April 07, 2003

The NHL Playoff match-ups are finally set: and numerous predictions are already being made. While it's great to look forward to Wednesday, how about a look back on the year: Turco setting a new GAA record and the Avs winning a ninth straight divisional title on the very last day of the season [link], the rich Rangers missing the playoffs yet again, Ottawa's President's Trophy, the complete collapse of the 'Canes and San Jose, the surprising play of TB and Minnesota, and the financial situations in Buffalo and Ottawa (and Pittsburgh, to a lesser extend). What are the stories of the year? And who are the individual stand-outs, and the most deserving of the many, many NHL awards?

Previous playoff discussion can be found here, although some of the picks were indeed premature

posted by mkn to hockey at 03:27 PM - 12 comments

Straight to it... Detroit over Anaheim Dallas over Edmonton. 'Lanche over Wild Blues over Canucks (just 'cause) Jersey over the B's (though I'd certainly prefer something else) Tampa over Washington Toronto over the Flyers Sens over the Isles As for my Rangers... Maybe next year! (clap-clap clap-clap-clap)

posted by 86 at 03:40 PM on April 07, 2003

One more thing before I throw the dirt on the coffin. Rangers Point/Counterpoint. I thought it was "groovy" or maybe "rad".

posted by 86 at 03:43 PM on April 07, 2003

My picks for the first round and every award: East: Senators over the Islanders in 5 games: Too much talent and the team with Yashin chokes. This time, it ain't the Senators. Devils over the Bruins in 4 games: Goaltending, goaltending and coaching. Lightning over Capitals in 7 games: The most boring series of the playoffs. I could see both teams scoring less than 14 goals in this series. The Buhlin Wall wins the series for them in the end. Leafs over Flyers in 6 games: Remember when we raved about Philly's scoring going into the playoffs last year? Remember what happened? Second verse, same as the first. Plus Nolan and Belfour thrive. And finally, the "reign of error" by Clarke will be over. West: Stars over Oilers in 7 games: The best series of the first round. They are meeting for the 6th time in 7 years (the only other time NEITHER team made the playoffs). Dallas wins because I flipped a coin and it came up heads. Red Wings over Ducks in 4 games: The most lopsided round of the playoffs. I almost suspect that Detroit tanked that final game to get this matchup (instead of the Oilers). If you're looking for a good playoff pool pick, try Zetteberg. I think he's going to pour them into the net this round. Avalanche over Wild in 6 games: Playoff experience wins out, but the Wild are going to announce their presence with this appearance. Give them one more scorer and they will shock a lot of people next year. If there is any series that I might be completely wrong about, it's this one. Any team that loses only ONE game after leading in the first period has to be scary in a 7-games series. Canucks over Blues in 7 games: My prediction here is for at least one 5-on-5 brawl during the series. Someone is going to blow a fuse from getting hacked/slashed in front of the oppositions net and is going to punch a goalie, starting the brawl. Otherwise, it should be a very high scoring affair as both goalies could be suspect. In the end, I think it will be the Sedins that make the difference. Hart: Markus Naslund Calder: Henrik Zetteberg Vezina: A tie! Martin Brodeur and Eddie Belfour Lady Byng: Niklas Lidstrom Selke: Matt Cooke Adams: Jacques Lemaire

