2011 NHL playoffs first round predictions

The NHL playoffs are set to begin tomorrow, so now’s the time to pony up your thoughts and predictions on the eight matchups in the first round.

But first, for those who were asking about the “secret project” Audra Martin and I were discussing the other day, here it is. She produced this fine video about Dan Snyder and the award named in his memory. Bryan Little was honored with this award as the team unsung hero this season.

Nicely done, Audra.

Now…let’s just dive right in to our predictions, shall we?

Eastern Conference

#1 Washington vs. #8 NY Rangers: Season series won by the Rangers 3-1-0.

The Caps are coming off their fourth straight Southeastern Division championship. However, they so far have but one series win following the previous three. This year is a little different, as they seem to have discovered how to play a little defense. That, plus I think Bruce Boudreau and the Caps will come into this postseason with a bit of a chip on their shoulder looking to erase previous playoff disappointments.

Your Pick

  • Capitals (82%, 294 Votes)
  • Rangers (18%, 65 Votes)

Total Voters: 359

Loading ... Loading ...

A rested and healthy Alex Ovechkin can do nothing but help the Caps cause as well.

The Rangers are making their first postseason appearance since 2009, when they were defeated in seven games during the first round by these same Washington Capitals. Chris Drury’s return after knee surgery will certainly mean a lot to their chances.

New York made it into the playoffs regardless of the great help the Atlanta Thrashers provided to the Carolina Hurricanes last week. After beating the New Jersey Devils Saturday afternoon, they had to wait for the Lightning to finally settle things between the two, defeating Carolina 6-2.

Ah, if only the Hurricanes could have played the Thrashers just a few more times.

Anyway, methinks the Rangers wild ride comes to a halt here.

My pick: Capitals in six.

#2 Philadelphia vs. #7 Buffalo: Season series won by Flyers 2-1-1.

Down the stretch the Flyers lost their top seeding in the east to Washington, then they darn near lost the top spot in the Atlantic Division to a surging Penguins team. In fact, Pittsburgh did catch them in points, (106), and finished with more wins, (49 to 47), but lost out due to the ROW stat.

Your Pick

  • Flyers (54%, 193 Votes)
  • Sabres (46%, 163 Votes)

Total Voters: 356

Loading ... Loading ...

The Flyers look to be going with rookie Sergei Bobrovsky in goal with Brian Boucher backing up. For added depth in goal, Philly has recalled Michael Leighton from the AHL and have added him to their playoff roster. Defenseman Chris Pronger, who has missed 16 games with a hand injury, would help matters if he is able to return.

Buffalo on the other hand, the Sabres rode their 8-2 beat down of the Thrashers last month to a 9-1-2 finish. They also have a healthy Ryan Miller ready to go after missing time to an upper body injury. They are led in scoring by Thomas Vanek with 32 goals and 41 assists. Drew Stafford and Jason Pominville each finished with 52 overall points, Stafford was also a +13.

The Sabres are looking to advance to the second round for the first time since 2007.

I’m going to go with Buffalo in this series, if for no other reason than I feel compelled to pick at least one upset of a division winner.

My pick: Sabres in six.

#3 Boston vs. #6 Montreal: Season series won by Canadiens 4-2-0.

This matchup of original six teams is sure to pack quite a punch. Certainly there was quite a bit of punching dished out between the two during their regular season meetings. Probably the only people who hate each other more than the players here…are the fans.

Your Pick

  • Bruins (74%, 251 Votes)
  • Canadiens (26%, 90 Votes)

Total Voters: 341

Loading ... Loading ...

This could be a dandy series to watch. Heck, it may be worth it just to see the fans respond to Zdeno Chara’s return to the Bell Centre for game three.

Of all the teams that qualified for this spring’s Great Hunt for Lord Stanley’s Cup, Montreal scored the fewest goals in doing so, 216. But at least they don’t give up a great deal either, allowing only 209 goals against.

Boston comes to this fight with Tim Thomas and his incredible .938 SV% and sparkling 2.00 GAA. As a team, they only allowed their opponents an average of 2.20 goals per game.

