Monthly Archives: May 2013

May 13th

WEST

1.Blackhawks vs. 7. Red Wings : Hawks in 7

Wow, another Original 6 match up! I like both these teams. I feel the edge goes to the Wings in terms of goaltending match ups, which is usually the first factor for me in determining who will win the series. But the defensive brigade of the Hawks makes up for it. This series will be a long one. In essence, even though Coach Babcock had a rough year in the regular season, by no means should anyone be surprised if “Hockey Town USA” pulls it off. Never the less: Hawks vs. Kings in the Semis.

5.Kings vs. 6 Sharks : Champs in 6

The Battle of California hockey! The Sharks have speed, solid goaltending and a defence that is very well balanced with youth, experience and mobility. The Kings are perhaps not as fast as the Sharks, but they are superior in all other aspects of the game. If the Kings Back End are able to easily brake out of their zone, like they did in last year’s playoffs and able to use their size to dominate their cycle game down low, thus taking away SJ’s speed, putting traffic in front of Neimi, shooting high on him…

EAST

1.Penguins vs. 5. Senators : Pens in 6

There is a little miss-match here, however, we said the same thing about the Pens’ first match up first the NYI, and look how surprising that series was to everyone. The Sens are still so very early in their development process and it will be a good learning experience for Coach Mac’s team. Pens in 6 easy games; Anderson alone will not me enough. But watch the Sens closely in the next couple of years. They will be vary dangerous!

4.Bruins vs. 6. Rangers : B’s in 7

The Big Bad Bruins look pissed off because of how long it took them to dispose of the Leafs, and hungry because of how dominant they looked late in games vs. the T.O. squad. However, Ludqvist is far superior then Reimer who ended up being the big reason why the pushed Boston in 7. NYR have a defence that does not match up the Boston’s with the absence of Staal. That will be the difference in the series.

I’ll be back for the Semis.

April 30th

Ouffff,
I have not written in my blog in a long time, so I figured giving you my playoff predictions, would be a good way to get back into it. I will follow this up with a few top 10 lists just to get back in the swing of things and to pull away from my usual essay format.

THE WEST

1. Blackhawks  vs.  8. Wild : Hawks in 5
Though the Wild have a well-balanced team, filled with young promising players on the rise (Grandlund, Coyle, Zucker, Brodin,) their time is far from being now, there is still a great deal of development to be done. If Backstrom is on the top of his game, which he has been all throughout season, this team can put up a fight. But it is kind of hard to go against the depth and well balanced lines of the Hawks. Let us not forget the brilliance of Coach Q.

2. Ducks  vs.  7. Wings : Wings in 7
I use the same rationale for the Ducks as I did for the Wild. (Etem, Smith-Pelly, Palmieri, Holland, Lindholm). Tthere is a great deal of youth on the rise, and plenty of time for the Ducks to be very good very soon. But I will go with the high hockey IQ, experience, and offensive depth of the Wings. Their defensive brigade is not what it once was, but with Howard, they can squeeze by Hiller and his squad in a long series.

3. Canucks  vs.  6. Sharks : Canucks in 6
Sharks head coach Todd McLellan has done a fantastic job with this team in the 5 years he’s been there. (2 Semi-final appearances). On the ice, this team now belongs to Pavalski and Couture, who will carry it from here on in. Placing him on the 3rd line gives them good balance, with Burns a nice surprise on the second line. But Van, has enough to get to the second Rd.: as long as Lu or Schneider outplay Niemi.

4. Blues  vs.  5. Kings : Champs in 6
The Blues are just as big as the Kings and play just as feisty. Just like in the Ott. Mtl series, we will see 2 defensemen in Pietrangelo and Doughty who will be fighting for the Norris for years to come. But if Quick can’t do the job, Bernier will. Now, will I bet against Mr. Elastic, who is the defending Conne Smythe winner… Hummm, No!

THE EAST

1. Penguins  vs.  8. Islanders : Pens in 5
I really like this Islanders team. I like the core that has developed into mature young players, on the verge of their prime. I like the hockey moves made this season, such as removing DiPietro form the team’s surroundings. However, the most impressive thing about this roster: more strong prospects are close to making the team. In the end: The Pens are too deep, too strong and far more experienced. It will be 5 close games.

2. Canadiens  vs.  7. Senators : Habs in 7
This is a battle between 2 GMs for whom I have a great deal of respect for, ‘cuz they built their teams the right way. I truly believe, that this series falls on 1 player, Carey Price. If he plays like the elite goalie I know he is, then they can win this in 7, whether Spezza is in he line up or not. For me, this prediction is that simple.

3. Capitols  vs.  6 Ranges : Ranges in 7.
This series marks my 2nd upset. (Wings/Ducks). Adam Oats did a good job getting the Caps back up to par, but there is still a lot of work to do before it becomes his team, due to the fact that there are still a lot of elements from Boudreau and Hunter. Torts had his squad, are also playing well and I don’t see how Ludqvist, the best netminder in the league right now, could be out played by Holtby or Neuvirth.

4. Bruins  vs.  5. Leafs : Bruins in 5
A classic confrontation between two Original 6 teams; which will finally allow us to see who had the edge regarding that infamous deal, not too long ago. Hamilton, Séguin, and Kessel are all playing in this series and will be watched by the sports media closely. Tukka over Reimer. T.O. lack of playoff experience. Bruins win in 5.

I’ll be back for Rd. 2