The Fantasy Sports Forum NHL Playoffs Opening Round
George Kurtz of The Fantasy Sports Forum made his predictions for the opening round of the NHL Playoffs. Let’s take a look at what he had to say. George’s comments are in blue. My picks are in orange.
With the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs set to begin on Wednesday, here is a preview of what to expect.
Montreal (1) versus Boston (8)
Montreal won the season series 8-0. I wouldn’t expect much to be different here. Boston is an average team in a conference that is a little above average. Could you even name who their top scorer is? The Habs on the other hand have one of the better offenses in the NHL and a power play that is top notch. Alexei Kovalev needs to lead the Canadiens in the playoffs, just like he has during the regular season.
George’s Pick – Montreal four games to one.
My pick – Montreal in five. Boston is too overmatched.
Pittsburgh (2) versus Ottawa (7)
This was not a good draw for Ottawa. They are having problems on defense and in net, and who comes to town, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Marion Hossa – fun, fun, fun. In addition, Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher will be out for the first round.
George’s Pick – Pittsburgh four games to two
My pick – Pittsburgh in five. Too much offense.
Washington (3) versus Philadelphia (6)
Washington is the hottest team in the NHL, having won 11 of their last 12 games. Sort of reminds you of the Colorado Rockies from baseball in 2007. Philly has been up and down and is battling injuries to Daniel Briere and Simon Gagne. The key to the series is Alexander Ovechkin, as he’s been an unstoppable force all season. If Philly can keep him in check, they than can win the series.
George’s Pick – Washington four games to three.
My pick – Washington in seven. Ovechkin is on fire.
New Jersey (4) versus Rangers (5)
The Rangers won the first seven games of the season series, yet in the most important game, the one that decided home ice advantage for the first round, they lost in a shootout. Neither team scores a whole bunch, and they are both led by two terrific goalies, but when push comes to shove, the Rangers can score more than the Devils.
George’s Pick – Rangers four games to two
My pick – New Jersey in seven. Goaltending will make the difference.
Detroit (1) versus Nashville (8)
Nashville draws the short straw here. Detroit is the best team in the NHL. The only question marke they have is Dominki Hasek. Can he stay healthy throughout the marathon which is the Stanley Cup Playoffs? If he can, the teh Red Wings are the team to beat.
George’s Pick – Detroit four games to one.
My pick – Detroit in four. Get out the Brooms.
San Jose (2) versus Calgary (7)
Calgary has been an up and down team. They seem to go as well as Jarome Iginla is playing. San Jose has been on fire for over a month now. The addition of Brian Campbell seems to have been the missing piece the Sharks needed. Patrick Marleau couldn’t have picked a better time to get hot.
George’s Pick – San Jose four games to two.
My pick – San Jose in five. San Jose is just too good.
Minnesota (3) versus Colorado (6)
If there is one lower seeded team that no one wants to play, Colorado is it. Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic are magic come playoff time, and they could be once again.Minnesota needs someone other than Marian Gaborik to come up big. Pavol Demitra where are you?
George’s Pick – Colorado four games to three.
My Pick – Minnesota in seven. Homer pick.
Anaheim (4) versus Dallas (5)
One of the more interesting matchups in the first round. Anaheim needs as much scoring as possible. The return of winger will help fill that void, when he’s ready. Anaheim is not going to give up many goals with their defense. Sergei Zubov is almost certainly out for at least the first round, which will affect Dallas.
George’s Pick – Anaheim four games to two.
My Pick – Anaheim in seven. The defending champs will live to fight another day.
New Jersey over Montreal
Pittsburgh over Washington
Detroit over Anaheim
San Jose over Minnesota
Pittsburgh over New Jersey
San Jose over Detroit
Stanley Cup Finals
San Jose over Pittsburgh