posted by grum@work at 03:55 PM on April 07, 2003

I'm going to just add on the individual front. Hejduk and Hossa have been great this year, especially Hejduk's 50 goals. Pretty much the whole Lightning team has been a surprise.. LeCavallier finally had a really solid year, and Prospal and Richards just came out of nowhere. Healey is proving who the real star is going to be in Atlanta. No sophmore jinx for him. Zetterberg will likely win the Calder, which isn't really that surprising when you consider his linemates. I really like what Hemsky has done in Edmonton, though. I've only seen him play a couple of times, but man does this guy have potential. It's just a shame that he hasn't played all that much, otherwise he would be (in my opinion) a runaway Calder pick. ------ EAST: Ottawa in five: the Islanders have been off and on this season, while Ottawa has been constantly on. They're a tougher team now, so there's no fear of being pushed around by the Isles -- and their forwards will skate circles around the Isles' defense, and Snow won't be able to find big enough pads to stop the Sens torrent. Devils in five: pretty much what grum said, though I think Boston might be able to squeeze in one or two, especially with Samsonov back. Caps in six: I like the Lightning, but I don't think they have the experience yet. If Kolzig holds up, I'm pretty sure that the Caps will win. Leafs in seven: Ok, so this is mosly bias on my side. This series can go either way. Both teams match up to a T in every category (give slight edge to TO in goaltending, though). The main question is: how will the injury situation hurt the Leafs? If they can remain healthy, they should win it. WEST ------- Red Wings in seven: I'm tempted to pick Anaheim, as I think they are my picj for the most likely cinderalla team, but I can't see them beating Detroit in a best-of-seven series. Avalanche in six: if the Avs can get scoring from someone OTHER than Forsberg/Hejduk, no amount of trapping will save the Wild. Dallas in five: I really hope the Oilers could pull the upset, and it is possible with the rivalry the two teams developed, but the Stars have it on right now. I'd pick them to sweep, but I gave the Oilers one just for luck. Canucks in six: mostly cause they deserve it. For as long as it lasts, Dallas/Edmonton could very well be the most entertaining series.

posted by mkn at 04:21 PM on April 07, 2003

Hm, guess I'll join in he fray: EAST: Sens in 7: 7 Because they always choke in playoffs, but just don't see the Isles winning Bruins in 6: My upset special just cause' i'm still partial from the Bourque days Capitals in 5: Just don't see the Lightning doing much sinse they never have before Leafs in 6: I think the Leafs will dominate more than people thing, but only if they don't blow a few gaskets WEST: Red Wings in 4: Grum already said my thoughts Wild in 7: I don't see the Wild letting this one get away, and if they keep it close, they'll have a chance with their brand of hockey Dalls in 5: Dallas had rocked this year and I don't see any reason why the Oilers will be able to stop them Canucks in 7: If they don't fall apart like last year vs. the Wings.

posted by jmd82 at 05:31 PM on April 07, 2003

EAST Sens in Five - Sens are on a mission, Isles just going through the motions. Devils in Six - The Bruins won't roll over and die. Capitals in Seven - Could be a surprisingly good series. Washington has more experience. Leafs in Seven - Probably the best matchup of the first round. It could go either way but I'm taking Toronto solely because of goaltending. WEST Wings in Four - Just flat-out better than the Ducks. Avalanche in Five - Minny's lack of experience will be exposed here. Stars in Six - The Oil will make a go of it. Turco just too good. Blues in Seven - Another great matchup. Taking the underdog. Pronger can contain Bertuzzi. I'm more excited for this playoffs than any other, I think. Awesome first-round matchups and it'll only get better.

posted by Succa at 07:41 PM on April 07, 2003

Sens, inevitable Devils - oh yeah! Lightning, cuz Jagr can't do it all Leafs, cuz I will not ever pick a Philly team Wings, inevitable Avs, got to go with Forsberg and Granato Stars, too bad Vancouver, Pronger isn't back enough to stop the scoring. Sharks'll be back next year, baby!

posted by billsaysthis at 10:37 PM on April 07, 2003

Ok, just watch me! Senators in five: as much as I like Mike Peca, he just can't play against all Ottawa lines, and... *cough* Garth Snow! Devils in five: John Madden is incredible. Thornton silenced. Who's in goal for Boston? Capitals in six: Kolzig, Gonchar. They are both had great years, and they're both great playoff guys. Flyers in six: Belfour chokes. Dallas in six: I would so like the Oilers to win it, but Turco is just that good, apparently. Anaheim in six: Gigučre, Gigučre, Gigučre. A "1986 Patrick Roy" performance. Joseph chokes. Thomas has 3 GWG. Lots of OT. Best series in first round. Colorado in seven: The other great series. Great coach vs. great talent. Ultimately, Roy prevails. Vancouver in seven: Tough series, Cloutier hurt early on. Canucks rally around rookie G Alex Auld. Linden has his best series ever. As you can see, I carry a strong goaltender bias. Goalies are the key players in the playoffs. I believe this year even the Red Wings will not get away with the average tending they'll get from Joseph. And now for something completely different... Hart: Markus Naslund Calder: Barret Jackman Vezina: Marty Turco (there can be no other!) Lady Byng: Who cares! Norris: Sergei Gonchar Selke: John Madden Adams: Jacques Lemaire (once more, there can be no other!) See you in 20 days for my triumph! (Yeah right!)

