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After 82 games: This is it.
|Wed, April 15||7:00||FSN, Versus|
|Fri, April 17||7:00||FSN, Versus|
|Sun, April 19||3:00||NBC|
|Tue, April 21||7:00||FSN, Versus|
|Thur, April 23*||7:00||FSN, Versus|
|Sat, April 25*||3:00||NBC|
|Mon, April 27*||7:00||FSN, Versus|
Here are my predictions for the first round in the
- San Jose over Anaheim, 6 games.
- Calgary over Chicago, 6 games.
- Vancouver over St. Louis, 7 games.
- Detroit over Columbus, 5 games.
I can’t offer any real insights into the Western Conference; I just don’t follow it that closely. But now we come to…
The Eastern Conference
8 Montreal over 1 Boston
Montreal was able to score 4 on Tim Thomas in an OT loss last week. You can’t feel good about that if you’re Boston. Montreal’s defense shuts down MarkyMark and crew.
Boston Bruins vs. TPC Boston—Tuesday, April 28th
7 New York over 2 Washington
Could Pens fans have wanted a better matchup for the Caps?
The Rags’ penalty kill has been lights out since Tortorella took over at 91.5%. If they can shut down the Caps’ power play and score some 5v5 goals, last season’s nightmare becomes this season’s reality for the Washington Capitals.
6 Carolina over 3 New Jersey
That’s right. I picked each of the top 3 teams in the east to lose in the first round. Will it happen? maybe not, but it’s more of a possibility this post-season than most. Carolina has been peaking at the right time, but will their defense hold up? Cam Ward will steal the series, but he’ll break down during the second round.
And finally, the moment you’ve read this far for…or scrolled to…
4 Pittsburgh over 5 Philadelphia
You had to know that I’d pick Pittsburgh, but lets keep it real. Coach John Stevens was quoted saying,
"You have to go into this series with a checking mind-set. The games that we've had success in we played with an emotional edge but had that line of discipline."
I hope they come into the series with a defensive mind-set. That’s just laying down the framework to sit in your own zone and play defense for 60min, a strategy that worked for Michel Therrien so well, in fact, that GMRS decided it was worth paying him to not coach.
The Flyers will focus all of their attention on Malkin and Crosby, another strategy that’s worked.
Here are Crosby’s stats against the Flyers this season.
Malkin has 7pts against the Flyers this season. I’m not doing a pic for him…due to the way the one above turned out.
The Flyers are good, just like they were last year,
The Pens are good, just like they were last year,
Both might even be a little better.
But when they asked last season, “Why not us?”
The answer was simply,”Because of the Penguins.”