it back on.

Vancouver over St. Louis in 7 - Canucks in a groove right now. St. Louis may have shot their load just to get here. But the Canucks are incapable of doing anything the easy way.

I would agree with LS in each WC 1st round series, in both winners and number of games.

In the 1st round East pairings I predict the following:

Boston over Montreal in 6

Carolina over New Jersey in 6

Washington over New York Rangers in 6

Philadelphia to upset Pittsburgh in 6

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My Eastern Conference picks:

Habs/Bruins: If Boston can not go beat Montreal in this series, I don't know when they ever will. Everything is lining up for Boston to win this series. They have the scorers, defense, and the goaltending to get it done. Montreal has been a team of turmoil all season, and who knows what Montreal is getting out of their goaltender, Corey Price. Habs in 6

Rangers/Caps: I like the Rangers in this series. They finished the season well, and I will take their goaltender, Lundquvist over Caps goaltender Jose Theodore. Theodore did well last year in the first round against a team that had a hard time scoring in the Wild, but The Rangers have scorers, which is something you couldn't say about the Wild last year either. I can't wait to see Avery face off against Ovechekin. Rangers in 6

Canes/Devils: This series is a push. Both teams matched up well against each other. They both have good goaltenders and lot of scorers. For some reason, I will go with Carolina in 6. They always seem to do well against the Devils in the playoffs.

Pens/Flyers: Pens should win this series in 5. They have too many scorers, and the Flyers still do not have that goaltender that can take them places.

Western Conference Picks:

Sharks/Ducks: I will go with the Ducks here. They are playing well at the right time. I will take their goaltending and their defense over San Jose. Plus, San Jose seems to struggle against teams that play defense first. Ducks in 6

Wings/Jackets: I like the Blue Jackets in this series. I like their goaltender and Ken Hitchcock's teams always play well in the playoffs. Detroit's goaltending problems does not inspire confidence for me so I like Columbus in 6

Nucks/Blues: Canucks have Luongo and that's going to be the difference in that series. Nucks in 5

Flames/Blackhawks: Chicago's goaltending should not scare any team one bit, and I wonder if the Hawks style of play is going to work in the second season. Calgary in 5.

The Nucks should be hoisting the Cup at Raleigh when all is said and done.

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Round 1

Eastern Conference

Boston over Montreal in 4

Washington over NY Rangers in 5

Carolina over New Jersey in 6

Pittsburgh over Philly in 7

Western Conference

San Jose over Anaheim in 6

Detroit over Columbus in 5

Vancouver over St. Louis in 6

Chicago over Calgary in 7

I'll make more predictions in the second round.

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Rangers/Caps: I like the Rangers in this series. They finished the seasopn well, and I will take their goaltender, Lundquvist over Caps goaltender Jose Theodore. Theodore did well last year in the first round against a team that had a hard time scoring in the Wild, but The Rangers have scorers. I can't wait to see Avery face off against Ovechekin. Rangers in 6

If anyone on the Caps were to face off with Avery, it would be Donald Brasher. He is the "heavy" on the Caps roster leading the team in PIM by a landslide.

Canes/Devils: This series is a push. Both teams matched up well against each other. They both have good goaltenders and lot of scorers. For some reason, I will go with Carolina in 6. They always seem to do well against the Devils in the playoffs.

Carolina has only played the Devils 3 times in the playoffs (and they did not even win all 3 series, losing their first match-up), so they don't always do well against the Devils in the playoffs. The first two match-ups were way before the lockout, and the teams have both had a huge turnover since then, so their playoff history against each other is pretty irrelevant at this moment.

Pens/Flyers: Pens should win this series in 5. They have too many scorers, and the Flyers still do not have that goaltender that can take them places.

Both teams scored the exact same number of goals this season, and the Penguins allowed just one fewer goal than the Flyers. It's pretty much a wash if you were looking at that. From a goaltending standpoint, Fleury had a slightly better GAA, but his save percentage was slightly lower than Biron's. As far as having "too many scorers" the Penguins didn't have a single 40-goal scorer. Malkin led them with 35. On the other hand, the Flyers had a 40-goal scorer (Carter, who was one of the best snipers in the game this season). The Flyers also have Gagne, Hartnell, and Richards, while the only other one to come near Malkin's production on the Penguins roster was Crosby.

Sharks/Ducks: I will go with the Ducks here. They are playing well at the right time. I will take their goaltending and their defense over San Jose. Plus, San Jose seems to struggle against teams that play defense first. Ducks in 6

So, you'll take the goaltending of a team who allowed more goals than 16 other NHL teams over the goaltending of the team who was 3rd in the league in goals allowed?

Flames/Blackhawks: Chicago's goaltending should not scare any team one bit, and I wonder if the Hawks style of play is going to work in the second season. Calgary in 5.

I could see why the Hawks goaltending wouldn't scare anybody. I mean, they only were 5th in the entire NHL in goals allowed, and our starter has a Stanley Cup ring. *rolls eyes*

Meanwhile, Calgary's goaltending was ranked in the bottom third of the league. Calgary is facing the 4th best offense in the NHL with a depleted defense (Sarich and Regher might both be out, and Phaneuff is far from being 100%). Logic does not support the Flames winning in 5.

