April 06, 2004

Official NHL PLAYOFF Predictions: Put 'em down now so you can look smart later.

posted by garfield to navel gazing at 02:35 PM - 58 comments

TB vs. NYI – The Isle have been on a tear, but don’t have home ice advantage. The Ning know how to win a series, and Vinnie looks like a world-beater lately. Ning in 7. BOS vs. MTL – I like the way the B’s are playing, but the Habs generally play a smarter team game. The potential loss of Joe.T for the entire series is another factor. Habs in 7. PHI vs. NJ – Both teams somewhat limped into the post season, but the Flyers still haven’t solved the problem that plagues them every fecking year: goal tending. NJ in 6. TOR vs. OTT – If Belfour’s back holds up, the blue buds should hoist the Cup. The Sens are scary, but don’t scare this Leaf’s fan with the team we’ve got this year. TOR in 5. DET vs. NAS – Since the Wings are the favorites to win the Cup, like last year, and the Preds have played really well against them this year, I say picking this upset is predictable. But the Wings aren’t in a good rhythm, and since Steve Sullivan came to town the Preds can put some points. Preds in 7. SJ vs. STL – St.Louis kept their streak alive, but will keep another streak alive this year too: losing in the first round. SJ is the team this year they were supposed to be last year: built for the playoffs. Not to mention the best tending tandem in the league with Nabby and Toskala. But the Blues are deadly in OT. SJ in 5. VAN vs. CAL – This is a tough one for me, having grown up in Calgary but having watched the Canucks a lot over the past 3 years. Offense – edge to Nucks. Defense – edge to Flames. Gotta go Flames because of the long wait to get here. CAL in 7. COL vs. DAL – In October, who’d thunk the Avs would snap the streak of 9 consecutive NW division titles and it would take until the second half of the season for the Stars to look like a respectable NHL team. God, I love hockey. Forsberg and Sakic will make it interesting, but it just isn’t the Avs year. Stars in 7.

posted by garfield at 03:10 PM on April 06, 2004

TB v. NYI - Zappers...b/c Zappers is a better nickname than We Who Be Surrounded By Waterses BOS v. MON - French-Canadians - I still have liberal guilt about that whole "steal all your teams and put them in NASCAR country, so I'll root for the only Candian team that isn't playing a Canadian team PHI v. NJ - Devils. The sooner Philthy gets the boot, the less frequent we'll have to see the horrible footage of Roenick with that giant tumor-face. OTT v. TOR - Senators. I like to poke chico with sharp pointy things. DET v. NASH - Wings. Maybe not as much of a gimmie as it appears at first, but playoff experience > Opryland experience. SJ v. STL - Sharks. I want their blood, and in order to get that, they have to make it out of at least the first round. VAN v. CAL - Nuckleheads. The further they go, the more I get to flirt with Salmonberry in #mefi. COL v. DAL - Stars, baby. Guerin gets at least two hat tricks.

