COLE’S NOTES: It’s playoff time
It's the time of year where you can't help but go against Jim Mora's request... "Playoffs!??!?! Don't talk about playoffs!"
Well the regular season is over Jimothy so let's talk some post season NHL action.
I'm going to avoid talking about the teams that didn't make the playoffs in this blog, and only briefly mention how stupid I think this playoff format is. It's really stupid.
I will only be analyzing the first matchups, in this entry, but as always I have to make my championship predictions right off the hop.
I say Chicago beats Washington in six games. I know... "Very bold Cole... you picked the President's Trophy Winner versus the team that has won three of the last six Stanley Cups."
Alright, smarty shorts who do you have?
Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Washington will win this series in five games. Philadelphia is too talented of a squad to be swept but the Capitals have consistently been the best team in the league and round one will only further prove that.
Florida Panthers vs. New York Islanders
Florida will win this in six. It's hard too believe a 100 point team (NYI) is ranked seventhth but remember the league is run by Gary Bettman. Nonetheless back to the Panthers winning. Florida is too deep and the goaltender situation in New York is not stable enough for this to end well for them. The dream season for Jagr, Luongo and the rest of Florida will continue at least another week.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers
This is going to be the best series in the East for the first round. Pittsburgh will win in seven and it's simply because they have home ice advantage. If the Rangers have the chance to play four home games I say they would advance.
Pittsburgh is one of the hottest teams in the league right now with the highest scoring player in the second half of the season in Sidney Crosby. I guess the hockey world now knows what happens when Crosby isn't named an All-Star.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings
I'd like to say that the momentum of getting into a 25th straight post season will be the reason win Detroit wins this series but quite simply with no Stamkos, Tampa has no chance. Detroit wins in six. The Lightning are a very talented offensive team but they have too many injuries that will hold them back.
Dallas Stars vs. Minnesota Wild
There will be nothing wild about this series. Dallas will sweep and average almost five goals each game. If I were a gambling man, I would bet the over. Every. Single. Night. I do buy the occasional proline
Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators
Anaheim is so hot right now (please read that line as Will Ferrill's "Mugato" character from Zoolander). Nashville always has the potential to be dangerous, especially with Rinne in the crease, but the Ducks are too mighty to lose in the first round. I say they win in five, but all the games will be close.
St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Regardless of the Blues injuries the worst news that St. Louis encounters is that they have to face a fresh Duncan Keith when he returns (Game 2) after his five game suspension. Chicago just has the Blues number which will only get bigger after this first round. Chicago will win in six.
LA Kings vs. San Jose Sharks
This will be the most entertaining series in Round 1 for the West. I like a lot of things about both of these teams but the most important position is at goalie and when you look at the matchup you have a multiple Stanley Cup winner coming up against a goalie that has only been a starter for a year.
The Sharks away record is one of the most impressive stats from the regular season but the Kings home record is just as good. Unfortunately San Jose's home record is one of the least impressive stats of the year. Kings win in seven.
Those are the picks! What do you think? Who you got? Enjoy the playoffs folks. Canadian teams or not this is going to be a great post season.
P.S. All of these NFL draft specials and mock drafts are going to put me into early retirement. With all of the speculation around Dallas' high pick I am so nervous as to how Jerry Jones can screw this up
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