Sunday, April 6, 2008

2008 Playoffs - Time for Predictions!

I get really excited about the playoffs every year. When the Kings aren't competing for Stanley I usually pick one team as "my team". It's usally the Red Wings because I always like their lineup. Sure their wagon is HUGE but it doesn't always mean they're going to win the Cup. I love Niklas Lidstrom. He's probably my favorite player in the playoffs. And how can you not like Hank Zetterberg? The Wings even have McCarty back in the lineup! And, of course, let's not forget about Kirk Maltby and Brad Stuart.

Normally I don't care too much about the East, unless there's one team that I adore and want to see succeed. Last year it was the Buffalo Sabres and I was a bit disappointed with their lackluster effort through the playoffs. They had a great team but for some reason, with the exception of a couple games, it seemed like the team won on luck alone. This year I don't have an Eastern team that I'm rooting for. I think Washington is on an unbelievable streak and it would be a sight to see if they advance to the Finals. Hands down that team is the underdog.

My predictions are after the jump. But don't forget to make your predictions (in the comments or in your blog) so we can compare!

Eastern Conference

(1) Montreal Canadiens v. (8) Boston Bruins
I don't know much about the Canadiens except that they have a rookie in net. The team went 8-1-1 in the last 10 games and it always seems like the hot teams do well in the playoffs. I know even less about the Boston Bruins and I'm still trying to figure out how the team made the playoffs. I'm sticking with the hot team.
Montreal in 5.

(2) Pittsburgh Penguins v. (7) Ottawa Senators
Rematch from last year except now Pittsburgh is the home team. Last year I always enjoyed reading the post game notes by Five for Smiting; he's relentless in his mockery of Gary Roberts and Sidney Crosby. I want Ottawa to win this series but I doubt it will happen. The team has imploded and Malkin has the entire state of Pennsylvania on his shoulders and he's still racking up the points. Maybe the bunny will work...but I'm not holding my breath.
Pittsburgh in 6.

(3) Washington Capitals v. (6) Philadelphia Flyers
Like I said earlier, the Capitals look unstoppable. Now that Ovie broke Luc's record, I am in full support of him scoring as many goals as humanly possible. If the Caps make it to the Finals, he could very easily win the MVP award. And honestly, I want the Caps to make it that far because that means I get to watch Ovie play more in the next couple months than I have in the past three years. In the first half of the season it looked like Philly was going to easily slide into the playoffs. Now, I'm not sure they can hold off the streaking Caps. I am in complete shock that Jaroslav Modry went from a +2 on the Kings to a -13 on the is that even possible? Ovie all the way.
Caps in 6.

(4) New Jersey Devils v. (5) New York Rangers
I'm sorry -ookies, Kerry and Lucky 13, but I don't care about this series. And I'm sure Devils fans are less than thrilled to be playing the Rangers and vice versa. Actually, I do care about Sean Avery. So...I guess I'm rooting for the Rangers. But I think Marty will carry the Devils to the second round.
Devils in a painful 7.

Western Conference
(1) Detroit Red Wings v. (8) Nashville Predators
Unless the entire Red Wings roster gets injured and/or everyone becomes super cocky, Detroit's winning this series. For the record, I do not like Hasek.
Detroit in 5.

(2) San Jose Sharks v. (7) Calgary Flames
It's the JR curse.
Flames in 6.

(3) Minnesota Wild v. (6) Colorado Avalanche
This is going to be a good series if Forsberg plays in every game. I wish I could watch every game in this series. I have no idea who will win this one. I guess I'll just have to go with my girl Kirsten.
Wild in 7.

(4) Anaheim Ducks v. (5) Dallas Stars
I cannot believe Zubov is out. However, I still have faith that Dallas can knock out Anaheim.
Dallas in 7.

Mirtle has a poll where you can vote for the 4 teams you think will advance in each Conf. Check out what a bunch of readers think will happen.

EDIT: 04/07/08

After reading Kirsten's predictions I decided I should try my hand at predicting all of the rounds. I initially wanted to propose a Playoff Prediction Game at HLOG similar to the NCAA Final Four brackets, but reseeding makes it more difficult to create a "bracket" and I just don't care that much to actually make it and send it to everyone. Rather, hopefully my (and Kirsten's) predictions will entice others to make predictions as well.

With the predictions I made above for the We/Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, here are my predictions for the remaining playoff rounds:

Eastern Conference Semifinals
(1) Montreal v. (4) New Jersey Devils
Rookie v. Vet. Kind of like Ward v. Brodeur. If this series occurred in the next round then Price would have the opportunity of outdueling Brodeur on his birthday just like Ward did two seasons ago.
Montreal in 5.

(2) Pittsburgh v. (3) Washington Capitals
Everyone in NHL broadcasting will cream themselves if this series comes to fruition. Crosby v. Ovechkin! Da-du-DAH! Poor you think if he's selfish enough that when it comes time for him to be a UFA he won't re-sign with the Pens just so he can go to a team and not be overshadowed by Cindy? Caps are running on endorphins alone. (I can't believe I just typed 'endorphins'...I'm such a dork)
Caps in 7.

Western Conference Semifinals
(1) Detroit v. (7) Calgary
I picked Calgary to win it all...but now they're up against Detroit. Rematch of last year's first round. I think Calgary could dethrone Detroit but it'll take a lot of discipline. Even though Detroit is my playoff team, I think Calgary could succeed with the upset. After looking at my initial prediction for the Western Finals, I think Detroit will win.
Calgary in 6. Detroit in 6.

(3) Minnesota Wild v. (5) Dallas Stars
(holy hell, I'm out of it today. First I typed "Minnesota North" and then I corrected myself and typed "Minnesota Stars" and then I realized I was on crack and finally wrote down the correct team name.)
I just don't know much about the Wild other than Demitra is on the team.
Dallas in 6. Minny in 6.

Ea/Western Conference Finals
(1) Montreal v. (3) Washington Capitals
I can't believe I have Montreal and Washington in the Eastern Conf Finals...Now I really want Washington to make it. But I think Montreal will prevail.
Montreal in 6.

(5) Dallas Stars v. (7) Calgary Flames
(1) Detroit Red Wings v. (3) Minnesota Wild
I just don't see the #5 and #7 making it to the Finals...what was I thinking 3 minutes ago? Anyhoo, this will be a good series. If Minny can make it this far, I think they can make it to the Finals.
Minnesota in 7.

Stanley Cup Finals
(1) Montreal Canadiens v. (3)Minnesota Wild
Two major hockey markets. One smallish American market. Minnesota will win Game 1. Chris Simon will be called with an illegal stick in Game 2. Montreal will win Games 2-5. History can kind of repeat itself, right?
Montreal in 5.

(x-posted to HLOG)


Kirsten said...

I appreciate the vote of confidence, even though I'm probably the worst predictor ever.

Kirsten said...

Nice rest of your predictions too. Minnesota has like 4 1/2 million people at the highest count that I've ever seen, so I would guess that probably counts as a small market, probably why we can't ever hold on to good players.