April 30, 2013

NHL playoff predictions: It’s going to be bad

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

Before we get to our fantastically uninformed NHL playoff preview, I feel it my duty to remind everyone what we’re in store for: TERRIBLE ICE HOCKEY.

You might’ve forgotten last year’s playoffs thanks to the prolonged lockout – which should have mercifully wiped out this season – then 48 games played at a ridiculous pace. Well, that’s why I’m here.

Get ready for games where defence is always paramount. There will be almost as many shots blocked as make it to the goalie. There will be plenty of guys jawing at each, but never fighting. There will be a scrum with a lot of face-washing after every whistle. The refs will be ‘letting them play,’ which means we’ll see the type of clutching and grabbing that was eliminated after the previous lockout.

Throw in the fact that everybody is going to be tired and a little banged up from playing too many games in too short of a time period and we are in store for some of the worst ice hockey the NHL has seen in years.

In other words, we’re going to see some big upsets and a champion that likely won’t deserve to hoist the best-looking trophy in sports. And then, next year, we’ll forget all about how bad it was and get psyched up for terrible playoff ice hockey.

On to the predictions…


Pittsburgh over New York Islanders in 4.

It was nice of Tavares to lead the Islanders to the slaughter. This is a nice building block for the future for the franchise that will soon move to Brooklyn, but this isn’t going to be pretty. Sid the Kid and Co. are the odds-on favourites to win it all for a reason.

Ottawa over Montreal in 6.

This is going to be a tight, defensive showdown with lots of rough stuff – but no fighting, remember. I see the under-rated Craig Anderson getting the best of Carey Price, who hasn’t looked good recently.

Washington over New York Rangers in 7.

Alex Ovechkin has been on fire and the Rangers aren’t going to be the team to stop them. New York has been doing better since the trade deadline, but this is still a flawed team. You can’t forget about Henrik Lundqvist’s poor playoff record.

Toronto over Boston in 6.

I won’t even see this as a shocker. The Bruins have fallen apart down the stretch and have some question marks in the goal-scoring department. The Leafs have a strong team and will surprise some folks. In fact, I see them making it to the conference finals before bowing out.


Chicago over Minnesota in 6.

The best team in the regular season face a team that had to beat out the Columbus Blue Jackets on the final day to make it in. It won’t be easy for the Hawks though, they are missing Ray Emery and Dave Bolland at the moment.

Anaheim over Detroit in 7.

Of the Red Wings teams that have made the playoffs 22 seasons in a row, this is one of the worst. Many forget that the Ducks were one of the best teams in the league early in the season. Anaheim has the depth and goalies to make a good run.

Los Angeles over St. Louis in 7.

The defending champions are good enough to eke one out over the Blues. I wouldn’t beat against a goalie like Jonathan Quick standing on his head and carrying this team again. This will be a battle of goalkeepers with a few overtime tilts.

San Jose over Vancouver in 6.

After the wonder twins, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, the Canucks don’t have a lot of scoring depth. The Sharks aren’t prone to deep playoff runs, but this is a weird season where anything can happen, remember.

Pittsburgh over Anaheim in 6.
The only thing stopping Crosby and his team of superstars from hoisting the Cup is an injury, but you can’t rule that out for a second.

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