Carey Price is good enough to steam a couple of games for the Habs, but in the end the Broooooo’ns will outlast their rivals.

My pick: Bruins in six.

#4 Pittsburgh vs. #5 Tampa Bay: Season series split 2-2-0.

Here we have the makings of what could possibly be the most entertaining first round matchup of the eight, in my opinion. It’s the only one in which both teams notched 100+ points in the season, the Pens with 106 and the Bolts 103.

Your Pick

  • Penguins (41%, 139 Votes)
  • Lightning (59%, 197 Votes)

Total Voters: 336

Loading ... Loading ...

I have to admit I’m quite impressed with what Pittsburgh has done minus Crosby and Malkin. That’s a testament to their depth and overall organization. As of the posting of this blog, Crosby has yet to be cleared to practice and might very well miss the series.

Tampa Bay is making a return to the playoffs after missing three seasons. What they have accomplished this year has been quite impressive as well and stands to show what new, good ownership can do.

Oh, and that Steve Yzerman seems to know what he’s doing in the GM chair too.

I look for Marc-Andre Fleury to bring his A-game between the pipes for the Pens and the Bolts offense to test him for the entire seven games. In the end, I’m going with Tampa Bay …but I wouldn’t wager any money on it.

My pick: Lightning in seven.

Western Conference

#1 Vancouver vs. #8 Chicago: Season series won by Canucks 2-1-1.

No team scored more goals than Vancouver’s 262 and none allowed fewer than the 185 the Presidents’ Trophy winners gave up. Their 24.3% power play was the NHL’s best this season and only two teams killed off penalties at a higher efficiency than did the Canucks.

Your Pick

  • Canucks (80%, 273 Votes)
  • Blackhawks (20%, 70 Votes)

Total Voters: 343

Loading ... Loading ...

No Malhotra, no problem for these Canucks. After his season-ending eye injury on March 16, Vancouver still skated to a 7-3 record in the final 10 games of the season. This even after their top seeding was already a forgone conclusion.

That’s what having a couple of Swedish twins that go by the name of Sedin, Ryan Kessler and Roberto Luongo in goal will do for ya.

Like the Rangers, the Chicago Blackhawks had to bite their nails waiting for another team to lose on the final weekend to get their playoff tickets punched…even though they wound up with 97 points.

I’m not saying Vancouver will have an easy time with their old playoff nemesis of recent years, but I am saying they’ll advance to the second round.

My pick: Canucks in six.

#2 San Jose vs. #7 L.A. Kings: Season series won by Sharks 3-2-1.

Antti Niemi will be gunning for his second Stanley Cup in as many years as he leads the Sharks into this spring’s postseason. San Jose finished strong but will be trying to shake off it’s history of playoff letdowns if previous postseasons.

Your Pick

  • Sharks (79%, 244 Votes)
  • Kings (21%, 63 Votes)

Total Voters: 307

Loading ... Loading ...

They have seven players with 50+ points, five with 60 or more and two…Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau…with 70 or more.

Of the 219 goals scored all season for L.A., Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams netted 47 of them. But Kopitar was lost for the season with torn ligaments in his right ankle on March 26 and they’ve been without Williams’ services since March 21 with a dislocated shoulder. The Kings are hoping after today’s practice Williams will be cleared to play in the series.

I don’t like predicting sweeps. But if there is one I’d be tempted to make it would be this one. I’ll give L.A. one…just because.

My pick: Sharks in five.

#3 Detroit vs. #6 Phoenix: Season series won by Coyotes 2-0-2.

The Coyotes have qualified for the playoffs two straight years now, this despite their ownership issues. The Wings have played past 82 games now for two decades running and have earned 100+ points for 11 consecutive years.

Your Pick

  • Red Wings (72%, 221 Votes)
  • Coyotes (28%, 85 Votes)

Total Voters: 306

Loading ... Loading ...

Detroit is hoping Henrik Zetterberg’s knee will be healthy enough to start the series, which is a rematch from the first round last year when the Wings advanced in seven games.