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So, you'll take the goaltending of a team who allowed more goals than 16 other NHL teams over the goaltending of the team who was 3rd in the league in goals allowed?

I think a lot of the people who are picking the Ducks are doing so not based on the fact that their goaltending has been suspect, but that they've been playing so damn good coming into the playoffs. Definitely one of the hotter teams coming into the playoffs.

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So it looks like Bonderman, AlKalineIsGod & Myself are the only ones who think the Blues can pull the upset over the Canucks.....

I think they can(have it going 7), but I am not going to predict it.

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I could see why the Hawks goaltending wouldn't scare anybody. I mean, they only were 5th in the entire NHL in goals allowed. *rolls eyes*

Meanwhile, Calgary's goaltending was ranked in the bottom third of the league. Calgary is facing the 4th best offense in the NHL with a depleted defense (Sarich and Regher might both be out, and Phaneuff is far from being 100%). Logic does not support the Flames winning in 5.

Preach it sister!

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Eastern Conference 1st round picks:

Boston over Montreal in 7 - I'm not sold on the Bruins. The Habs' 100th anniversary season has been anything but boring, so I expect a few twists this series before ultimately they bow out.

Washington over Rangers in 5 - Ovechkin on Broadway. I expect him to get a hattrick in one of the Manhattan games. This series could just as easily be a sweep.

Carolina over Jersey in 7 - Whatever. The series I'm least interested in. 2 decent teams, but franchises that would be at the top of my list for contraction. Brodeur has struggled in the 1st round often since the Devils' 2003 Cup.

Pittsburgh over Philly in 5 - The Flyers coughed up home-ice advantage for this series today. Sid will take charge. The Pens could make it to the Finals.

So I went 7-1 in the 1st round. Got the Chicago and Carolina series exactly right. But predicted things would be more difficult than turned out to be for the Wings, Blues, and Bruins. Whereas the Rangers played the Caps tougher than I expected.

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First Round Picks

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Boston vs. Montreal - The Bruins have handled the Canadiens all year, and have beat them the past 5 times they've played. Bruins in 5.

Washington vs. New York - Ovechkin & the supporting crew of the Capitals > The Rangers. Capitals in 5.

New Jersey vs. Carolina - Carolina has had Jersey's number this year, but Brodeur is back, and he was in net for the only game they won against the Hurricanes. Good series, but Devils in 6.

Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia - Penguins won the season series & have been playing better than Philly as of late. Penguins in 6.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

San Jose vs. Anaheim - Anaheim has been playing well lately, but San Jose comes in ready & takes care of business in another good first round series. San Jose in 6.

Detroit vs. Columbus - Blue Jackets have been a pain in our *** all year, but we've got the experience & this is the time we've been waiting for all year. Wings in 6.

Vancouver vs. St. Louis - The Blues have been streaky, and Mason has been damn good, so I'm going with the crazy pick on this one. Blues in 6.

Chicago vs. Calgary - The Blackhawks young guns come through & prevail over the Flames, who they have dominated all year long. Blackhawks in 5.

5 Out of 8. Only series I got perfectly right was the Penguins/Flyers. Hopefully next rounds predictions will be better once I get around to making them.

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Second Round

Detroit over Anaheim in 7. This will be a tense and chippy series. Hiller is not used to having traffic in front of him because San Jose is soft as a cloud. Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom will be the keys for the Wings.

Vancouver over Chicago in 7. Luongo will be the difference in a few of these games. I predict the home team will win every game in this series and Vancouver will have mass riots when they win game 7 that will force the 2010 Olympics to be moved to Seattle.

Boston over Carolina in 6. This series will be closer than some think, but Carolina will have a hard time scoring in this series. Cam Ward will have to absolutely stand on his head for the 'Canes to win.

Pittsburgh over Washington in 7. Another great series that will be the most energetic and exciting as far as finesse plays Ovechkin vs. Sid. Wonder who Don Cherry will be pulling for?

This second round is going to be unbelievable.

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Second Round

Detroit over Anaheim in 7. This will be a tense and chippy series. Hiller is not used to having traffic in front of him because San Jose is soft as a cloud. Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom will be the keys for the Wings.

Vancouver over Chicago in 7. Luongo will be the difference in a few of these games. I predict the home team will win every game in this series and Vancouver will have mass riots when they win game 7 that will force the 2010 Olympics to be moved to Seattle.

Boston over Carolina in 6. This series will be closer than some think, but Carolina will have a hard time scoring in this series. Cam Ward will have to absolutely stand on his head for the 'Canes to win.

Pittsburgh over Washington in 7. Another great series that will be the most energetic and exciting as far as finesse plays Ovechkin vs. Sid. Wonder who Don Cherry will be pulling for?

I pretty much agree with this except I say Wings in 6, and Blackhawks in 7

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Wings over Ducks in 7 (one or two games will be decided in OT)

Blackhawks over Canucks in 6

Carolina over Boston in 6

Penguins over Capitals in 7

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Red Wings over Ducks in 5

Blackhawks over Canucks in 6

Bruins over Hurricanes in 6

Penguins over Capitals 7

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Wings over Ducks 6 games

Bruins over Hurricane 6 games

Blackhawks over Canucks 6 games

Penguins over Caps 6 games

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