First of all, I am sorry for basically going MIA since the trade deadline. Work gone insane, I switched from a Dell to a Mac which was a battle, and i've done nothing but search for a new place to live in my spare time. All issues are now cleared up, I move this weekend, my mac is a beauty, and work has calmed. All in time for the playoffs.
Here are my predictions as we head into the first round of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
(1) Washington vs. (8) Montreal
From my view, goaltending will be the biggest story of this series. The Caps goaltending has been a question all season long, while Jaroslav Halak has shown he can steal a game or two when needed. Both him and Theodore are playing for new contracts and are expected to put on a show in the opening round. In the end, the Caps fire power will be too much, but the Habs won't go down without one hell of a fight.
Caps in 6
(2) New Jersey vs. (7) Philadelphia
Martin Brodeur and Ilya Kovalchuk are my two players to watch for the Devils. Kovalchuk's previous playoff success is non-existant, while Brodeur is getting up there in age and his game is starting to show just that. Luckily for the Devils, the Flyers have no goaltending depth and their team has really disappointed this year.
Devils in 5
(3) Buffalo vs. (6) Boston
The Ryan Miller Show lasted all season long and have the Sabres opening the post season at home. The Bruins offense has been non-existant and Tim Thomas has followed up his vezina winning season with a subpar season, to say the least. With that said, the Bruins have some fight left in them and an upset isn't out of the question. Even if the Bruins lose, at least they'll get one of Hall or Seguin to take the sting away.
Bruins in 7
(4) Pittsburgh vs. (5) Ottawa
The last time the Sens and Pens met, Ottawa went home after four games. The Sens are stronger than back then while I believe the Pens are a little weaker. Still, the gap between the two still exists and the end result will be similar.
Penguins in 6
(1) San Jose vs. (8) Colorado
Another early exit for San Jose would spell HUGE changes for the Sharks. While Marleau isn't expected back, an opening round loss would also likely spell the end for several other high profile Sharks. The Avs have cooled down a lot since their early season dominance and are still too young to hang around with the big boys.
Sharks in 5
(2) Chicago vs. (7) Nashville
The Preds continue to be post-season players every year, despite not having a super-star loaded roster. The Blackhawks, however, are the definition of super-star loaded. The Blackhawks, despite the questions in net, are probably the team to beat in the West.
Blackhawks in 5
(3) Vancouver vs. (6) LA
The Kings were a nice surprise this season and have the young talent up front to really compete with the leagues best. Unfortunately in net it's Quick vs. Luongo, and Luongo's already got some big-game experience behind him. The Kings will make it closer than many think, however.
Canucks in 6
(4) Phoenix vs. (5) Detroit
Phoenix's incredible season earned them a date with Detroit, hardly a reward. With that said, the Coyotes have the speed and skill to compete with the Wings. This series is a complete toss-up and will likely go 7. It could come down to who's goalie is hotter, and I'm still not sold on Howard.
Coyotes in 7'
Agree? Disagree? Stop by the forums and throw down a comment as well as your own predictions.