The Yote’s only have one 20+ goal scorer, Shane Doan, as opposed to Detroit having four. Thus, it would appear that Phoenix’s hopes depend primarily on goalie Ilya Bryzgalov who was stellar between the Desert Dogs pipes. He finished the season with a 36-20-10 record, .921 SV%, 2.48 GAA and 7 shutouts.

I want to go with Phoenix here…and their record versus the Wings this season bodes well for their chances. But when we get to game number 83 and beyond, it goes against my better judgement to bet against the Big Red Borg.

My pick: Red Wings in six.

#4 Anaheim vs. #5 Nashville: Season series won by Predators 3-1-0.

Like the 4-5 matchup in the east, this one could prove to be a very entertaining series as well. These are a couple of gritty, hard-working teams that have earned every one of the 99 points both got in the regular season.

Your Pick

  • Ducks (44%, 141 Votes)
  • Predators (56%, 178 Votes)

Total Voters: 319

Loading ... Loading ...

Anaheim surged into the playoffs thanks largely to Cory Perry’s 19 goals during the final 16 games. They may need to rely on Dan Ellis in goal if Ray Emory hasn’t fully recovered from his lower-body injury. Jonas Hiller is still suffering from vertigo and hasn’t played since March 24th.

The Preds finished the season 9-2-1 and their best player arguably is the man between the pipes. Pekke Rinne finished the season with a 33-22-9 record, .930 SV%, 2.12 GAA with 6 shutouts. Since February 28 he’s gone 12-4-3 with a .935 SV%.

A hot goalie can make all the difference in a tight series.

A Nashville loss to St. Louis was the difference between having the home-ice advantage if the series goes seven games, which I think it will. But when it does, I’m siding with the away team in this contest and Nashville wins their first ever playoff series.

My pick: Predators in seven.

117 comments Add your comment

ZAvalanche

April 12th, 2011
12:25 pm

I just posted this on the last masterpiece by the Blog Master:

I think Tampa can take a beat up Pens team. We know Malkin will be out, who knows about Sid but Tampa has one of the best front lines in Hockey. Tampa in 7.

If Vancouver is going to get upset it will happen with Chicago. THAT is going to be a good series I think. Pick – Vancouver in 6

Going to be a lot of bruises in the Sharks-Kings series, those teams play physical. Pick – Sharks in 6. Missing Kopitar is devastating for LA.

Rangers Caps – hmmm. This should be an obvious choice but if Lundqvist is on fire it will be scary for the Caps. And he is looking good. Pick – Caps in 5

Sorry Buffalo, the Philly is too big for you. Pick – Philly sweep.

Phoenix, I am so rooting for you but even without Zetterburg Detroit is going to mow you. This is what they do when it comes April. Pick – Det in 5

Ducks vs Preds. This is a hard one and I think there will be game 7 in this series. Ducks have the more experienced team, but I am hoping for an upset. If I had to bet the house I will take Ducks in 7.

Play some good golf Montreal. You are running into a buzz saw. Pick – Boston in 5.

Ricky Bobby

April 12th, 2011
12:26 pm

The first loser.

Smoothie

April 12th, 2011
12:36 pm

I made my picks above: WSH, PHI, BOS, TBL, VAN, SJ, PHX & AHM but I hope every favorite loses other than VAN and BOS. I want to see those two in the SCF cuz I think they’re the best two teams. But I have no problem with NSH having a magical run and taking out Ovechkin and the Caps in the Finals just to piss off all their fans. But NSH will have a tough time beating AHM as that series will come down to PP effectiveness and Perry, Getzlaf, Selanne, Ryan and Visnovsky are the best PP unit in the league. Good luck with that Ryan, Shea & Pekka!!

ZAvalanche

April 12th, 2011
12:38 pm

Smoothie, if Nash can stay out of the box they have a very good chance. There will be some shorties in this series I think.

World Be Free

April 12th, 2011
12:41 pm

Some congrats here-
BMF, for your post on the last blog. You hit all the points right on other than the Knights issue which I don’t have an opinion on. Very nice post.
Stroz-you hit all the right points as well, as usual.

Zavs-I am with you on the Foote “blueprint” for defenseman. problem is these young d-men all have agents telling them they will only make “big paper” by being an all-around defenseman.

