Tuesday, April 10, 2007

NHL Picks

A quick diversion into the NHL before I get to the rest out the recruiting breakdown. Here's how I see the NHL playoffs shaking down. I'm tempted to pick a repeat of what I picked last year (Wings over Devils) but that didn't work out so well last year. I know it's going out on a major limb to pick both #1 seeds, but it has to happen this way. I'll explain later. We'll go with this:

Wings over Flames in 6: Kipper puts a scare in Detroit, but the Wings are better equipped to deal with Calgary than they were back in 2004.

Anaheim over Minnesota in 5: Anaheim has the defense to stop the Wild's top forwards, and the goaltending to stop them if the defense can't.

Dallas over Vancouver in 7: There might not be a player in the league with more to lose this playoff year than Marty Turco. With the up-and-coming Mike Smith watching over his shoulder, Turco could find himself on the bench or on the block with another bad playoff. He gets it done this time.

San Jose over Nashville in 7: Nothing would make me happier than to see the Predators take out the team in the West that I'm most scared of. Nashville doesn't scare me (Detroit was 6-1-1 against them this year) but San Jose scares the hell out of me. This is a great matchup of the teams who fell just short in a closely contested division battle (and it shows why I wanted to win the Central so bad). I like the Sharks because of their depth up front, but Vokoun is the better goalie. This series should be awesome.

Buffalo over NYI in 4: Wade Dubielewicz? With DiPietro the Islanders might stand a chance of taking a game or mayyyybe two. But the Sabres have too much for them.

New Jersey over TB in 6: The Bolts might have enough offense to push a few pucks past Brodeur, but the matchup in goal is so lopsided it's scary. Bad penalty-killing and subpar goaltending isn't a good duo when you're trying to pull an upset. I'll take the injury-plagued Devils.

NYR over Atlanta in 7: Lundqvist has rebounded from the embarrassment of getting cut from my last-place fantasy team (my team rebounded nicely to lose in the championship). Going "all-in" at the trade deadline has worked out well for the Thrashers (Tkachuk has gone for almost a point a game since the trade), but I'd still beware of the "just happy to be there" syndrome for this first-time playoff team.

Ottawa over Pittsburgh in 6: Too young. Next year they're a scary team. This is time to just get their feet wet in playoff action. It'll be fun to watch how Crosby does in the second season though. Then again, it's not playoff time until Ottawa has choked, so maybe the Pens have a fighting chance.

Red Wings over Dallas in 6: Detroit has faired pretty well against the Stars this year. This would be a great series, but I think the Wings have too much for them.

Anaheim over San Jose in 7: A loud cheer goes up from southwest Madison as the Sharks are vanquished. I watched quite a bit of their last regular-season meeting and the Ducks did a great job slowing the Sharks through the neutral zone. I like Anaheim's goaltending better. Great series though.

Buffalo over the Rangers in 5: Too much offense, better goaltending.

NJ over Ottawa in 6: The annual exit comes one round later than normal.

Red Wings over Anaheim in 6: I'll still take a healthy Hasek over almost anyone. If he's not healthy, the Wings are going to the Finals. I'm hoping he is.

Buffalo over NJ in 6: This could be an outstanding matchup in net with Miller going up against Brodeur. Buffalo scored 100 more goals than NJ in the regular season though. You don't make up an offensive gap like that. Especially since both teams have had injury problems.

Buffalo over Detroit in 7: It'd only be fitting. I think the hockey gods have proven that they absolutely despise me for whatever reason. Why not cap off Michigan State's Championship with their old goalie beating the Wings for the Stanley Cup in the city where the hockey gods pulled off their biggest karate kick to my balls. I'm thinking Game 7, 2-1, Triple OT, and Miller makes about 65 saves...yeah, that'd be fitting.


Anonymous said...

I still don't like the Calgary matchup for the Wings... it is critical that Datsyuk will need to finally do something in the postseason for the Wings to come through.

Otherwise, I think I'm looking the most forward to the Pens and Sens (should be exciting hockey) and the Sharks-Preds (what I get to see of it).

Packer487 said...

It's especially critical if Zetterberg isn't 100%, which I have a hard time believing he will be.

I don't like the matchup all that much either. I'm just hoping this team realizes that they've got a lot on the line. If they bow out in the first round again, a lot of these guys whose contracts are up might be out the door. Hell, Dave Lewis only got two years, so there's pressure on Babcock as well.

If nothing else, the fact that we have home ice in this series is huge because the Flames are by far the worst team in the playoffs on the road....

colin said...

So, like, I actually did finally get a blog.

To be found . The most recent post expands upon that epic comment. It actually contains even more information. I don't even want to know how many words it was.