April 14, 2011

NHL playoff predictions

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey, Picks

Just because the playoffs kicked off Wednesday night, doesn’t mean we can’t post some predictions today, right? It’s not like there were any Game 1 upsets. So, without further ado, here we go.
Eastern Conference
Washington over New York Rangers in five.
New York just squeaking into the playoffs and the Capitals have reinvented themselves as a better defensive squad this season.
Philadelphia over Buffalo in seven.
Ryan Miller can keep the Sabres in this series and the Flyers have a few question marks in their crease.
Boston over Montreal in six.
Remember that game they played after the Chara hit, when the Canadiens should’ve been out for revenge and rolled over? I’ll take that as an indicator for this series.
Pittsburgh over Tampa Bay in seven.
Sidney Crosby could come back if needed. It’s hard to take the Lightning seriously with the goaltending problems they have.
Western Conference
Vancouver over Chicago in four.
These Blackhawks aren’t even close to the Cup winners of last season. The Canucks didn’t get the best record in the league with luck.
San Jose over Los Angeles in five.
The Sharks have failed to live up their hype in the past few post-seasons, but losing out in this battle of California won’t happen.
Detroit over Phoenix in five.
The Wings are simply too strong for the future Winnipeg Jets, even without Henrik Zetterberg for a few games.
Nashville over Anaheim in six.
The Ducks have some serious problems in net with Jonas Hiller suffering from vertigo symptoms. The Preds should surprise many here.
And since we’re going over predictions, why not look back to what I said at the beginning of the season?
Division winners – Southeast: Washington, Atlantic: New Jersey, Northeast: Boston, Pacific: Los Angeles, Northwest: Vancouver, Central: Detroit.
Eastern conference finals: Bruins over Penguins

Western conference finals: Red Wings over Sharks

Stanley Cup: Red Wings over Bruins.
Awards – Art Ross: Alex Ovechkin, WAS, Hart: Jonathan Toews, CHI, Norris: Brian Campbell, CHI, Vezina: Martin Brodeur, NJD.
So, not too bad with the division picks right? Well, except for the Devils and Kings – who at least made the playoffs. But the award winners were way off. Looks like I figured the Blackhawks’ post-Cup decline was way worse than I could have imagined.

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