Tom

April 12th, 2011
12:43 pm

Here are my picks:

Washington in 5
Philadelphia in 6
Bruins in 7
Tampa Bay in 5

—-

Chicago in 6
Detroit in 5
Sharks in 5
Predators in 5

—–
My big upset is Chicago. I think they will bring it to Vancouver, they know how to beat the Canucks, and they are probably fired up barely making the playoffs and want to prove themselves.

World Be Free

April 12th, 2011
12:44 pm

Rawhide, I am pretty much with you on the picks, though you might see Bryzgalov steal the Phoenix/Wings series. I won’t bet on that because I rarely bet against the Wings.

ZAvalanche

April 12th, 2011
12:49 pm

WBF – totally agree on the agents and the paper issue. D should be graded on their TOI, Assists and +/-. Footer ended with a career total of +99, which is pretty darn awesome. I think a good 5-on-5 D pairing should have a stay-at-home and a rusher and a solid to top off with a defensive center = gold. For PK, you gotta have some hard nosed D a fast point guy and a solid center. Thrashy isn’t too far away in my opinion.

ZAvalanche

April 12th, 2011
12:52 pm

Tom – if Chicago takes out the ‘Nucks I will dance around my living room. I just don’t think it will happen. IF they get upset, it will be in the early rounds. If, for some reason, they get into a place to drop VAN, it will be in a game 7.

World Be Free

April 12th, 2011
12:53 pm

Zavs-looks like Hainsey took after Foote’s blueprint this season, playing within his abilities. somebody must be giving Bogosian bad advice on how you play the game at age 20.

One thing lost in your neck of the woods was the play of Alex Tanguay this season. “Washed up” Alex had a nice rebound season, looks like he needs to stay in the Western Conference.

Rawhide

April 12th, 2011
12:56 pm

Rawhide, I am pretty much with you on the picks, though you might see Bryzgalov steal the Phoenix/Wings series. I won’t bet on that because I rarely bet against the Wings.

WBF – I’ve learned a few things in my almost 46 years on this planet. Among them…you don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and you don’t bet against the Wings come playoff time.

ZAvalanche

April 12th, 2011
12:57 pm

WBF – Tangs lost it there for a while. I know he is an incredible talent, but he is the type of player who needs to rely on a solid supporter. I will always love him though because of his 2 goals in game 7 of the SCF in 2001. But as a team leader, I would look elsewhere.

ZAvalanche

April 12th, 2011
12:58 pm

Rawhide – amen to that. I hate to say it, but the Wings KNOW how to play in the post-season – and take home a shiny trophy.

AudraM

April 12th, 2011
12:59 pm

Thanks for the shout out Bill… I really appreciate it :) … and once again, nice work yourself! Howwwever, I have to disagree with you on one.I’m going with Anaheim over Nashville annd of course keeping my finger crossed that my hometown team knocks out Vancouver. They need to stick around for a while…I’m determined to make it back to chicago for a game or two :)

Back from NJ

April 12th, 2011
1:00 pm

WASH in 5
BUFF in 7
HABS in 6
PENS in 6

NUCKS in 6
KINGS in 7
WINGS in 5
PREDS in 7

Smoothie

April 12th, 2011
1:05 pm

WBF – we KNOW from watching Bogey didn’t like listening to Hainsey. Oil and water. Bogey and Oduya are too similar. Oduya thinks the game better but he’s not tough / conservative enough to make up for Bogey’s risky plays. Same for Enstrom, if Bogey isn’t gonna stay at home, then Enstrom will get outmuscled too often near the cage. Ideally, Bogey needs a savvy, stay-at-home D-man to play 2nd pairing. Buff needs to work on his net presence. If he does and takes that seriously, he can become a very good all-around D-man. But he must take some of the pressure off Enstrom so he can be effective in top pairing as Bogey and Enstrom will never work again IMO unless Bogosian shows ridiculous improvement over the summer. Need to trade Oduya if not Bogey for a top 6 forward who can add some grit, hustle and 20 goals.

Smoothie

April 12th, 2011
1:06 pm

Trixie, help ma, help ma! I’m trapped in the security net!!

