Posted on: April 14, 2010 10:01 am
Edited on: April 14, 2010 10:25 am
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Legion's Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions

Hey folks, first off thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my blog. Most of you that know me know that I can write and write and well this is going to be one of those times. 

I did this the last 2 years now and basically it is just going to be my breakdown on the Eastern Conference Playoffs. I dont watch the West or follow any teams over there so I wouldnt have more than a guess to who I would think would be coming out of their. So lets start it off!

#8 Montreal Canadiens at #1 Washington Capitals .

Offense: Washington.

Montreal was one of the worst offensive teams in the East. I believe they were tied for the third worst goals for in the East. I just dont see them hanging with the Capitals in this department. Washington was the #1 offensive team and that should carry them this series.

Defense: Even.

I think Washington has improved over the past 3 seasons on D. I think both teams are not exactly defensive squads so this one is pretty hard to determin. Washington will probably get more production from its D where Montreal will have more defensive D men.

Goalie: Montreal.

Jaroslav Halak is an outstanding goalie. He battled all year with Carey Price for the starting position but he clearly is the #1 in Montreal. He has the ability to steal games but the only concern is this is his first real post season. Jose Theodore will get the nod in net for Washington and he has had a solid season however he is starting to get up there in age and going by his performance last year in the playoffs this will be a huge concern for Washington. I don't see a Washington goalie stealing any games, however I could see them losing a few for the Capitals.

What to watch for:

Wheather or not the Habs can score, see if Halak can steal a few games, Washingtons goalie Jose Theodore and if the powerful offense can carry the Capitals.

Series: Washington in 5

#7 Philadelphia Flyers at #2 New Jersey Devils

Offense: Even.

Flyers scored only 14 more goals than the Devils all season. Carter, Gagne, Richards, and Briere can all put the puck in the net. The Devils picked up Kovalchuk to add some scoring depth to their lineup which includes Parise, Elias, and Zajac.

Defense: Even.

Both teams were built defensively this season. Flyers aquired veteran Chris Pronger at the draft to bolster their defense while the Devils have continued to be a defensive team as they have demonstrated for many seasons now. 

Goalie: Devils

Broduer vs Boucher. No contest. Broduer is clearly the better goalie. However his recent playoff appearances have been less than stellar. Boucher has playoff experience but none recently and his consistency has been off. He is entering the playoffs on a high with a 3-1 record in his last 4 games.

What to watch for:

Awesome Atlantic Division matchup to start. Look for a very low scoring series. Look for the Flyers to ride the emotional wave into the first round after a very dramatic win to get into the playoffs against the Rangers. Will the Flyers continue their dominace over the Devils or will NJ step it up? Flyers won the season series 5-1. Keep an eye on the defense because ultimately that is what the series is going to come down too. Which team is going to be better in its own zone and help their goalie out the most?

Series: Flyers in 6

#6 Boston Bruins at #3 Buffalo Sabres .

Offense: Buffalo.

No question here. Boston has too many issues putting the puck in the net. However to end the season the Bruins scored 10 times in the last 3 games including a 3-1 victory over the Sabres.

Defense: Boston.

Depends if they will have Seidenberg back. Chara is a beast on the back end and Boston has won many games because of their D and goaltending. They struggle offensively so this is where they pick up their game. Defense wins championships but they are going to have to score to win.

Goalie: Sabres

Best goalie in the East. Without a doubt Ryan Miller is going to be the reason the Sabres make any noise in the playoffs. He will need to be ontop of his game if the Sabres want to advance. Tuuko Rask has been flying under the radar however and he may be the second best goalie in the East playoffs. 

What to watch for:

This is going to be a good series as well. Hard to pick who will win this one. Watch for the goaltending to shine in this series and for the games to be low scoring. This series is lacking the big superstar names outside of Ryan Miller though. I think Miller or Rask will win the series for their team.

Series: Boston in 7

#5 Ottawa Senators at #4 Pittsburgh Penguins.

Offense: Penguins.

Crosby and Malkin have the experience. They know what it takes to win and Ottawa's offense has been up and down all season. They will need a big series from Spezza and Alfredson if they hope to make any noise.

Defense: Penguins

Experienced once again. Gonchar is having an off season but Orpik has developed into a solid D man. Leopold adds some depth to the defense and Ottawa once again has been pretty inconsistent.

