Re: 2011-2012 NHL discussion
Well the playoff match-ups are set. It goes:
Vancouver vs. LA
St. Louis vs. San Jose
Phoenix vs. Chicago
Nashville vs. Detroit
New York vs. Ottawa
Boston vs. Washington
Florida vs. New Jersey
Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia
My picks for the first round:
LA over Vancouver in 6. LA is playing about as well as anyone now and I can see Vancouver wetting the bed in the first round, esp. if they don't have Daniel Sedin.
St. Louis over San Jose in 5. This is probably the best match for the Blues. I know the regular season shouldn't be a barometer to playoff success but the Blues have dominated the Sharks every time they faced them this year. I don't see the trend changing anytime soon.
Phoenix over Chicago in 7. Phoenix is playing excellent right now and their goaltender has turned into a late season nominee for the Vezina. My big question about Chicago is their goalie situation. If they were playing better in net, my choice would be different but Crawford is going to have to prove something to me before I can pick Chicago to win this series.
Nashville in 7. This is probably the second best match-up of the first round. I'm going back and fourth on this game. It's too close. If it's too close, I always pick home ice as the tie breaker. Could go either way though.
New York in 5. Ottawa took 3 of 4 against the Rangers this season so I think this could be a tight series. New York has the match-up advantage in defense and in goal. Though I see this being a tough series for the Rangers, I just can't see them being beaten.
Washington in 6. The Caps look like a whole different team with Nicklas Bäckström back from injury. While Boston does have them in edge when it comes to defense, Thomas has looked human this year. I could see this series going in Washington's favor if Ovi continues his hot hand. It's going to be close but I pick Washington.
New Jersey in 6. The Panthers are a great story but New Jersey is too good of a team. I also feel that Brodeur has more left in the tank and is out to prove the doubters wrong.
Pittsburgh in 6. This is by far the best match-up of the first round. I predict this will be the most physical series as well. In the end though, Pittsburgh has too many weapons. I really don't see anyone beating Pittsburgh in the East this season.
“Our next home stand follows this road trip.”
“I just want to tell everyone Happy Easter and Happy Hanukkah.” says on the day before Easter