Cornwall ON – Well it’s show time! For the Habs the Play offs start Thursday, but for Vancouver tonight’s the night as they face off against last year’s Stanley Cup defending champion Chicago Black Hawks.
Five series start tonight and I’m going to give my fearless predictions starting with Chi/Van where I feel Vancouver is the odds on fave to compete for the cup in the West. Not that Chicago will be a push over, but they certainly are not in the same league as Vancouver this season.
I expect this to be a hard series, but Vancouver will win.
Tampa Bay vs Pittsburgh. This has the ingredients to be a very exciting series. If Penguins goalie Marc Andre Fleury hits his high notes this series is going to be very very interesting. Almost as interesting as those that think Sidney Crosby will skate up at some point in the series.
I’m thinking some high scoring games and folks this series is just too close to call!
New York Rangers at Washington. The head says Caps, but my gut is telling me the Rangers could pull off an upset. They are better in goal and have a strong system and a deeply committed team. King Henrik could just be the difference and never underestimate John Tortorella.
Nashville vs Anaheim. This to me seems like a real clear cut pick in that Anaheim has the talent and depth to handle the Preds. I don’t think Nashville has the horses to fight off the Ducks attack and the more time you spend in your own end the more pucks hit the back of your net. Watch Saku Koivu and the face offs won for Anaheim. If they are over 51% Nashville is done.
Phoenix vs Detroit. Again, Detroit seems like they’re on a mission. There are some graying beards that I’m sure would love nothing better than to carry the cup one last time. Phoenix does not seem like they were built for the play offs.
Detroit’s Goal tending is always in question, but will Phoenix be able penetrate Detroit’s zone enough to make it count?
Boston vs Montreal. Everything points to this being an early Boston series win. However there’s a lot of bad blood and old history between these two original six franchises that could see anything happen. This is the acid test for Carey Price. He doesn’t necessarily pull a Ken Dryden, or even a Jaroslav Halak; so much as not be the cause if Montreal loses.
The pressure will be on the top six forwards to earn their fat pay cheques and hit the back of the Boston net early and often.
Buffalo and Philadelphia. I can’t see Buffalo doing much against Philly. Yes they are playing much better since their new owner took over and yes, they have a stud goalie, but Philly is just too talented, too deep, and too damn tough.
LA vs SJ. Everything points to San Jose beating LA which is probably why LA will win even with stud Anze Kopitar injured.
What do you think Hockey fans? You can post your comments below.