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NHL Playoffs


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Thought that this was deserving of it's own thread.

The Playoffs are ripe for some real 'upset' possibilities:

1. Calgary over Chicago: I don't like the Flames, but you'd have to think this would be an upset seeing as the Hawks beat the Flames 4x in the regular season. I just think the Flames have more players who have been through the wars, and can see them prevailing.

2. St Louis over Vancouver: The Blues have been incredibly hot over the last two months. No sign of them slowing down - especially if Chris Mason keeps standing on his head in goal.

3. Anaheim over SJ: SJ's streak of not winning in the Playoffs continues. Anaheim is a tough team to play against, and I can see them getting it into gear now.

4. Carolina over NJ: Carolina has been the Eastern Conference's version of the Blues. Incredibly hot over the last couple of months. NJ looked impossible to beat for the longest time, but they've been struggling lately.

5. Montreal over Boston: Only because I've been a Habs fan for too long and a Bruins hater for the same amount of time. My head won't let me pick over my heart.

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My picks,

1. Carolina over NJ: Carolina is one the hottest teams in the NHL, and they have a great goalie in Cam Ward.

2 St. Louis over Vancouver: St Louis is red hot.

3. New York over the Caps: I love Torts, hope the Rangers pull this off.

4. Blackhawks over Calgary: This is for Pat, he's been waiting a long time for this.

5. Ted's Flyers over my Pens: Philly has played pretty good all season. The Pens have a moron GM and a lot of spoiled brat players. Go Philly!

6. Montreal over Boston: This is for you Marv! I do hope the Habs get a new coach, though, I'm not a Bob Gainey fan.

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Thanks, Deb....I hope you are correct!

I'll say:

Chicago over Calgary in five. Despite the fact that the Flames have older players than the Hawks, their big time scorers like Mike Cammalari and Olli Jokinen have never played a playoff game. I think that Mikka Kiprusoff is the best goalie in the game and I'm a huge Iginla fan, but I think the Hawks youthful energy of Toews, Kane, and the returning Patrick Sharp burn the Flames. Quenneville out coaches Keenan. The only team with a worse power play than Chicago is Calgary!

Anaheim over San Jose in six. I love the Sharks as a team, but the Ducks are coming together at the right time. Their solid defense of Neidermayer, Pronger, Whitney and Wisniewski only gets stronger if Beauchemin returns from an injury. Getzlaf is an awesome player and the kind that comes alive at Stanley Cup time. Roenick comes out of season long slump, but Thornton and Marleau will disappear. Tired Nabakov will be outplayed by Hiller/Giguere combo. Claude Lemieux and Rob Blake will show their age.

Detroit over Columbus in five. Man, I want to pick the young Jackets to upset the Wings with Nash, Vermette, and Mason (33 wins, 10 shutouts as a rookie), but I have to go with the experience and money here.

Vancouver over St. Louis in five. Canucks used to say "let's hope Luongo keeps us in the game", but you could really see them believing in themselves as a team down the stretch. While I'm not a fan of the Sedin sisters, guys like Burrows, Kesler, and the veteran Sundin will show that the Mason magic is over!

Pittsburgh over Philadelphia in six. Crosby and Malkin make life miserable for Biron and MA Fleury comes alive in this series. Philly offense of Carter, Richards, Hartnell, etc get introduced to Pens young netminder, who struggled all season. (I do like Lupul as an underrated playoff performer, though.) Watch for Kunitz, Staal, and Guerin line. Let's see how loud Philly fans can boo!

New Jersey over Carolina in seven. I love, love love what the Canes have been doing since Paul Maurice took over fifty games ago (and I was a big Laviolette fan, but Maurice got them going) and Cam Ward is great, but if it goes to seven, how do you bet against Marty Brodeur?

Washington over New York in six. Avery will try to make life miserable for Ovechkin, but the refs hate Avery as much as the players, fans, and ex-girlfriends do, so he'll be doing time in the box while Ovechkin is lighting up the power play. Rags can't stop Green.

Boston over Montreal in six. (Sorry, Marv!)Tim Thomas makes the difference in goal as the deciding factor. B's bullied Komasarik the last time teams played and as great as he is, he'll be watching over his shoulder. Don't these teams always find each other in April?

I could be wrong on them all, but I don't think so!

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I'm choosing Calgary not because I don't like Chicago - I like Chicago a lot - but Calgary, I think will pull it together. Having said that, if Calg goes into this series without Regehr, Sarich, and possibly no Phaneuf to start off, they'll be behind the 8 ball right away.

Mtl vs Boston is probably going to be the nastiest of all the series. Boston has played the intimidation game all year against Mtl, and Mtl relies on speed and quickness, not aggressiveness, to win. Georges Laraques' presence might turn out to be the most important factor for Mtl.

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Ridiculous scheduling in the Chicago-Calgary series. If this goes to a fifth game, they want the Hawks to host a home game that STARTS at 9:00 PM!!!!! Rumor has it that the compromise might be an afternoon game, but tv wants the Chicago ratings for the second half of a doubleheader.

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Yeah Pat that is a bummer I too got annoyed when my favorite sport NFL football started these wacky starting times Remember the old days Championship Sunday the games were at one and four in the afternoon I hate those late starts they now have Its like the want these games to go on until midnite You may have to take a catnap just so you could stay awake for youq blackhawks!

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I think the real sleepers are Calgary and Vancouver. San Jose should take out Anaheim but they will be beat up for the second round. If Montreal and Chicago get by Boston and Calgary they will be trouble. However as much as I love the Redwings, I say Calgary and Washington for the Stanley Cup championship.

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I hate Calgary, so I hope you're wrong, Rwine.

Unless the Flames' press corps is feeding the wrong info, it looks like Regehr is gone for the first round, and that can only help Toews and Kane. Phaneuf and Sarich are also not 100% healthy. If I was one of Chicago's aggressive forwards, I'd make every check count against those guys.

Vancouver has been hot, and they have the proverbial 'ace in the hole' - Roberto Luongo.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, I came within thirty seconds of being a perfect 8-0 in my predictions. New Jersey and Carolina even went the seven games I predicted, but NJ choked and gave up two goals in 48 seconds in the final minute to blow the lead (and my perfect record!) with 31 seconds left.

Second round starts tonight!

Chicago and Vancouver: Boy, the heart says Hawks in six, but the head has to say the Canuckleheads in six solely because of goalie Roberto Luongo. I feel Chicago has the better team and the better coach, but Luongo always stones the Hawks. This one hurts, cos I really want Detroit in the next round, but it's gonna be next year, I'm afraid.

Detroit and Anaheim: I'm pullin' for the Ducks, but Detroit should dispose of them in five games. Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller stood on his head against San Jose, but Detroit has just bought too much veteran experience to lose this.

Pittsburgh and Washington: The dream matchup for the league pits stars Sidney Crosby against Alexander Ovechkin. When the playoffs started, I had Washington and Detroit in the finals, but I'm gonna switch gears and go with the Pens in six. Too much pressure on the Caps young goalie who only started playing in the playoffs.

Carolina and Boston: Money says Boston, but Paul Maurice has the troops in Carolina playing the best hockey in the league. Goalie Cam Ward has already won a playoff MVP and Tim Thomas is in foreign waters here. Carolina in seven.

Hope I'm wrong, especially in the West!

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Lots of talk going around that singer Celine Dion is heading a group to purchase the Montreal Canadiens. Rumor has it that she would install Marvin Matthews as both her record producer and team general manager if it worked out!

I'm not qualified for either role, but thanks Pat.
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