I’m a day late, but what the heck,this season was whacked by the lockout so who really cares if I’m making the predictions after a couple of playoff games have been decided. Please do not use these predictions to lose money with any wager — I’m sure not.
But it’s a tradition. Every year I make my playoff predictions, and later this summer, you can all laugh at me when they prove mostly wrong. In a good year I seem to get about half right. Such is life… That’s why I’m not a famous hockey pundit….
Islanders vs. Penguins. Well obviously, it’s the Island…
Okay, I can’t say that a straight face. But I do want to recognize the Islanders (and Evgeny Nabokov) for making the playoffs when nobody, not even the Islanders, expected that to happen. Well done. But the Penguins will keep this playoff run short on the Island this year. Pens in 4.
Senators vs. Canadiens. I have a fondness for the Senators, but this year, I think I have to pick Montreal. Probably in six. And it would be really cool if Montreal and Toronto were to meet, although I think the Mayans have a prediction that if that were to happen the sun would go nova. I’m willing to risk that.
Rangers vs. Capitals: I have a fondness for the Capitals, but honestly, the Rangers are the better team. I don’t expect the Rangers to go past the 2nd round, but I do think the Capitals will go out in five.
Toronto vs. Boston: the series to watch in the first round, if only to watch and see if anyone dies. This ought to be a rough series for both teams. I’m not sure whoever wins this series will be in any kind of shape to win the 2nd round, but this is the series I plan on watching out of the east. And because I have to, toronto in 6, but this is basically a coin flip in my mind.
So in summary, Penguins, Canadiens, Rangers, Toronto. And I pick Pittsburgh to win the east.
Minnesota vs. Chicago: Chicago has been amazing all season. I see no reason that’ll end. Blackhawks in 5. Sorry, Minnesota fans.
Detroit vs. Anaheim: It’s hard to bet against Detroit, but I’m going to. I like Anaheim, although I like Detroit’s goaltending a lot more. I still think the Wings can’t get past the Ducks this year, so Anaheim in 5.
Los Angeles vs. St. Louis: I like both teams. I like LA’s goaltending more. I think having lots of west coast teams is a great way to piss off the tv networks. Because of that, I want as many California teams to go as deep in the playoffs as I can, so Los Angeles in 6. but I’m not sure St. Louis will go easily, or the kings will have much left for round 2.
San Jose vs. Vancouver. Now excuse me while I do the homer thing and pick the Sharks (in 6). I think Niemi is a much better goaltender playing better. I like how the Sharks have played the last few weeks. They seem to get it. Although I wouldn’t be crushed if the Canucks win out, either. But I do think the Sharks will win the first round, although they have to prove to everyone (including themselves) they can go deeper. I’m not sure they can, especially against the talent in the west.
So summary: Chicago, Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Jose. If Toronto/Montreal doesn’t make the sun go nova, three california teams in the 2nd round might. or it might just make Don Cherry’s head explode. And then maybe he might finally retire (but I doubt it….).
Coming out of the west — Chicago. Hard to see any team taking them out this year, unless chicago does it to themselves.
So my prediction for stanley cup final: chicago and pittsburgh. And of the two? Flip a coin. I’ll take Chicago in 7, if only to save myself from sleeping on the couch again…