posted by Ufez Jones at 03:19 PM on April 06, 2004

Alrighty then... Western Conference: Detroit vs Nashville: Nashville has a balanced attack..just like Anaheim did. Nashville has a streaky-good goaltender..just like Anaheim did. Nashville plays strong defence..just like Anaheim did. DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?! I don't. Detroit in 5. San Jose vs St. Louis: Ugh. This is a really tough one to pick. San Jose has been the better team over the whole season, but St. Louis (and Osgood in particular) has picked up the pace recently. In the end, I like the offence of the Blues (Demitra, Weight, Tkachuk) more than the Sharks (Marleau, Eckman, Cheechoo). St. Louis in 7. Vancouver vs Calgary: If Bertuzzi was still playing, I'd call this a walk for Vancouver. But he isn't and Kiprusoff looks like he's got his form again. But Jovocop is healthy so he could be a huge factor. In the end, I'm going to say that home ice advantage wins this one. But if Calgary wins that first game, watch for the fans to turn on Vancouver REAL quick. Vancouver in 7. Colorado vs Dallas: Both of these teams are struggling regain their previous form of yesteryear. This is the first time I've ever seen a Colorado team and not thought "Cup Contender". Then again, Dallas hasn't shown me ANYTHING that indicates it's a contender either. If Tanguay is healthy, expect a romp. Otherwise, it'll take a couple more games. Colorado in 6. Eastern Conference: Tampa Bay vs NY Islanders: I really want to say "sweep", but I just think that the east is far too competitive to allow such a thing to happen. So I'm taking the young and hungry Lighting, but giving the Islanders a bit of respect. Tampa Bay in 5. Boston vs Montreal: If Boston had lost that last game of the season, I would have picked them to get swept by WHOEVER they played. As it is, losing Thorton to an injury (even if he comes back semi-healthy) is devestating. Throw in the fact that Theodore looks like the 2002 model again, and I think we have our first BIG upset. Montreal in 5. Philadelphia vs New Jersey: No Scott Stevens means no real intimidation from the defence. Which means the big boys of Philly can crash the net and make life difficult for Brodeur (who has looked "human" for the first time in years). Then again, the Gomez/Elias combo has been lights-out amazing for the past 4 weeks. I think it is going to come down to how quick Hitchcock is willing to put Burke into action if Esche falters. Wait too long, and it'll be over before you know it. New Jersey in 6. Toronto vs Ottawa: Sure I'm a Leaf fan, but EVERYONE knows that this is the marquee match-up of the first round. Two teams with playoff history. Old-timers vs young guns. The battle of Ontario. Civic pride (and bylaws!). If you wanted to save an historic record of what "playoff hockey" is supposed to be like, tape this series. That said, who the hell do you think I'm going to pick?! Get the crying towels ready in Ottawa! Toronto in 6. What makes this very scary is that I could EASILY imagine scenarios where I could get EVERY SINGLE SERIES WRONG, and not be terribly surprised. These are the best playoff series match-ups of the past 20 years.

posted by grum@work at 03:25 PM on April 06, 2004

TB vs NYI - Ning in 5. Too much talent. BOS vs MTL - Bruins in 6. Love the Habs, but Boston is bigger, stronger, and better this year. Raycroft will do just fine. PHI vs NJ - Flyers in 6. These are, in fact, your grandpa's New Jersey Devils. TOR vs OTT - Sens in 5 yeah baybee. That 6-0 drubbing will come back to haunt the Buds. The Sens are the underdogs, I don't care what Pat Quinn says. And I like it that way. DET vs NAS - Wings in 6. They haven't forgotten last year. STL vs SJ - Blues in 6. St. Loo is a much better team than the standings indicate. Osgood is more than capable. VAN vs CAL - Nucks in 7. Potentially a classic. Vancouver just too talented for the gusty Flames. COL vs DAL - Avs in 6. You could make a strong case for the upset, but I'm not buying. Forsberg runs wild.

posted by Succa at 03:27 PM on April 06, 2004

A re-post of my predictions from the news page (with some formatting changes) TB vs. NYI - TB in 5. Isles win 1 at home BOS vs MTL - MTL in 6. Theodore is the difference PHI vs NJ - NJ in 7. Close, but Brodeur saves them in game 7 TOR vs OTT - TOR in 6. It pains me, but Ottawa is slumping at a bad time DET vs. NAS - DET in 6. Nashville gets extra points for effort SJ vs STL - STL in 6. The upset, but they will run out of gas in 2nd round VAN vs CAL - CAL in 7. Yes, I am biased. Will be the best 1st round series. DAL vs COL - DAL in 5. The Stars will run circles arounds the Avs. Could be over in 4. I agree with grum, this is the best group of 1st round series in a long, long time. Can't wait for it all to start.

posted by camcanuck at 04:39 PM on April 06, 2004

TB vs. NYI - TB in 6. Bolts have owned the Atlantic conference this year BOS vs MTL - MTL in 7. I like this Ribeiro kid! PHI vs NJ - NJ in 7. Will be a yawner...Comes down to goaltending TOR vs OTT - TOR in 6. Ottawa just isn't built for playoffs DET vs. NAS - DET in 4. Thanks for coming out. SJ vs STL - SJ in 6. Neither team will go anywhere VAN vs CAL - CAL in 7. Kiprusoff will be the hero in Cowtown DAL vs COL - DAL in 6. Another one that comes down to goaltending.

