If I need hockey news from someone I know personally, it is usually down to three people and two of which I went to high school with. One of those two has written a guest post on the upcoming NHL playoffs that get underway on Wednesday with 3 Eastern Conference series and 1 from the Western Conference.
I have bolded his series predictions below and added mine [in blue]. I think it just might be a nice contest throughout the playoffs to see who predicts the series more accurately.
Here is an analysis from Rusty Moke who is an avid hockey fan since as long as I can remember and has been in attendance for more hockey games this year alone than I even I got to watch:
The NHL playoffs are finally upon us; if 82 games weren’t enough get ready for a couple more. Now, I’m no NHL scout or hockey analyst, (just an old high school buddy of a specific angry brown guy, who I’d like to thank for making room for me in his intelligent blog) but as an avid hockey fan/player you might be able to find a morsel or two of decent predictions among all of my ranting.
There are 8 different matchups, so I’ll make it short and sweet for each one.
(8) Montreal vs (1) Boston – The Bruins have surged forward this season, from 8th playoff seed last year to 1st this year. The Canadiens have limped down the stretch, Markov is injured, and Price needs another year or two to become an outstanding goaltender. Although I believe Boston is overrated and Tim Thomas is garbage, I’ll say Boston wins the series 4-1. [Boston - 4-2]
(7) New York (R) vs (2) Washington – My hatred of the Rangers aside, they are going to have a tough time with the Caps. Washington has too much firepower for Lundqvist to handle between Ovie, Semin, Green, and Backstrom. Theodore is Washington’s weak point, but the Rangers season long scoring problems shouldn’t give him much of a problem. Having the #1 penalty kill in the league doesn’t win games. Washington sweeps 4-0. [Washington - 4-2]
(6) Carolina vs (3) New Jersey – I’m obviously going to be biased towards the Devils. Yes, we’ve had problems with the Canes all season long. Yes, since Marty broke the record he hasn’t been at the top of his game. But, Marty finally has rest and we have too much history with Carolina to drop this game. Keep an eye on Babchuk, he’ll make things interesting. NJ wins in 7. [Carolina - 4-3]
(5) Philadelphia vs (4) Pittsburgh – Not much to say here. Since the coaching change Pittsburgh has been nearly unstoppable. Everyone recognizes the names Crosby and Malkin. Philadelphia has always been an unpredictable team, I don’t think they can hold onto this series, Biron isn’t very reliable. Pittsburgh wins 4-1. [Pittsburgh - 4-2]
(8) Anaheim vs (1) San Jose– Not much to say here, get out your brooms. Keep an eye on Cheechoo. San Jose in 4. [San Jose - 4-1]
(7) Columbus vs (2) Detroit – Look no further for an upset. Columbus has fought too hard to lose to the Wings in their first post season appearance. Osgood isn’t as good as he is made out to be, Nash’s leadership is better than Datsyuk’s. Mason isn’t done with shutouts this season. Columbus in 7. [Detroit - 4-1]
(6) St. Louis vs (3) Vancouver – The Canucks faltered during the middle of the season, they won’t during the playoffs. Congrats to the Blues for making it to the playoffs, they better enjoy it while it lasts. Luongo has this one. Vancouver wins 4-2. [St. Louis 4-2]
(5) Calgary vs (4) Chicago – Another close series. Chicago has youth; they can make a run at the cup next year. Calgary’s trades this year were invaluable. Calgary wins 4-3. [Calgary 4-1]
Don’t go placing bets on my predictions, but then again who knows. The playoffs always find some way to keep things interesting. My cup prediction: New Jersey vs Calgary. That’s probably biased, but I’ve seen it all season.
I will probably add my own analysis tomorrow but once again big time appreciation and thanks to Rusty for some fantastic analysis. Once again, if any of you wanna jump in and add your predicitions, feel free to comment below and just let either me or Rusty know wha you think of the guest post.