Stan Drulia

April 12th, 2011
1:07 pm

I have a 3-week old newborn at home so I will be watching a great deal more of the playoffs this year than I normally do… I like your picks Rawhide… I really hope the Coyotes figure out a way to topple the Wings… that would make my day. Sort of pulling for the Preds overall… for no reason really.

Tom

April 12th, 2011
1:09 pm

Z-Av – I have a feeling about the Hawks. The Canucks just had it too easy this season, a great deal like the Caps did last year. Chicago is going to come out flying after just squeaking into the playoffs while having last years banner overhead.

The Hawks are not the better team but they have a few intangibles that the Canucks do not have.

I will be pulling for the Hawks in your honor this year!

Tom

April 12th, 2011
1:20 pm

Jack Capuano got the interim tag taken off today.

One of the reason’s why is this quote:

“In the AHL it’s more about developing your players,” Capuano said. “Here, I know for sure you don’t lose track of the teaching side of it. But the bottom line is to win hockey games, and that’s what we plan on doing.”

Amen brother. Now can you go tell Rammer this?

Hoof Arted

April 12th, 2011
1:36 pm

BlogMaster channeling Jim Croce. Excellent!

Caps in 5
Flyers in 6
Pens in 6
Bruins in 7
Nucks in 6
Preds in 6
Yotes in 7
Sharks in 5

Audra Martin. Loved the Snyder-Little video. You may visit us anytime here :)

AudraM

April 12th, 2011
1:41 pm

Thank you Hoof Arted!

Russ

April 12th, 2011
1:44 pm

Boring picks, but I don’t see any upsets in the first round:

Washington in 7
Philadelphia in 6
Boston in 4
Pittsburgh in 6
Vancouver in 5
San Jose in 6
Detroit in 6
Anaheim in 7

Joe Friday

April 12th, 2011
1:51 pm

Caps over Blue Skirts in 5
Filthy over Buffablow in 6
Habs over Bahstan in 7 (this will be a war, and I’m watching every minute of it)
Pens over Tampa in 7 (another good series, I am assuming Crosby plays)

Hawks over the Couv in 7 (we own them and Luongo shows once again why he’s the most overrated goalie in hockey)
Sharks over Kings in 6
Yotes over Scum in 7 (do I really think so? No, but ain’t no way I’m picking them . . .)
Nashvegas over Mighty Ducks in 5 (4 if Ellis starts for the Quacks)

Joe Friday

April 12th, 2011
1:52 pm

Audra, nice video, what part of Chicago you from?

moriler

April 12th, 2011
1:55 pm

Washington in 5
Philadelphia in 6
Montreal in 6
Tampa Bay in 6
Vancouver in 5
San Jose in 5
(i really wanted to pick SJ to lose here because they’re choketastic, but the Kings are just hosed by those injuries so i’d probably pick a WCHL team against ‘em right now)
Detroit in 6
Anaheim in 6

hockeygoon79

April 12th, 2011
1:55 pm

Any blog that can draw Audra Martin into the conversation is A-OK with me.

Gimme Boston in six, Caps in six, Philly in five, Bolts in six, Sharks in a sweep, Ducks in six and as my upset specials Hawks in seven and Coyotes in six.

So let it be written. So let it be done.

AudraM

April 12th, 2011
2:04 pm

@Joe- Thank you :) I’m from the northwest suburbs… good old Elk Grove Village!

@hockeygoon- haha well thank you for welcoming me here!

Joe Friday

April 12th, 2011
2:14 pm

Good to “meet” another Chicago hockey fan, Audra, here’s to our ‘Hawks doing it to the Canuckleheads once again this year

TableHockey

April 12th, 2011
2:34 pm

My picks:
Caps in 4
Sabres in 6
Bruins in 5
Pens in 6
Canucks in 6
Sharks in 6
Wings in 7
Ducks in 6 (riding a hot Perry)

Red Light

April 12th, 2011
2:48 pm

Washington over the Rangers in Seven
If the Rangers can limit the number of scoring chances that Ovechkin and Semin get during the series, they can upset the Caps. The key figures for the Caps in my mind are Laich and Knuble. Those two must pick up the scoring slack if the Alexes are kept quiet. The Rangers match up well with the Caps but without Callahan, scoring becomes even more of an issue unless Gaborik finally gets hot. Five or six goals from Gabby would be huge in this series, but I’m banking against it. Both teams were sensational when taking a lead into the third period this season, and both had the same number of come-from-behind wins. Close call.