posted by rocket88 at 09:09 PM on April 06, 2004

I only care about two series, have not been following the league near enough to make predictions, but I am glad to see that almost everyone is picking the two teams I care about, the Devils and (less so, but still a majority) the Sharks. I also think those picking St. Louis are in for disappointment because the emotion of those three late goals Sunday against LA are going to drive the Sharks to wins in both the home games opening the series.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:56 PM on April 06, 2004

TB vs NYI - TB in 5. BOS vs MTL - Habs in 6 PHI vs NJ - Flyers in 6. TOR vs OTT - Leafs in 7 DET vs NAS - Wings in 5 STL vs SJ - SJ in 6. VAN vs CAL - VAN in 6. (but I really want to see calgary... win their first fricken series since winning the cup in 89) COL vs DAL - Dallas in 6 (hey succa, what makes the Flames gusty?)

posted by gspm at 01:33 AM on April 07, 2004

Throwing my hat into the ring... NAS vs DET - As Succa said, the Wings have NOT forgotten last year...Wings in 5 STL vs SJS - As much as I wanna pick Ozzie to finally get some respect, the Sharks looked too strong down the stretch to pick against them...Sharks in 6 CGY vs VAN - When Bertuzzi was suspended, you could see the life drain out of the Canucks. The league should've sent them home, and given Edmonton their spot...Flames in 6 DAL vs COL - Dallas is hot, hot, HOT...Stars in 7 NYI vs TBL - I wanna pick the Isles, but they don't have enough scoring to beat Khabibulin...Lightning in 6 MTL vs BOS - Can Raycroft be this year's Giguere, when he's playing on a 2 seed? Bruins in 6 NJD vs PHI - This is my series to watch, maybe even over my Wings...Devils in 7 OTT vs TOR - Some say the Leafs awoke the sleeping giant Saturday...time to put them back to bed...Leafs in 6

posted by MeatSaber at 06:38 AM on April 07, 2004

Put 'em down now so you can look smart later. Or, more likely, "look stupid later". It's so hard to pick them this year, and these picks come with very littler, er, preparation (have been out of it for the last week, so I'm not sure how the stats and matchups for the series are). (1) TB vs (8) NYI - The Islanders will make a series of it, but I'd take Khabibulin over diPietro/Snow; and any TB forward over Yashin. TB in 7 (2) BOS vs (7) MTL - The big question here is Theodore. He plays great, Montreal can win it; he plays alright, BOS in 6. (3) PHI vs (6) NJD - Only one point/one win seperates these two teams in the standings. Over 70 playoff wins seperates Brodeur from Esche AND Burke. NJ in 6 (4) TOR vs (5) OTT - Oh yeah, the marquee match-up. No explanation needed: TOR in 7. (1) DET vs (8) NAS - I dunno, I'm tempted to pick Nashville... so I'll just take the chicken-shit way out and say DET in 7 (2) SJ vs (7) STL - STL has made a bit of a run to end the season, but so has SJ. SJ in 5 (3) VAN vs (6) CAL - Really can go either way. I'd imagine that VAN would have been better off playing anyone else. But... VAN has more playoff experience, especially with opponents like CAL, sooo VAN in 6 (4) COL vs (5) DAL - Everyone seems to be picking DAL, understandably when you consider that COL has been slumping bad lately. I'll be a bandwagon jumper and stick to that DAL in 7

posted by mkn at 06:59 AM on April 07, 2004

TB vs NYI - Islanders in 6. BOS vs MTL - Bruins in 5. PHI vs NJ - Devils in 5. TOR vs OTT - Leafs in 6. DET vs NAS - Wings in 4. STL vs SJ - Sharks in 7. VAN vs CAL - Canucks in 5. COL vs DAL - 'Lanche 6.

