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2008 NHL Playoff Predictions: First Round

Monday, April 7, 2008

The battle for the Stanley Cup begins on Wednesday – that’s 2 days away for those who haven’t bothered to set up their brackets yet.  For today, I’m focusing on the first round of the playoffs with some explantion.  You can find my predictions for the whole shebang here

Eastern Conference

1 Montreal Canadiens vs. 8 Boston Bruins – Clearly Montreal’s the easy choice since they swept the season series.  But consider that Boston did take the final game to a shootout at the Bell Centre.  Also, playoff hockey is a completely different world than the regular season.  Montreal still has better goaltending, and that’s often what the postseason boils down to.  – MONTREAL CANADIENS

2 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 7 Ottawa Senators – A rematch of last year’s first round where the Sens absolutely steam rolled over the Pens.  Blend one part each of revenge, experience, momentum, health, and an intimidating home record.  Result: Penguins have a distinct advange over Ottawa. – PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

3 Washington Capitals vs. 6 Philadelphia Flyers – I know everyone outside Philadelphia would like to see a Capitals victory.  I love AO, but I love my team more.  Both have strong momentum – Caps by virtue of their wins and Flyers by virtue of victories over the tough Atlantic Division competition.  Washington may have a slight advantage in net and in health.  However, the Flyers have the most experience.  – PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

4 New Jersey Devils vs. 5 New York Rangers –  Martin Brodeur is a goaltender built for the playoffs.  It’s a good sign for Devils fans that the team bounced back after an awful outing in Philadelphia.  The Rangers have the upper hand, though.  Drury, Shanahan, Jagr, Gomez – all are built for playoff hockey.  – NEW YORK RANGERS

Western Conference

1 Detroit Red Wings vs. 8 Nashville Predators – Congrats to the Preds for making it despite the various personnel and ownership issues faced during the season.  Unfortunately for Nashville and their fans, Detroit is a significantly better team.  – DETROIT RED WINGS

2 San Jose Sharks vs. 7 Calgary Flames – I believe the Calgary Flames and the Anaheim Ducks are the two teams that could legitimately knock San Jose out.  Those teams have genuine grit, something that even the additional of Jody Shelley doesn’t really add to the Sharks.  I still expect that San Jose will make it pas the first round.  Whether they do in one piece is another matter.  – SAN JOSE SHARKS

3 Minnesota Wild vs. 6 Colorado Avalanche – The one reason I would have accepted Peter Forsberg back in the Orange and Black: playoff performance.  Peter the Great can take a team on his shoulders and win even in the most grueling matchups.  We saw it two years ago in Philadelphia.  I think we may see it again in Denver.  – COLORADO AVALANCHE

4 Anaheim Ducks vs. 5 Dallas Stars – The Ducks, unlike many Stanley Cup teams of recent years, have the assets to create a repeat performance.  Especially with the return of Chris Pronger and Corey Perry.  Not good news for a Dallas Stars team that struggled to gather wins down the stretch.  – ANAHEIM DUCKS

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. rocksandchairs permalink
    Wednesday, April 9, 2008 5:55 pm

    um ya you’re crazy! are you serious? you can’t be serious? if you want actually good predictions check out hockey.com for the eastern conference predictions and western conference predictions. seriously dude get serious!

  2. The Frozen Fan permalink
    Wednesday, April 9, 2008 7:36 pm

    So who do you think is going to win, rocksandchairs? I checked out Hockey.com, and they’re very close to my predictions. The difference – they chose Washington and Minnesota instead of Philly and Colorado.

  3. sportsaddictforlife permalink
    Friday, April 11, 2008 7:52 pm

    I see almost no difference as well.
    And as for the two differing predictions, the Wild are down to the Avs and the Flyers are leading 4-2 in Game One against the Caps.
    I believe that means “The Frozen Fan” currently is doing a better job predicting… And yes, I’m totally serious!

    And please learn some spelling and grammar. It makes reading people’s posts so much easier!

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  1. 2008 NHL Playoff Predictions: Second Round « The Frozen Fan

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