Boston over Montreal in Six
The Bruins are the superior road team, have more scoring depth at forward, have a genuine top defensive pair, a better defensive structure, the better coach, more size, are the NHL’s best team at even strength and are hungry for a chance to redeem themselves after blowing the Philly series last year. Montreal will only go as far as Price and their power play will take them. Now, if Cammalleri and Gionta score like they did in last year’s playoffs, I can see an upset in this series, but if they don’t forget about it.

Tampa Bay over Pittsburgh in Six
I simply can’t figure out how this Pittsburgh team has done as well as it has, but without Crosby and Malkin, winning a seven-game series against the Lightning is a tall order. Kennedy, Dupuis and Letestu picked up the scoring slack and I do think the Pens defense is better than it was a year ago with Martin and Michalek, but Neal, Kunitz and Kovalev have to score for the Pens to win. The Bolts have a nice group of role players but Roloson has to be good for them to advance. I think he’ll be just good enough.

Philadelphia over Buffalo in Seven
A tough call. I could see the Flyers turning their poor late-season play around, but it’s not going to be easy against Miller/Enroth and the Sabres newfound confidence. There’s no question the Flyers have the better line-up, but that doesn’t necessarily matter in a seven-game series. Their long run last year means they have played a lot of hockey in the past 10 months. It may have caught up with them. Gaustad will take a high percentage of defensive zone draws for the Swords, and that will be one of the keys. Ruff has to get goals from Vanek, Stafford, Ennis and Pominville, but I’m still not sure it will be enough. Philly should win, whether or not they will is a different story.

Re-seeding means Washington will face Tampa Bay in Round 2, and we’ll get the rematch of Boston and Philly too. Like I said in October, it will be Washington vs. Boston in the Conference Finals, and I’ll take the Bruins to make it to the Cup Finals.

Dwayne

April 12th, 2011
3:11 pm

Flyers will win Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Alan R.

April 12th, 2011
3:11 pm

My picks:

Rangers 6
Sabres 7
Habs 6
Bolts 6

Blackhawks 7
Kings 6
Wings 5
Predators 5

Dwayne

April 12th, 2011
3:15 pm

If Chicago loses in the first round everyone will see what Ladd, Buff, Sopel and Eager meant to them.

Greg

April 12th, 2011
3:20 pm

Caps in 6
Flyers in 6
Boston in 5
Penguins in 7

Canucks in 6
San Jose in 5
Red Wings in 5
Predators in 6

Red Light

April 12th, 2011
3:21 pm

“If Chicago loses in the first round everyone will see what Ladd, Buff, Sopel and Eager meant to them.”

Not to mention Versteeg, Niemi, Burrish and Madden?

Bluestreak

April 12th, 2011
3:43 pm

Not to try and hijack here, but I’m more interested in the (currently) local team. (To stay on theme, I’d love to see a Bolts/Preds final…if for nothing else than to have an all SunBelt final with a big ole thumbing of the nose to the ‘Elitists’)

Any new news? Any leaks? No O-fence to our NHL bretheren to the North, but I’d like to just keep the Icebirds where they are. And the whole process has me a bit ancy. Until theBalkan actually announces himself, as much as I want JK to be on the inside of this and be right, I’m not holding my breath. And as screwed up as ASG has handled EVERYTHING else, I have a nasty feeling they’ll screw up the sale of this team (and can we dream to rid them from the Hawks and Philips too?).

Sorry to ramble on, but I don’t want to have two teams leaving my home town during my lifetime. I’m all for Winnie and Hamilton or any other Canadian city to have a team. I just don’t want it to be ours…

World Be Free

April 12th, 2011
4:05 pm

Red Light-that’s the “NHL depth” the Blacks Hawks had last season. They were pretty mediocre without the depth guys.