posted by 86 at 07:13 AM on April 07, 2004

(hey succa, what makes the Flames gusty?) Did you predict they'd place any higher than 12th in the West this year? I'm still stunned that they're in the dance. I'm amazed at the number of people who think Dallas is going to do something. To my eye they haven't looked like a contender all year. Some folks are even picking them to win it all! Am I missing something?

posted by Succa at 07:46 AM on April 07, 2004

TB vs NYI - TB in 6. BOS vs MTL - Bruins in 5. PHI vs NJ - Devils in 5. TOR vs OTT - Leafs in 5. DET vs NAS - Wings in 4. STL vs SJ - Blues in 7. VAN vs CAL - Canucks in 4. COL vs DAL - Col in 6. Just because.

posted by jasonspaceman at 08:19 AM on April 07, 2004

Mine: TB vs NYI - TB in 5. They're the real deal. No kidding. BOS vs MTL - Bruins in 6, even without Thornton. You'll see. Samsonov and Green are going to make some people in Boston smile. Raycroft vs. Theodore is going to be a lot of fun to watch. PHI vs NJ - Devils in 7. Honestly, I hope they both lose. In a perfect world, all the skaters on each starting line would be struck by lightning, crippling their star players. Okay, maybe that's a bit mean. But if we're looking for perfect here, maybe the second-liners could get ebola somehow. Just a thought. TOR vs OTT - Sens in 7. This one's a toss-up. I have a feeling Havlat is going to be a factor in this series. Maybe Hossa too. DET vs NAS - Wings in 5. Best of luck to ya, Nashvile. You have no chance. STL vs SJ - St. Louis in 7. VAN vs CAL - Canucks in 5. Calgary's gonna need insane goaltending, and it isn't going to happen. COL vs DAL - Av's in 6. When did Dallas become a contender? They're okay, but won't make it past the first round. I hope. -Samsonov P.S. - I know a guy who knows a guy who might be able to make that electricity thing happen at the first Devils/Flyers game. Email me at the address listed on my profile for details. P.P.S. - I can get ebola wholesale.

posted by Samsonov14 at 08:22 AM on April 07, 2004

Re: DAL -- I haven't heard anyone call them a contender, even in the local press. The furthest anyone on the DMN sports staff picked them to go was the Conf. Finals. But they have had one hell of a 2nd half of the season, coming from dead-ass last in the Division to contending for the title. Yeah, they slipped a bit at the end, due mainly to Turco's suspension, but Valeri Bure has been a pretty good pick-up and I don't see any reason to fear the Av's this year.

posted by Ufez Jones at 09:15 AM on April 07, 2004

I'm just copying this over from my Hurricanes hang-out. It has the winning team and each team's high scorer: Lightning in 5 - TB: St.Louis, NYI: Yashin Habs in 7 - B: Murray, M: Kovalev Devils in 7 - P: Roenick, NJ: Elias Leaves in 6 - O: Alfredsson, T: Mogilny Wings in 5 - N: Sullivan, D: Hull Sharks in 6 - SJ: Cheechoo, StL: Demitra Canucks in 6 - C: Iginla, V: Naslund Avalanche in 7 - C: Sakic, D: Guerin

posted by NoMich at 09:21 AM on April 07, 2004

TB BOS PHI TOR NAS SJ VAN DAL I have no idea what I'm talking about.

posted by corpse at 09:25 AM on April 07, 2004

what corpse said, but detroit over nashville and ottawa over toronto if lalime get healthy quick and stays that way.

posted by juv3nal at 09:34 AM on April 07, 2004

succa: gusty. i was asking about this gustiness you attribute to them. I didn't have the Flames making the playoffs and preseason (no indication or memory of what place I would have put them in) but for what it is worth you said: As much as I like longshots, there is no way Calgary, Phoenix, Nashville, Carolina, Pittsburgh, Florida, or Buffalo are getting anywhere near the top eight this year. (hey, not bad. except for the Flames and Nashville.) Nobody in the preseason guesses thread had the Flames in for a playoff spot. And I bet nobody would have before they picked up Kiprusoff. So, let's hope they make the most of their chance unlike getting swept by the Hawks the last time they made the playoffs.

