There will be a twenty – one foot cup erected in Times Square before the playoffs start. No, it is not Shaquille O’Neal’s jock- strap! The NHL, is placing a giant Stanley Cup on the streets of the Big Apple.
Karma beats the Rangers! Read all about it! Kharma beats the Rangers!
The field of 16 is set and all the first-round matchups have been made.
Just like George of the Jungle – I will go on a shaky limb and …
1. Vancouver (1) and Los Angeles (8)
The Canucks are a good team and mad! Angry for losing the Stanley Cup to Boston last year. These two elements will leave the Kings booking a beach vacation sooner than later. Vancouver should take six games to shake the Kings’ sand from their skates. Allow the Luongo factor to deposit two wins to L.A lore … Vancouver in six.
2. St.Louis (2) and San Jose (7)
The best first round match- up in the west.San Jose, following years of being expected to win – suddenly are the underdogs. This may work in their favor. They have more experience than the Blues and veterans like Thornton are aware of their mortality on a good team. If Blues’ goalie Elliot starts and fails – they have Halak. If Halak starts and fails – they have Elliot. Expect the limit here. The Blues are in foreign territory and have nothing to lose… St.Louis in seven.
3. Pheonix (3) and Chicago (6)
Les Coyotes are always skating on their final legs in Pheonix. The out- pouring of love the fans demonstrated last year goes a long way. Captain Shane Doan‘s heart and legs cannot carry the team past the Hawks. Unless … Never mind. Hawks in six.
4. Nashville (4) and Detroit (5)
Did I say the best series was St.Louis and San Jose ? Ok – Maybe not. The Predators are ready to pounce and the Wings are aware their time is limited to grab a Cup with the veterans in tow. This alone should propel the Wings higher unless Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne stands on his guitar case … Red Wings in seven
Aside from Kharma, the Rangers are not high in the goal scoring department which may be their biggest opponent. The Sens have nothing to lose and may ride the Alfredsson – train all the way (at least past New York). Ranger goalie Lundvquist is a factor as is Tortorella’s temper. The play- offs are a different animal as the Rangers will discover. Senators in seven.
2 Boston Bruins(2) and Washington Capitals(7)
The defending Stanley Cup champs should commence their defence of the title easily. The Caps and their captain, Ovechkin , played tag all year with success. If Tim Thomas can avoid the CIA snipers but not the Capitals’ shots – an easy series for the Bad Bruins. Boston in six
3 Florida Panthers(3) and New Jersey Devils (6)
A strange match – up. The upcoming Panthers may be thwarted by their happiness. The final time the Cats were on the dance floor, the thought of a black President was as rare as a plastic rat on Panther ice. Martin Brodeur, the Devils’ legendary goalie may utilize this ‘end of a career’ series as one final kick at the puck. The Devils also have Kovalchuck. New Jersey in six.
4 Pittsburgh Penguins(4)and Philadelphia Flyers (5)
Let’s get ready to rumble …! An opening round series that is tailor made for everyone to be happy! The NHL brass will be smiling, the television networks and hockey fans ‘coast to coast’ will all be pumped in Pennsylvania! The teams hate each other and Mike Milbury did his job well in applying fuel to a Flyers’ fire. Unfortunately for Philly fans, coach Laviolette and his team’s ability to be undisciplined will cede the series to Pittsburgh. Pens in six
There you have it ! Enjoy the first round and remember to …
Watch out for that tree …!
- NHL Playoffs 2012: Can New York Rangers Live Up To Expectations? (sbnation.com)
- 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 Predictions: Eastern Conference (notanotherhockeyblog.com)
- The NHL 2011-2012 Playoffs Are Here!! (welcometothe716.com)
- Playoff Previews: Rangers vs Senators (pubpools.wordpress.com)
- NHL Playoff Schedule 2012: Predicting Every First Round Winner and Loser (bleacherreport.com)
- Stanley Cup Odds 2012: Teams Most Likely to Raise Cup in June (bleacherreport.com)
- It Is Time for the Stanley Cup Playoffs! (slog.thestranger.com)
- Kreider a Ranger… a Whale? (howlings.net)