An attempt to be humorous and logical about the Buffalo Sports Scene.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NHL Playoffs Round 1

I love the NHL playoffs, even with the Sabres out of it. Would I be into it more, were the Blue and Gold participating, you bet. But its good hockey and it lasts for a month and half. You can watch teams you hate lose, teams you know nothing about and fall in love with them, and want guys on your team because of how they play in the Playoffs. Festivities get kick started tonight, and I'd thought I give some predictions on who wins what and in how many games. All based on snap judgments and some brief glances at stats.

Lets start in the Eastern Conference.

1) Boston vs 8) Montreal

The Habs have been reeling for a while now, just sneaking into the playoffs. The loss of Robert Lang hurt them, and Carey Price ain't what he use to be. The Bruins have been cruising, which can be dangerous (see 06-07 Sabres) But I think they play a better style of hockey. Tim Thomas is great and they keep the puck out of their own net and have a good balanced scoring lineup.

Bruins in 5

2) Washington and 7) Ny Rangers

The high scoring caps versus the defense first Rangers. I don't think this is a good matchup for the Caps. They aren't very good at keeping the puck out of their net, letting in 245 goals. The Rangers had a -8 goal differential, but only let in 218 goals. Both teams are very good at home and iffy on the road. The one thing that scares me, is their goalie situation. Jose Theodore has a .900 sv% thats not playoff goalie material. Henrik Lundqvist can win games by himself. But the Caps home record gets it done here

Capitals in 7

3) NJ Devils vs 6) Hurricanes

I don't think the Hurricanes are good enough. The Devils will look for revenge for several years ago and knock out the Hurricanes.

Devils in 6

4) Pittsburgh vs 5) Philadelphia

Battle of PA. This should be the series to watch in the first round. Two good offensive teams. Goaltending is an issue in both. MAF and Biron have similar Sv% and GAA is more in favor for Fleury. I see 6-4, 5-4 games in this one. Lots of scoring on both sides. I like the Flyers. Even with Pittsburgh's experience from last year. I like the young guys on Philly

Flyers in 7

Now we delve into the Western Conference

1) San Jose vs 8) Anaheim

The Sabres beat the sharks and lost to the ducks twice, so in my logic, the Ducks should win the series. But that will not happen. San Jose is determined, and there is too much talent. The goaltending is better and the defense is better.

Sharks in 4

2) Detroit vs 7) Columbus

Detroit is very good. They are great at playoff hockey. Their goaltender is shaky. Columbus always does well against the Red Wings, and with it being the first playoff berth, should be excited. But once again Detroit is very good.

Red Wings in 5

3) Vancouver vs 6) St Louis

The Sabres beat both these teams. I saw the Blues game. The got down early, but never quit. Theres a good fight in that squad. Both teams aren't that high scoring teams. Especially the Blues, with only 3 guys above 50 points. But the reason why the Canucks will win, Roberto Luongo. He is the best goalie in the game.

Canucks in 6

4)Blackhawks vs 5) Calgary

Oooo this should be a good one. Did you know Martin Havlat was the 'Hawks leading scorer with 79 points? With the all the talk about Kane and Toews, its Havlat, who I am glad is in Chicago, is the one to look out for. Calgary who was great at the Deadline will be a tough out. But I think the one thing that decides this one is goaltending. Kipper ain't what he used to be. And the Bulin Wall looks to bring his status up. Chicago wins a war.

Chicago in 7

There are some good matchups and some not so good ones. Round 1 always does. But should be good. Enjoy some great hockey tonight.

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Buffalo, NY, United States
A Stay at home dad, who has more hot takes then your average stay at home dad.