posted by gspm at 09:48 AM on April 07, 2004

As a side note, Go Leetch Go

posted by 86 at 11:16 AM on April 07, 2004

What is the big deal exactly gspm? Not sure why you care about the word "gutsy" so much. Don't you think a team of also-rans that was basically written off from the start, had a rash of injuries to their best players (Iginla and Conroy, not to mention Kiprusoff), zero goaltending for over half the season, and almost no operating budget to work with, has overcome a fair amount of adversity this year? I never claimed to have called the Flames' playoff berth, BTW. And that Go Leetch Go site is just wrong. Frigging Ranger fans. Why can't you cheer for Greg de Vries instead??

posted by Succa at 12:31 PM on April 07, 2004

Succa, go read your initial post. gutsy vs. gusty. That site is awesome....Now I don't have to email all the Leetch stuff from the Toronto media to the Ranger fans I know. Its great to read the rabid T.O. hockey media write about Leetch. Can't really explain the difference, but I like it better than the NYPost and the like.

posted by garfield at 01:01 PM on April 07, 2004

Alright, I'll go. TB vs NYI - Islanders in 6. If there's a season next year, the Lightning are preseason favorites, but St. Louis & Lecavalier are going to get the tar beaten out of them, and Andreychuk is getting a bit old. BOS vs MTL - Boston in 5, but all the games will end in shutouts for one team or the other. PHI vs NJ - Jersey in 6. I'm with Samsonov. I hope and expect these two to beat the living bejesus out of each other, and whoever wins this series will get swept quickly in round two. Also, Esche sucks canal water. TOR vs OTT - Leafs in 6. Not just because I'm a homer, but because after Alfredsson, the Sens are going to have to answer questions about the mythology and the blue & white monkey on their backs the whole series, and that'll be the difference. (If Lalime doesn't come back, it'll be 5 games or less. Prusek is scary.) DET vs NAS - Wings in 4. The Preds shuld be happy to still be playing, and Detroit has shit to prove from last year. STL vs SJ - Sharks in 7. I feel for Blues fans, but Nabokov is this much better than Osgood, and that'll be the difference, so -- tough. VAN vs CAL - Flames in 5. Kiprusoff is the real deal. And with Bert gone, Iginla's gonna have a bit more room in the middle to do his thing. COL vs DAL - Dallas in 6. The preseason favorite is nowhere to be seen, so I'm picking the Stars as a gesture of goodwill to Ufez for the trash I'll be throwing at him the next month or so.

posted by chicobangs at 01:07 PM on April 07, 2004

Frigging Ranger fans. Why can't you cheer for Greg de Vries instead?? I liked de Vries for the half-a-year he played here, so I won't knock the guy, but... I'll cheer for de Vries and Leetch with a passion equivalent to their time and accomplishments with the Rangers. Fair enough? Frankly, you should appreciate this arrangement as it all but assures the Leafs of getting knocked out of the playoffs just because I'm on their side.

posted by 86 at 01:19 PM on April 07, 2004

Don't be silly, 86. There's always room for another Cooler on the Leaf bus. Anyone else? Come on, people, own up.

posted by chicobangs at 01:26 PM on April 07, 2004

succa - what garfield said. I thought I spelled it out. I agree with you and wasn't suggesting you called the Flames playoff berth. I thought it was more like me saying that the evidence on hand suggests you are right and you'd said it yourself and we must all be surprised to see the Flames there. My original intent was just having fun with your amusing (to me) tpyo. i get guts. flames have shown guts. you make a good case. can't argue there. but this idea of gustiness amuses me. gusty. whoosh whoosh. wind. gust. gusts. gusty.

posted by gspm at 01:30 PM on April 07, 2004

(is there a draft in here?)

posted by smithers at 01:36 PM on April 07, 2004

Ahh. Woosh. That's the gust going over my head. Cheers gspm.

posted by Succa at 01:50 PM on April 07, 2004

so I'm picking the Stars as a gesture of goodwill to Ufez Goodwill? Man, to think, I used to have respect for you...

