It’s that time of year once again where everyone gets to prepare and write up their playoff predictions. Last year I went perfect in the Eastern Conference and bombed in the West (Thanks San Jose!). Yes, that meant I did have the Rangers going to the Cup, but not this year. I already have my picks set in, but I’m just doing the first round of each Conference. Each winner is based of the question: Who would win a full 7 game series? So without further stalling, here’s the Eastern Conference:
Detroit Red Wings & Tampa Bay Lightning
Winner: Tampa Bay
Tampa has enough tools, and depth and most importantly, a healthy starting goaltender. Unless Jimmy Howard wants to win the Conn Smythe trophy and upset the Lightning, it’s Tampa in the next round.
Ottawa Senators & Montreal Canadiens
This has everything to do with goaltending. If I have to pick one goaltender: rookie or experienced to get me deep into the playoffs, I’m leaning towards the experience and that’s Carey Price. This will be a fun series to watch, but I will say this for the Senators, the longer this series goes, the better chance they have to upset Montreal.
New York Rangers & Pittsburgh Penguins
Pains me to do this again, but the Rangers should advance. Pittsburgh’s defense is just too thin with quite a few out for the season due to injuries for the likes of the Rangers. If Crosby, Malkin and Fleury play at MVP levels, they’ll extend the series.
New York Islanders & Washington Capitals
I’m putting the Islanders as winner just because this is an Islanders-focused blog. There has to bean upset somewhere and even though the point totals are close, the Caps are heavily favored to win. As the Islanders continue to get healthier, the Islanders will improve. Staying out of the penalty box will be key for both teams. I said this to a few fans at the Islanders Booster a few weeks back, I did not want to play Washington due to Brandon Holtby. Jaro Halak must be ready or Washington will finish this quickly. But in a 7 game series, the Islanders will “upset” the Caps.
Thoughts? What are your own predictions? Don’t forget to click on my initials to follow me on twitter.