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 The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions

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Metal is my Life
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PostSubject: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions   Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:26 pm

WESTERN CONFERENCE

San Jose Sharks [1] vs. Anaheim Ducks [8]

The Sharks, who finished with the league’s top record for the first time in franchise history, face the Anaheim Ducks, whose season was plagued with inconsistency. The Ducks were a hot team down the stretch, with a 7-2-1 record in their last ten. The Sharks have never made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, but are favored by many to win the Stanley Cup. The closest they ever came to the Stanley Cup Finals was in 2003-04, when they lost to the Calgary Flames in six games.

Prediction: San Jose in five games.

Detroit Red Wings [2] vs. Columbus Blue Jackets [7]

The defending Stanley Cup champions face the Columbus Blue Jackets, who have made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Interestingly, the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators played their first playoff series’ against Detroit, and Anaheim also faced Detroit in their first trip to the playoffs back in 1997 (they defeated Phoenix in the first round that year). Detroit actually had the weakest record in the last ten games of the season among all playoff teams. However, they do have some key players returning from injuries, which will definitely help the team. Columbus has the solid goaltending of Steve Nash, who is expected to win the Calder Trophy is the rookie of the year, but the team lacks playoff experience.

Prediction: Detroit in seven games.

Vancouver Canucks [3] vs. St. Louis Blues [6]

The story of the St. Louis Blues season is a very strange one. Having been in last place in the entire conference in February, the team shot all the way up to sixth place in the last two months of the season to make the playoffs. Vancouver finished the season very strongly, propelling themselves to first place in the Northwest Division. This seems like it will likely be one of the most exciting series’ of the first round of the playoffs.

Prediction: Vancouver in seven games.

Chicago Blackhawks [4] vs. Calgary Flames [5]

The Calgary Flames were swamped with injuries towards the end of the season, even using only three lines for their final game of the season. The Blackhawks, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 2002, have one of the most exciting young teams in the NHL, but the majority of the team has hardly any playoff experience. The last time the two teams met in the playoffs was in 1996, when Chicago swept Calgary in four straight.

Prediction: Chicago in six games.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Boston Bruins [1] vs. Montreal Canadiens [8]

A role reversal. Last season, the Boston Bruins narrowly made it to the playoffs, having the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Montreal, on the other hand, was the top team in the Eastern Conference during the regular season. This season, it was the other way around. Montreal has a history of feasting upon Boston in the post-season, but it appears unlikely this time around that they will be lucky.

Prediction: Boston in five games.

Washington Capitals [2] vs. New York Rangers [7]

The Washington Capitals are a team that are poised to make a good run at a Stanley Cup. The only time the Capitals ever made the Stanley Cup Finals was in 1997-98, when they lost to the Detroit Red Wings in four straight games. With Alexander Ovechkin (who finished second in the NHL scoring race), star defenseman Mike Green (the first defenseman in over a decade to score 30 goals in one season), and the solid goaltending of Jose Theodore (who has redeemed himself in the past couple of seasons), the team faces the tough, aggressive New York Rangers. The Rangers include tough guys such as Sean Avery (the league’s most hated player) and Colton Orr, who will certainly want to go after Ovechkin when they’re on the ice at the same time. If Ovechkin is hurt, the team could find themselves struggling.

Prediction: Washington in seven games.

New Jersey Devils [3] vs. Carolina Hurricanes [6]

They finished first in the Atlantic Division, but the New Jersey Devils stumbled quite a bit down the stretch. The Carolina Hurricanes, on the other hand, was one of the deadliest teams in the NHL in the last third of the season, thanks to the excellent goaltending of Cam Ward down the stretch. The two teams met in the first round back in 2001 and 2002, with New Jersey winning in 2001 and Carolina winning in 2002. The Devils and Hurricanes played their final games of the regular season against each other (New Jersey won 3-2), and are now meeting again in the playoffs.

Prediction: Carolina in six games.

Pittsburgh Penguins [4] vs. Philadelphia Flyers [5]

It appeared the playoff hopes were fading away for Pittsburgh during the winter. With a long losing streak and the team several points out a playoff spot, the team fired coach Michel Therrien and replaced him with Dan Bylsma. Sergei Gonchar returned from his injury, and Pittsburgh was suddenly off and flying. Pittsburgh faced Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference Finals last season, and the two teams face off against each other again. Pittsburgh have the incredible one-two punch of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, who finished first and third in the NHL scoring race, respectively. The Flyers lost the ability to have home ice advantage with a loss to the New York Rangers on April 12, the last day of the regular season.

Prediction: Pittsburgh in six games.
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions   Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:41 pm

BOOOOOOO Pittsburgh! GO FLYERS!

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tohostudios
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions   Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:52 pm

I don't really follow hockey but living in St Louis country, I'm more than aware about how the Blues are surging. Vancouver better not take them for granted.

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MetalGuy71
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions   Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:52 am

I will cheer, but ultimately be dissappointed by the Flyrs post-season performance.

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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions   Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:57 am

Pretty much agree with the above picks but for some reason I'm going with St. Louis over Vancouver in an upset.
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thejokeriv
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions   Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:40 pm

C - A - P - S

CAPS CAPS CAPS
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ultmetal
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions   Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:35 am

Not looking too good for Philly unless they can crank it up to 11 for the next four games.

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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions   Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:35 pm

WOW!!!! First period of Philly vs. Pitts is turning out to be explosive!

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akeldama
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions   Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:12 pm

Since the Avs aren't in, I'm going for the Blues or the Pens.
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions   Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:01 pm

The Blues are out. The Habs were also eliminated last night.
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions   Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:13 am

Penguins better watch out. They're letting the Philthy Flyers back into the series
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MetalGuy71
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions   Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:29 am

007 wrote:
Penguins better watch out. They're letting the Philthy Flyers back into the series

Don't fret. The Flyers will choke. It's their destiny. Sad

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007
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions   Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:42 am

I don't know man. Back in Philly tomorrow. If it goes to 7,anything can happen. And the Pens have blown a 3-1 lead before (to the Islanders IIRC)
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Lari
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions   Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:31 pm

Hawks all the way!
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7thSaviour
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: First round predictions   Fri May 15, 2009 4:23 pm

Lari wrote:
Hawks all the way!
headbanger Right on! LET'S GO BLACKHAWKS!
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