Wednesday, April 25, 2007

2007 Stanley Cup Second Round Predictions

Well, it was a heck of a first round! Can't wait till these Conference Semi's kick-off tonight!


(1) Buffalo Sabres vs (6) NY Rangers
Buffalo in 7. Going into the playoffs, many thought the Rangers wouldn't get past the Thrashers. Well, they did alright. Watching the Rangers in the first round proves they are more critics think of them to be. They are a very fast and pesky team that will give Buffalo some trouble. The Sabres didn't look to convincing in the series vs the Islanders. They did win in 5, but they allowed the Islanders to make a series out of it. I still think the Sabres will prevail in 7.
Players to look out for: Drury, Briere, Vanek, Avery, Jagr, Nylander

(2) NJ Devils vs (4) Ottawa Senators
Senators in 6. The Senators are simply a better team. Broduer looked a bit shaky against Tampa & I think with Ottawa picked up on many of Broduer's weak spots. A six game, hard fought series vs the Lightning may have an effect on the Devils.
Players to look out for: Gomez, Elias, Parise, Spezza, Heatley, Kelly


(1) Detroit Red Wings vs (5) San Jose Sharks
Sharks in 7. A very skillful Sharks team will be too much to handle for the aching Wings who went a rough six games against the Calgary Flames. The Wings are getting too much production upfront besides the likes of Datsyuk. I think that may hurt them considering Marleau & Thornton are started to step it up in the latter stages of round 1.
Players to look out for: Franzen, Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Thornton, Marleau, Michalek, Cheechoo.

(2) Anaheim Ducks vs (3) Vancouver Canucks
Ducks in 6. Anaheim is simply a better team all around. They have two strong goalies in Bryzgalov & Giguere, and they have a blue line that are strong offensively and defensively. Canucks are a team that have trouble scoring. I think it was clear to see that the only reason they got past the Stars was because of the outstanding play by Luongo.
Players to look out for: Getzlaf, Pronger, Sedin Bros.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

2007 Stanley Cup First Round Predictions

It may be a bit too late, but here is how I think the first round of the '07 Stanley Cup Playoffs will shape up.

(1) Buffalo Sabres vs (8) NY Islanders
Buffalo in 6. The Islanders are no competition for the Buffalo Sabres. Although, with Rick Di Pietro hot in net, I think they Isles will be capable of stealing one more in Long Island. Star of the series: Daniel Briere

(2) NJ Devils vs (7) Tampa Bay Lightning
Devils in 6. Tampa Bay won a few games going into the playoffs to get their confidence rolling, but I think 52 goal scorer Lecavalier & co. will have some trouble beating Marty Broduer. Star of the series: Marty Broduer

(3) Atlanta Thrashers vs (6) NY Rangers
Rangers in 6. Rangers are just simply a better team. Sean Avery will be a bit too pesky for the Rangers. Watch the 8th ranked PP go to work on Hotlanta. Bob Hartley has also been messing around with his goaltending situation, that may prove to be costly. Star of the series: Jaromir Jagr

(4) Ottawa Senators vs (5) Pittsburgh Penguins
Penguins in 7. Something about this series tells me the Senators are going to continue their playoff woes. If the youngsters on Pittsburgh (Fleury, Crosby, Staal, Malkin) can do what they did during the regular season, I think they will be too much to handle for Ottawa. Star of the series: Jordan Staal

(1) Detroit Red Wings vs (8) Calgary Flames
Flames in 7. Most of you may laugh at me for this prediction, but something about the Flames tell me they will prevail. If kiprusoff plays like we all know he can and players like Phaneuf, Iginla, Tanguay, Huselius, Giordano step it up, the Wings may be in for quite a surprise. Star of the series: Dion Phaneuf

(2) Anahiem Ducks vs (7) Minnesota Wild
Ducks in 6. Ducks are just simply too much to handle for the Wild. They have depth in goal and a strong blue line. The only reason why I give the Wild two games is because they have a confident goalie in Backstrom & I noticed they started to set the tone late in game 2. Star of the series: Teemu Selanne

(3) Vancouver Canucks vs (6) Dallas Stars
Stars in 7. This is a hard one. Both teams have excellent goalkeeping. I'm giving the edge to Dallas only because they looked more of an aggressive team in Game 1 & 2. Marty Turco has proven that his playoff slump is in the past, and I definitely see him progressing into the next round. Ryan Kessler & Matt Cooke are going to be missed if they are sidelines for much longer. The Canucks have to count on Naslund & the Sedin Bros to be consistent all series long. Star of the series: Marty Turco

(4) Nashville Predators vs (5) San Jose Sharks
Preds in 7. This is the best series thus far. Hitting, scoring & big saves. If the Sharks have any chance on winning the series, they are going to need big production out of Joe Thornton, Billy Guerin & Patrick Marleau. I can't see the Sharks getting past this strong & fast Nashville team. Star of the series: J.P. Dumont & Alex Radulov

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

2007 Entry Draft Pick

The Capitals today were told they have the fifth pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. This year's Entry Draft may not hold the same talent the last few drafts (Ovy, Crosby & Malkin) but there are several names that can change a franchise within years to come. Owning that 5th spot the Caps might be limited to what they would have liked to draft. Who's to say the Caps will even keep that pick? I can see them working out a trade that involves that pick.

Draft Order:
1. Chicago Blackhawks
2. Philadelphia Flyers
3. Phoenix Coyotes
4. Los Angeles Kings
5. Washington Capitals
6. Edmonton Oilers
7. Columbus Blue Jackets
8. Boston Bruins
9. St.Louis Blues
10. Florida Panthers
11. Carolina Hurricanes
12. Montreal Canadiens
13. Toronto Maple Leafs
14. Colorado Avalanche

Friday, April 6, 2007

Caps lose out on Datsyuk

Late Friday night the Detroit Red Wings locked up their top centremen with a 7 yr, $46.9 million deal.
This signing means the Caps lose out on possibly their best free-agent target. Rumours around the league had Datsyuk linked with the Caps.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Can Ovy hit 50?

With Ovechkin's two goal game tonight vs the Atlanta Thrashers, another 50 goal season may be just around the corner. Although it may be unlikely that Ovechkin will snipe four goals against the Sabres, Ovy will probably face a much rested Buffalo squad who will be preparing for another post-season.

Ovechkin's season series vs Sabres:

3 GP, 2 G, 0 A, 2 Pts

Another 50 goal season will definitely be a massive plus out of a somewhat slow season from the Capitals sniper.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Kolzig's SO

Three nights prior to his birthday, Olaf Kolzig finally gets his much deserved first shut-out of the season! Besides the Capitals finally beating the Panthers, Kolzig receiving shut-out honours is what made my night.

Kolzig's last shut-out came Feb.15, 2004 where Kolzig made 38 saves against the Chicago Blackhawks in a 4-0 win.

Goal scorers:

Peter Bondra, Stephen Peat, Matt Pettinger, Anson Carter

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Season Series: Ovechkin vs Crosby

Even though the Calder race was long ago, there will always be a battle between Alex Ovechkin & Sidney Crosby.

Here's how this year's season series shaped out:

Alex Ovechkin vs Pittsburgh Penguins
0 G, 3 A, 3 Pts

Sidney Crosby vs Washington Capitals
2 G, 3 A, 5 Pts

Ovechkin never seems to have that tenacity when he plays Crosby & the Penguins. I hope that can change over the next few years when Alex has more quality players to work with.