PLAYOFF TIME IN SPORTS TOWN

Posted: April 16, 2011 in NHL

Yes everyone it’s that exciting time of year again…PLAYOFFS! Playoffs?! Yes Jim Mora, playoffs. The NHL and NBA have, or are about to (NBA) conclude their regular season schedules that never seem to end, good thing it’s not baseball talking, and the playoffs are set to begin. Who’s going to win this year? Not who you think, at least according to what I’ve been hearing, reading and watching but some old favourites will make some noise as always.

stanley

NHL
This year, like the couple past years, we’ve seen the same major powers in each conference standing near the top of their respective leagues however it’s the bottom where things were interesting this year. I highly doubt that anyone had the Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks all tied for points in the West and being seeded 4th, 5th and 6th. Not to mention the Coyotes holding onto 4th for most of the year with only one 20 goal scorer and Ilya Bryzgalov having another impressive year between the pipes. What we did expect is that the Canucks, Sharks, Ducks, Red Wings, Penguins, Bruins, Flyers and Capitals would all easily make the playoffs near the top of their conference and minus Pittsburgh without Crosby; all are still viable Cup contenders.

This season we saw many ups and downs, most notably the biggest up at least for Canadians is the stability of young stars such as Corey Perry and Steven Stamkos solidifying themselves and top talent in the league without debate which is good news come 2014. Sadly we saw the departure of Sidney Crosby to multiple shots to the head in the same year. Although the league operated just fine without him on the ice and we will still have an amazing playoffs injuries to your top talent from stupid plays is never good for business. Hopefully we see a healthy return to the ice in the playoffs but I wouldn’t blame the Penguins organization is they shelved him for the season this year, ensuring his healthy for next season and the ones that follow. The Sedin twins becoming one of the smartest moves in NHL history as far as I’m concerned are more than earning their paycheques this year as the twins are 1st (Daniel) and 4th(Henrik) in points. This production coming a year after Henrik won the Hart and Daniel should be inline to receive the same honour this year. Daniel remember last year only played 63 games and still amassed 85 points, had he played all 82 he would have reached similar numbers to this year at just over 104 points. For $6.1 million a year and over 80 points four out of the last five years including one 100 point season and what should have been a 100 point year for Daniel last year coupled with Henrik’s identical production plus a Hart trophy and this year a President’s trophy (first in Canucks history) I think they’re paying off.

Once again Washington won top seeding in the Eastern Conference after spells of losing streaks and their stay pupil perhaps having lost his way around the ice. In recent weeks however they went on a 17-4-1 run in 22 games which started with a 9 game win streak the Caps have found their stride again. OV finished the season in those games with 23 points including 8 goals, three of which were GWG. All three goaltenders are coming off statistically impressive seasons all averaging under 2.5GAA. Is this the year the Caps take it all? Well…

PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS!
Round 1
East
Washington def. NYR (6 games)
Buffalo def. Philadelphia (7 games)
Boston def. Montreal (5 games)
Tampa Bay def. Pittsburgh (6 games)

West
Chicago def. Vancouver (7 games)
San Jose def. Los Angeles (5 games)
Detroit def. Phoenix (6 games)
Anaheim def. Nashville (5 games)

Round 2
East
Washington def. Buffalo (6 games)
Boston def. Tampa Bay (7 games)

West
Chicago def. San Jose (7 games)
Detroit def. Anaheim (7 games)

Conference Finals
Washington def. Boston (7 games)
Detroit def. Chicago (6 games)

Stanley Cup Finals
Washington def. Detroit (6 games)

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