Cornwall Ontario – Yes, it’s that time! Sadly the Habs didn’t make the playoffs because GM Marc Bergevin totally blew it this season and it seems that owner Geoff Molson might actually let him have a seventh kick at the can which is way too Rejean Houle scary.
But I digress. The Leafs and Jets are repping Canada this Second Season and both have some good reasons to be excited, especially the Jets who should have a long deep run for the cup, especially if they can find a way to get by Nashville.
The first three games were Wednesday night, but my picks were written before so this is only half gaming the prediction game.
NJ & TB – this should be a very short series. Tampa has leadership, talent, coaching and is just about the model franchise in the NHL right now. Stealing Sergachev from Montreal is almost as bad as when the Rangers hoodwinked the Habs out of Mcdonagh. New Jersey can hang their heads high for their amazing season, but it’s golf time. TB to round 2.
Toronto v Boston – If Kadri and Plekanec have the series I’m expecting Leaf Nation should be happy, but Toronto has a narrow window for error. There’s no off nights for the erratic goalie. It’s showtime and Toronto’s depth is what should get them to round two! Toronto to round 2.
Columbus vs Washington – Everything is pointing to John Tortorella’s squad moving to round two. Again, depth is critical, but goaltending in the playoffs is more. The Bob should earn his cheque this series and the hockey gods will not be happy with how hard Ovechkin worked it chasing 50 goals instead of getting some rest for his 32 year old legs. Columbus to Round 2.
Philly & Penguins – Not much hope for the Flyers. This is a motivated Penguins team looking for a 3 peat. Philly fluked their way into the playoffs, but don’t have the horses and especially goaltending to compete. Look for a very short series. Penguins to round 2.
Colorado v Nashville – The Preds are favored to win Lord Stanley’s Cup. They essentially have it all, and they do it in an entertaining manner. Expect Colorado to not be blown out of the water, but this is all Smashville! Preds to round 2.
SJ vs ANA – The Battle of California – Anaheim as the depth and character. It will be a short series even if Joe Thornton is back. Of course I could eat my words too, but it just doesn’t feel like Lord Stanley’s Cup knows the way to San Jose – Ducks to round 2.
Minnesota v Winnipeg – Brr…great cold hockey cities with some of the best hockey fans in the World. Sadly the Twin cities retirement club is missing its best man on D, and honestly even if Suter were playing they wouldn’t be able to keep up with the Jets. Short series win as Winnipeg heads to round 2.
Kings v Golden Knights – That glass slipper’s about to turn into a worn out hockey skate missing a blade. Vegas has been a Cinderella story, but this isn’t a Disney movie. The NHL playoffs are meaner and nastier than the regular season and Vegas, as great a coach as Gerald Gallant is (who should’ve stayed and been placed as Habs coach instead of being loyal to Michel Therrien) can’t force his players to out grit the Kings. Look for a short series with the Kings moving to round 2.
So dear CFN viewers? Post your predictions and let the games begin!