Now that it is playoff time, we thought it would be fun to try another contest here. Cory and I will predict the winners for each playoff matchup, and include how many games it will take for the series to be concluded. Everyone is welcome to join in and see how you do. When the first round is over and we know the winners, we will do the same for the next round and so on until someone wins the Cup.
In the first round, you will earn one point for each correct answer. (If you have the number of games correct, but the wrong team, you still earn a point. If you get both correct, you earn two points).
Here are Cory's picks to start us off. He's including a brief explanation as well.
Bruins (1) vs. Canadiens (8)
Boston has the balance of goaltending, emerging talent and veteran leadership that nearly every Cup-winning team possesses. The Habs have shaky netminding, struggling youth and a mess of a locker room. This will be over quickly, but given the dislike the teams have for each other, it might be the most entertaining series. Bruins in 5.
Capitals (2) vs. Rangers (7)
While I don't think the Caps yet have what it to takes to win a title, I know the Rangers don't. Goaltending leans toward New York, but everything else points to Washington. Capitals in 5.
Devils (3) vs. Hurricanes (6)
Before losing their final two games, the Hurricanes were hockey's hottest team. This series could go either way, especially if Martin Brodeur's limited workload this year equals improved postseason play. But Carolina's biggest struggles might come against a rugged team, and that's not New Jersey. Canes in 6.
Flyers (4) vs. Penguins (5)
This will be a hard-fought series that could also go either way. But goaltending is the name of the game, and while M-A Fleury isn't perfect, he's better than any options Philly has. Oh yeah ... don't forget Nos. 87 and 71. Penguins in 7.
Sharks (1) vs. Ducks (8)
Much like the East's 1-8 matchup, this one could get feisty. The Ducks still have several pieces from their Cup team of two years ago, but they are in a state of flux. Forgot about the Sharks past failures — at least for Round 1 — they'll win a tough first-round series. Sharks in 6.
Red Wings (2) vs. Blue Jackets (7)
The Blue Jackets make their first trip to the postseason and run straight into the defending champions. While Columbus holds the edge in goaltending — courtesy rookie phenom Steve Mason — everything else (offense, defense, experience) leans to Detroit. The Blue Jackets won't make it easy on the Wings, but they bow out in Round 1. Red Wings in 6.
Canucks (3) vs. Blues (6)
Congrats to the Blues on making it back to the playoffs! Your reward? A date with Roberto Luongo. This series, in my opinion, has the biggest blowout potential, and that's exactly what I expect. Canucks in 4.
Blackhawks (4) vs. Flames (5)
Chicago also rejoins the postseason after a long hiatus. The Flames added professional team destroyer Olli Jokinen at the deadline, and he's already started eating the team alive from the inside out. But these Hawks remind me of the Penguins of a couple seasons back — they need to learn what the playoffs is all about. Despite Jokinen, Jarome Iginla and Calgary get by the West's rising team. Flames in 7.
Here are my picks:
(I have no logical explanation with mine)
Bruins in 5
Caps in 7
Canes in 6
Flyers in 6
Sharks in 7
Wings in 6
Canucks in 7
Flames in 6
What have you got to say? You can leave an explanation if you would like, but it's not mandatory. For now, the winner will at least get a new Canes Country T shirt and any other items we can get together. Good Luck!