posted by Ufez Jones at 02:35 PM on April 07, 2004

Ahhhh, respect never lasts. Geeeeezus. I throw you a friggin' bone and suddenly I'm Mister Pariah Boy over here. Fine, then. I hope Turco gets shingles and Kariya rises from the dead like a god damned phoenix. There. You feel better? Now come on over here and buy your old friend a drink. Oh, and close the door, a guy could catch a chill. (And don't step in the phlegm. I keep missing the bucket.)

posted by chicobangs at 03:05 PM on April 07, 2004

Now come on over here and buy your old friend a drink. Okay, but at least wait until I've got three or four in me before you start trying to rub my thigh, you grab-happy old coot.

posted by Ufez Jones at 03:19 PM on April 07, 2004

Oh, I get it. Those are your pockets, right?

posted by chicobangs at 03:31 PM on April 07, 2004

/backs slowly out of room

posted by grum@work at 04:02 PM on April 07, 2004

Okay, I'm a little late to the party but here goes... - Tampa Bay in 5. They're really good. Isles have Yashin. - Boston in 6. Bruins have a really strong team, they can even get by withouth Thornton. Habs have been playing over their heads for the whole year (the Souray syndrome). Back to earth for the Holy Flannel. - New Jersey in 6. Brodeur > Whoever the Flyers can put between the pipes - Ottawa in 7. They end the curse. Havlat kicks butt, and chops a few Leafs in two. Leafs fans lose their only cause for celebration in the last 37 years ("We beat Ottawa! We beat Ottawa" How about making it to the finals for a change?) - Detroit in 7. Much tougher series than most expect, but Wings will prevail. Legace will show the high-price guys how it's done. - San Jose in 4. Sharks are on fire. They've 4 productive lines, impeccable D and Nabokov playing like he should. Blues are no match, and exhausted too. Brian Savage was not the solution. - Calgary in 6. Dan Cloutier. - Colorado in 7. I see lots of OT. Aebischer not stellar but surprisingly good. Forsberg, Sakic and Blake step it up.

posted by qbert72 at 08:10 PM on April 07, 2004

Any of the Dallas pickers reconsidering after today's games?

posted by mkn at 10:56 PM on April 07, 2004

ShutUpShutUpShutUpShutUpShutUp! *cries in the corner* *still holds faith*

posted by Ufez Jones at 08:10 AM on April 08, 2004

Frigging Aebischer lets in a softie with 5 minutes left, spoiling the shutout and 5 points in my office pool. DAMMIT. Otherwise, last night's games went as expected. That VAN-CGY series should be a classic.

posted by Succa at 08:22 AM on April 08, 2004

I still say Dallas in 7... so =P

posted by MeatSaber at 01:29 PM on April 08, 2004

Even after today? Man, this Vancouver/Calgary series is something else, though. Great hockey.

posted by mkn at 11:03 PM on April 09, 2004

B's got lucky tonight. Even though the overtime goal was really, really unlikely, I was psyched for Bergeron. Hopefully the Bruins can keep this up. And LaPointe is suddenly worth $3 million. Not the whole 5 mil yet, but DAMN, that guy can hit. Koivu is getting beat up.

posted by Samsonov14 at 02:17 AM on April 10, 2004

That was a beauty shoulder fake by the kid on Friday. But what is going on with the B's? They seem to be dropping like flies. I would've expected the opposite to happen. Another surprise is the mediocre play of Brodeur. He hasn't shown me much so far. No 'timely' saves of the variety which won him the Vezina. And quit with the Scott Stevens BS already, the only people you're fooling are fairweather Devils fans. And it feels great to have the best goal tender still in the playoffs on your team. What is that? 3 SOs in 6 games. Go Ed Go!

posted by garfield at 08:45 AM on April 12, 2004

Is anyone getting the sense that the healthiest team will win the cup? With the rash of injuries this season and this playoff (with goalies no less), the team that avoids the infirmary will be the one in the strongest postition. TB looks tough in this regard, but I'll wait to see how their series against the Isles ends up first.

posted by mkn at 10:17 AM on April 12, 2004

TB has been VERY lucky with injuries this year. They are the anti-LA-Kings. They've had some ridiculously low number of games missed (like 24?!) this season. Either they are WAY overdue for a crippling set of injuries, or they have one HELL of a training/nutrition/massage team.

