Here is it. It's time to take a look at these 16 teams who will, in a few hours, be fighting tooth and nail to keep their seasons alive. We've got some ballin' matchups. We've got some that will be over before they start. But most of all, we've got what we came here for in the first place -- playoff hockey. 82 games are out the window. The quickest to 16 gets an all expense paid summer vacation with Lord Stanley. Everyone else gets some tee times.
So who's moving on? Who's gonna get some? Why on earth is Carson Daly still on TV? LETS GET TO IT!!!
First up is the east, cause that's how things roll around here. Gotta represent the east side homie.
(1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (8) Boston Bruins
What you need to know:
- Montreal has the best power play in the league.
- The Bruins have the 28th best PK in the league.
- This series will be over before it starts.
- Give it about two weeks for Carey Price to fold like something that folds really well.
- OK seriously, the Habs are one of the scarier teams in the East right now.
Here's what I said about this series over at Pensblog in an epic SC preview post.
Montreal vs. Boston - I'm not sure that even Habs fans believe it yet, but they're the top dogs in the East. Against all reasonable logic and probabilities, they did it. Maybe they'll be this year's Canadian choke job. You know what I mean. The fourth Canadian team in a row to choke out in the Finals. But in all seriousness, do we even have to play this series? Give the Habs a bye.In a nutshell:
Again, can we give Montreal a bye here? The Bruins offense is horrible, the Habs offense is outstanding and if they play any defense this series will be over by Friday.
Habs in four. Ballsy, I know. Suck it Boston. Not all your teams are good. And screw "Sweet Caroline," too.
- The Sens are bad right now.
- They still are good on paper.
- Don Cherry is picking Ottawa.
- Martin Gerber is the man you want on your bench when it comes to winning Cups. He's been to three of the last four finals and backed up all of them, taking home two rings in the process.
- In Canada that's pronounced pro-cess.
- Ottawa doesn't have as much of a chance as everyone around Canada says they do.
- Any team hoping to have Conklin/Fleury carry them through the post season is a joke.
- I'm a bitter Islander fan.
In a nutshell:
Jesus Christos! Are the Sens really a seven seed? How the mighty have fallen. I'm beginning to think Bryan Murray's rant is actually an attempt at lightning a fire under his dormant team. But there's no way in hell the Sens put up any semblance of an effort. Maybe they will for 20 minutes a few times, but that's about it. They're arguably the worst team in the East right now, including all those that are golfing (OK, maybe not Atlanta and Tampa Bay). I can't argue with the Titanic that has become the defending conference champs. Too bad for Danny Alfredsson he didn't jump off before it hit the iceberg known as Mark Bell.
Pens in five. I think the Sens wake up for one of the games at Scotiabank. That's about it. They're D-O-N-E.
- The Flyers have goons. Lots of them.
- Washington is the hottest team in the conference right now. And no, not in that way.
- Look for the Flyers to play dirty. What do they lose if Cote or some other idiot gets suspended again? Nothing.
- Cristobal Huet = trade deadline steal of the decade.
- Where's the beef?
The first round in the east is full of lopsided matchups no matter how close these teams may have been during the regular season. This series is another case of a freight train running into a one-legged cat. The Flyers are only in because the Sabres (and about 3/4 of the conference) sucked big time down the stretch. No question, the Caps take this one. I put the over/under for Ovechkin goals at 5,000,000.
Out of mercy, I'll give the Flyers one. Caps win in five.
- The Rangers are overpaid and don't care. If you watch enough games, you'll see that's why they're inconsistent.
- This is going to be a battle of keepers. Who wants to put the team on their back?
- I hope Sean Avery and Marty Brodeur get in a fight. Now that is must see TV.
- The Rangers took the season series 7-0-1. SEVEN ZERO AND ONE! Nice spread.
These aren't the Devils you think you know. You know what they did last postseason. They miss Scott Gomez and Bryan Rafalski. The Rangers are better than they have been in years, now if only they would played like they mean it, they might get somewhere. Ah who the hell cares, I hate them both. They can all go to hell. Especially Messier.
It's the Devils in the playoffs. That's almost impossible to pick against as long as Brodeur is on this team. By virtue of the Rangers curbstomping them all regular season long, I'm going to have to go against my earlier pick and take the Rangers. Rangers in six.
And now, onto the conference that is irrelevant yet somehow still has first round match ups that are way, way more interesting than anything in the East.
Detroit in four. Moving on...
- I wish I could go back up to the Red Mile for this one.
- San Jose still has JR. Never bet against JR... Unless he tells you he's going to retire.
- It's 4 AM and I really want to go to bed.
- Speaking of bed, how many girls have seen JR's this week?
- Jarome Iginla sounds like the name of a sci-fi character.
The Flames are pretty much outmatched here. They're not going to go quietly into the night though. What they need to do in order to win this series is bring up Eric Nystrom and have him dance around during San Jose's pre-game skate. With enough luck, he'll lull them into a false sense that all the Flames are pansies and it's going to be an easy series. The next thing Joey Crabcakes knows, it's game six and him and JR are down 6-2.
Sharks in six. JR 452.
My God. It happened.
This series is going to be nothing short of epic. It's going to be a battle. It's going to involve the fate of the universe in some way, but I didn't need to tell you that. The winner, if they survive, will likely go onto win the Cup. I picked San Jose, but this is some tough logic to argue against right here.
Sanity, if only for a moment:
Now here is one hell of a series. Two teams that are pretty evenly matched and are divisional rivals that were separated by only three points during the regular season. This one, along with the one that follows, are probably going to be the two best first round match ups. It's hard to pick a winner here. Backstrom's young and I can't see him or Jose Theodore withstanding any pressure and even if Theordore does, Chris Simon will knock his head off FTW.
This series goes the distance and Colorado wins in a bloodbath. More on that tomorrow.
What you need to know:
- Not a series I am qualified to talk about. I don't know jack about either of these teams.
- I do know that Brad Richards is a Star, so I've got something.
- The Stars were atrocious down the stretch. Worse than the Senators, if you can believe that is actually possible.
On paper or any other time of the year, this is a series that would be destined to go the distance. The problem is that right now, the Stars blow. And boy do they blow hard. They went 2-for-March. That's right, they were 2-7-2 in March. Anaheim, on the other hand, has been tearing through teams since Niedermayer and Selanne decided to get off their asses and, how to do you say it, be team players.
I'm feeling generous. These teams are just too good to not give us a good series. Ducks in seven. There's no way this series goes seven. But I said it anyway.
Now I'm tired. It's way too late. There's probably about 7,000 typos in this thing but hopefully you enjoyed it. See if you can collect 'em all. (offer only valid with $5.95 and 70 UPCs)