Wednesday, April 07, 2004


The playoffs begin today, so.. just like last year, here's my interpretation and predictions of the first round.

Western Conference

Detroit v. Nashville
This is the most watched playoff series as Detroit hopes to not repeat last years sweep by the Ducks. Nashville tried to guarantee a playoff run last year to their season ticket holders, but they made it this year. Nashville earned their spot down to the last day of the season. Manny Legace is expected to start in goal.
Prediction: Wings in 5

San Jose v. St. Louis
The quietest team going into the playoffs and the team that gets the least amount of respect in Division winning San Jose is looking to advance. St. Louis dumped their coach and was riddled with injuries for the past two years. I don't know how they got into the playoffs again. Osgood is huge in the playoffs. That should help the Blues. Prediction: Sharks in 5

Vancouver v. Calgary
Vancouver minus Bertuzzi is interesting to watch. Fresh faced Calgary is a blue collar team looking to build upon their rebuilding. Watch for the Canucks to pay dividends in their deals at the deadline. Prediction: Canucks in 7

Colorado. v. Dallas
In the most evenly matched series of the Western playoffs, rivals collide! Aebisher is the key to Colorado because their big gun Paul Karyia may be done for the year due to an injury. He took a pay cut believing the 'Lanche to be his best shot at winning the Cup. Dallas isn't the team they used to be. Prediction: Avalanche in 5

Eastern Conference

Tampa Bay v. NY Islanders
In the East, the least respected is Tampa Bay ('cuz who thought of Hockey in Florida?). They were in the running for the Presidents Trophy. The Isles have gone far with Yashin and hopes their investment in #1 pick Rick DiPietro will get them to the promised land. Prediction: Tampa in 4

Boston v. Montreal
Original 6 rivals collide! No two teams have met in the post season than these two teams! Boston rides the back of Andy Raycroft, a Calder Trophy nominee. Montreal is just happy to be there where losing is no option.Prediction: Bruins in 5

Philadelphia v. New Jersey
Atlantic Division and local rivals go at it where the defending champs have slipped from grace. The Devils are missing Stevens, but have the equalizer in Brodeur. Philly lost veteran Dejardins after hurting his hand playing catch with his son. Philly is stocked for a deep playoff run. Sorry, Jersey no repeat this yearPrediction: Flyers in 7

Toronto v. Ottawa
In the best evenly matched teams in the East, the "Battle of Ontario" look to take repeated shots at each other in what is turning out to be a great rivalry. Toronto was active at the trading deadline to match up with their rivals. Ottawa also hired ex-Cap Peter Bondra. Sorry Sens loyalists, Go Leafs Go! Prediction: Maple Leafs in 7
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