posted by grum@work at 10:58 AM on April 12, 2004

It's still way too early to call anything resembling a favourite so far. Philly is looking good, as are the Sharks (hello, St. Louis...you there?). It's time for Theodore to steal a game in Montreal...he's getting outduelled. The Canucks looked poised last night. A team that plays defence like that will be hard to beat. Calgary couldn't even get it out of their own zone in the last five minutes. I had no idea Hedberg was such a great puckhandler either. As for the Battle of Ontario, again, too early to tell. I thought the Senators deserved better on Saturday. They were right in that game until the very end. The Leafs can't lean on Belfour like that every night and expect to win. This series could turn downright ugly at any second, and almost did with Varada trying to run Sundin out of the rink. But the more disciplined team will win.

posted by Succa at 01:00 PM on April 12, 2004

Discipline was the deciding factor in the Sens-Leafs game. The first period was great titans-clash action, and then Ottawa just blinked early in the second and never got their composure back. In other news, I bet Brodeur's hurt. He's better than he's playing, and I wouldn't be surprised if something's wrong.

posted by chicobangs at 01:24 PM on April 12, 2004

Hmmm... well early indications are my picks suck. The Nuk's and Flames series is great hockey. In my mind easily the best hockey going right now. Unless the Flames do a better job on special teams (esp. their power play) they aren't goin' far. If Hedberg plays that well all the time he should be their #1 goalie. The battle of Ontario is just that. If the Sen's can keep their mind on the game they will be hard to beat. I'll second what chicobangs is saying about Broduer. Something's wrong. TB is very due for some injuries, but I think the shut-out was a wakeup call for them. St. Louis and Dallas need to wake up. Neither of them look good at all. I know this always comes up in the playoffs, but the refereeing has been brutal. Not so much so for 1 team in particular but more because the refs seem to blow very obvious calls or call some really strange ones. Hooking and holding isn't called all game, and then they see some minor hook in the neutral zone and they call it. They penalize anything that even looks like boarding (which they should) and then they miss blatant ones. Goalie interference is another one that gets a lot of mixed calls. I don't get it.

posted by camcanuck at 02:06 PM on April 12, 2004

I can't believe no one has called me out for being such an optimistic Leaf fan....to the point of not even sounding like a Leaf fan. Anyhoo, for some reason the regular 'hold my breath until its 5-0 with 3 minutes to go in the 3rd' seems to have been replaced by, dare I say it, confidence. I sure hope this reverse-psychology thing pans out.

posted by garfield at 02:38 PM on April 12, 2004

Hush, garfield! The ods-Gay must not be aked-way up-way. You ig-day?

posted by chicobangs at 06:46 PM on April 12, 2004

Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!

posted by grum@work at 08:35 PM on April 12, 2004

Oh yeah!

posted by garfield at 10:52 PM on April 12, 2004

What grum said. (*takes some deep breaths, thinks of other things so he doesn't get too hepped up halfway through this, the first round*)

posted by chicobangs at 12:36 PM on April 13, 2004

Eddie who? ;-)

posted by Succa at 09:05 PM on April 14, 2004

San Jose wins in five. So far I'm shooting 1.000.

posted by mkn at 11:35 PM on April 15, 2004

Well, I guess I'll get one out of two in the first round. Unless the Devils can put together something I sure didn't see in them yesterday.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:41 PM on April 15, 2004

since alot of my picks are shite, I might as well say it while I still can....."me too, mkn, me too."

posted by garfield at 07:07 AM on April 16, 2004

Ugh. Way to tank in the playoffs, St. Louis. You struggle to get to them and then you keel over and die in the first round. 0-for-1.

posted by grum@work at 09:17 AM on April 16, 2004

I said Sharks in 6, and Wings in 5...think I mighta had those 2 backward...

posted by MeatSaber at 10:12 AM on April 16, 2004

btw, this was mad cool of the fans in Boston.

posted by garfield at 01:04 PM on April 16, 2004

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