Smoothie

April 12th, 2011
4:14 pm

The Thrashers are the only team out of the top 12 in total Shots on Goal to not make the playoffs. All you need to know. Defense and goaltending once again spelled disaster for this team. The Thrashers didn’t need 25-30 extra goals, but only 10-15 more clutch goals to go along with a better defense and consistent goaltending. Problem is we seem to be too far away from the latter two once again. Although I think 32.0 SOGA may be the lowest ever for the franchise other than 2006-07??

Smoothie

April 12th, 2011
4:17 pm

Nevermind, 2005-06 and 2006-07 were both better. Playoff season was 31.5 SOGA and 2005-06 was only 30.3!! That team could have used this year’s Pavelec to make the playoffs. Instead, they got a revolving door, Lehtonen’s wonky groin and Mike Mason, um I mean Dunham!!

ZAvalanche

April 12th, 2011
4:24 pm

Smoothie, you have no idea how much I agree with you. We are scoring goals, but just letting too much get by. Our D gets scored on more than a Jerry Springer guest.

World Be Free

April 12th, 2011
4:27 pm

Bring back Moose and bring in a young goalie to push Pavs

litz

April 12th, 2011
4:36 pm

I’ll toss my “wild pick out of thin air” predictions into the mix …

1st round east : washington over rangers in 4; buffalo over philly in 5; boston over montreal in 5; tampa over pitt in six
1st round west : vancouver over chicago in 5; san jose over la in 4; detroit over phoenix in 7; nashville over anaheim in 5

Smoothie

April 12th, 2011
4:36 pm

WBF/Z – while it might be nice to bring in a young goalie to push him, how will we unload Mason first to free up Cap $? Trade him to Ottawa to back up Anderson? We’d be lucky to get a 6th round pick right now.

Fuming!

Damn it Duds, had all the faith in the world in you and you spurn Moose. Wrong 37/38 y/o to diss…Sweedee Modinee was his folly.

Smoothie

April 12th, 2011
4:41 pm

We gave up 78 more shots on goal last season and yet our goalies were nearly 5% pts better in SV% over this year. And that’s WITH Pavelec’s dreadful December doldrums included. You know, the one that cost us the playoffs last year!! ;) From Dec 17th thru January 3rd(ish), Pavelec allowed 25 goals (nearly 6 per game on avg) and had a SV% of .829. We actually won 1 of the games against Dallas 6 to 5 in OT. I know our D was bad, but THAT BAD?? Unfortunately, Moose wasn’t much better in DEC.

Smoothie

April 12th, 2011
4:46 pm

“Unfortunately, Moose wasn’t much better in DEC”

Make that late December. But Moose at least had a fairly respectable SV% over his 6 appearances of .900. Overall, the December numbers last year resembled the defensive/goaltending numbers of the final two months of this season: SOGA of 31.93, GAA of 3.60 and a .888 SV%.

ZAvalanche

April 12th, 2011
4:49 pm

litz, you been drinking Sage’s Kool-Aid? I have been thinking about the Buffalo series and there is only one way it turns in the Sabres favor and that is if Miller somehow gets charged with Grand Theft Zamboni in every game.

Hockey Biltong

April 12th, 2011
4:52 pm

Who was the Seventh Man this year??

I’ll tell you all my picks right after the series is over. Really….

Smoothie

April 12th, 2011
4:56 pm

Mr Fred who took the sweet shot heard round the NHL by Evander Kane!

hockeymom92

April 12th, 2011
5:14 pm

My picks for the first round – as a disclaimer, I am currently on massive steroids after a way too close encounter with poison ivy and oak, so if I get any of these correct it is a miracle!

Capitals in 5
Boston in 7
TB in 7 (cannot stomach the pens plus technically TB is from the south)
Chicago in 7 (this mostly has to do with my thoughts about there being a curse on the team that wins the president’s trophy – just one of those superstition things)
Sharks in 6 – though would really like to see Kings win – it does not look promising
Coyotes in 7 – this is my whole underdog pick thing, not to mention I totally cannot stand the wings
Preds in 7 – they are after all from the south