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

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