posted by qbert72 at 12:54 AM on April 08, 2003

West- Dallas v. Edmonton - Stars in 4. Edmonton just doesn’t stand a chance. Detroit v. Anaheim - Detroit in 5. Playoff experience will carry the Wings through. Colorado v. Minnesota - Wild in 7. Unless you’re some sort of sportsweenie, you have to pick an upset or two. I think the Wild would have fared better against Detroit, but I can still see them beating Colorado. Vancouver v. St. Louis - Canucks in 6. Barring an injury to Naslund or Bertuzzi, that is. East (I’m sticking with my predictions from the last thread)- Ottowa v. NYI- Sens in 5. The Isles have been horrendous down the stretch. They’d need a miracle to win this series. New Jersey v. Boston - Bruins in 7. Samsonov is back, the Boston forwards are big enough to overpower the Devils defense, and the Devils powerplay is anemic. Of course, the Bruins have the worst defense in the playoffs, they’re facing the probable Vezina winner, and they’re holding some sort of raffle to see who gets to start in goal, but the playoffs wouldn’t be worth watching if I didn’t believe this could happen. Tampa Bay v. Washington - Lightning in 6. Washington – pah! That’s all I have to say about that. Philadelphia v. Toronto – Leafs in 7. I have a feeling that Owen Nolan is going to do some serious damage in the playoffs this year. Hart: Markus Naslund Calder: Bowmeester Maybe? Vezina: Martin Brodeur Lady Byng: Some wuss Norris: Nick Lidstrom Selke: Jiri Lehtonen (Axelsson gets no respect) Adams: Jacques Lemaire (narrowly beating out Jacques Martin)

posted by Samsonov14 at 09:27 AM on April 08, 2003

West- Dallas v. Edmonton- Dallas in 5. I give the Oil a game because, hey, I can. Dallas is just too strong, and Turco closes the Deal. Detroit v. Anaheim-Qbert, I like you're thinking. The Ducks have been one of the best teams in 2003, and Stevie T is awesome. And besides, if the Ducks snag an early series lead, Cujo could pop, poop, whatever. Ducks in 7. Colorado v. Minnesota-Anyone know how to play hockey? The Wild do. Though their success is a direct result of strict adherence to said system, its still success. But, the Avs D will be the difference here. Oh and some dude named Pete. Avs in 7. Vancouver v. St. Louis-If Cloutier can stay between the pipes, the 'Nucks will be by in 6. St.Louis has been limping all year, albeit with alot of Ws. The second season will prove to be too much. And that Matt Cooke kid is awesome! East- Ottawa v. Long Island - Come on! Gimme a break! Next! Sens in 4. Jersey v. Beantown - Boston could pull it off, but its going to take 7, and the Devils will have to go one goal or less for 2games, which isn't that far-fetched.. Marty should put up atleast 1egg, and stand on his head. Devils in 7. Tampa v. Washington - I've been proclaiming the 'Ning would be back in the playoffs the past two seasons, so I backed off last October. Stupid Impatient Me. The Bulin wall will hold, and Jagr has a hang-nail. 'Ning in 6. Toronto v. Philly- Since scouting the Flyers is against my religion, I'll leave this one up to the hockey gods. Go Leafs. Toronto in 6.

posted by garfield at 12:30 PM on April 08, 2003

East Ottawa - Lon Gisland. The Islanders have been on a roll, a losing roll. Ottawa is too fast. Senators in 4. NJ - Boston. Brodeur and the Devils' defense are the difference. Devs in 6. Tampa - Washington. Jagr isn't playing like Jagr. Khabibulin is the difference. Tampa in 7. Philly - Toronto. This should be a nasty series. Philly has the offense, but Belfour's been having a good year. Leafs in 7. West Dallas - Edmonton. How many playoff teams trade away their top players at the deadline? Stars in 5. Detroit - Anaheim. I just can't pick the team called the Mighty Ducks. Wings in 7. Colorado - Minnesota. Roy. Forsberg. Sakic. 'Nuff said. Av in 6. Vancouver - St. Louis. Osgood is the answer? Naslund and the Canucks in 6.

posted by andrewraff at 03:34 PM on April 09, 2003

I'm amazed at the number of people who think the Wings-Ducks series will be even close! Is it CuJo?

posted by Succa at 03:50 PM on April 09, 2003

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