Goalies: Slight Edge Penguins

Fleury is not entering the playoffs on a high note. He has not looked very solid as of late and his entire career he has been off and on. It is really going to depend on which Fleury shows up for the playoffs. Brian Elliot had a great season but is struggling as of late as well. Honestly this is probably the least entertaining series in the East.

Watch to watch for:

I wouldn't really suggest watching this series. Unless your a fan of either team. Ottawa needs production from Spezza to win but I dont think they have the depth the Penguins have. I guess the biggest thing to watch for is the goaltending. See which goalie stands out the most and if either can steal any games. Elliot is solid but its his first postseason.

Series: Penguins in 5



Posted on: April 15, 2009 6:07 pm
 

Legion's Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions

Hey folks, first off thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my blog. Most of you that know me know that I can write and write and well this is going to be one of those times. Its 5:30 when I started this blog and the Flyers drop the puck in about an hour and a half so lets hope I get it all in.

I did this last year and basically it is just going to be my breakdown on the Eastern Conference Playoffs. I dont watch the West or follow any teams over there so I wouldnt have more than a guess to who I would think would be coming out of their. So lets start it off!

#8 Montreal Canadiens at #1 Boston Bruins.

Offense: Even.

I think both teams bring a pretty solid group of forwards to the table. Montreal will be lead by veteran Kovalev while Boston will look to Marc Savard and players like Kessel and Lucic to chip in. I dont think either team really has the edge here because Boston is a defensive team and Montreal just has not been that great all around.

Defense: Big Time Edge Boston.

No doubt here that Boston has the edge. Picking up someong like Matthew Schnedier will help the Habs but in reality Boston has lived off of being a defensive team. Chare and Wideman are probably the best pairing in the east and they are not easily beat.

Goalie: Edge Boston.

Carey Price is just one big question mark. You never know what your going to get. He makes huge saves and then gives up a weak blocker side goal. Tim Thomas is not an Elite goalie but with the players he has infront of him he doesnt need to be. He is unconventianal to say the least but he gets the job done.

What to watch for:

The history with these two teams is just really rich. They have met several times and Montreal has history on its side but that might not be enough. If Montreal wants to win this year they will need a better effort from their goaltender and will Kovalev to be the veteran leader that he is supposed to be. There is a huge chance this series goes 7 games but I just think Boston has been too dominate all year to drop out in the first round.

Series: Boston in 6

#7 New York Rangers at #2 Washington Capitals

Offense: Seriously? Do the Rangers have one? Capitals HUGE edge.

No doubt about this one. Not much to say either. Capitals can score and they can score lots of goals.

Defense: Edge Rangers.

Washingtons Defense is nothing to write home about. Mike Green is great but once you start hitting him he gets pissed and stops playing his game. Rangers D has been solid all year and has helped this team to get where it is. The big question is if they can shut down such a powerful offense.

Goalie: Edge Rangers

Lundquist is just that much better than Theodore. But Lundquist will be tested early and often throughout the series. Theodore may not need to be spectacular and may not be tested that often.

What to watch for:

Typical offense vs defense here. Personally I think the Capitals offense is way too powerful for the Rangers D and Lundquist as good as he is just sits too deep in his net. With sharp shooters like Semin, Backstrom, Greene, o and that kid Ovechkin. I think they will not have an issue scoring. The problem will be if the Rangers will be able to get any offense if they are to get down early. Rangers are not a scoring team and rely on the D to win games. I think the Rangers offense will need to be on fire for any shot for them to win this series.

Series: Capitals in 5

#6 Carolina Hurricanes at #3 New Jersey Devils.

Offense: Slight edge Carolina.

With Stall on fire and Cole back on the team the Hurricanes ended the season pretty hot. Scoring at times anywhere between 6-9 goals a game. NJ had its stretches but coming into the playoffs they struggled to find the net.

Defense: Edge Devils

Defensive team with a defensive system that starts with the forwards. I just think NJ is a strangling team that will just suffocate its prey. Carolina is not bad but overall I think the D in NJ is better.

Goalie: Edge Devils

Cant take anything away from Broduer. He has not been playing like the Broduer from years back but he had plenty of rest during the season and should be fresh. Cam Ward was outstanding at the end of the season before he hit a rut in the final few games. Depends which Cam Ward will show up for the playoffs.

What to watch for:

This is going to be a good series as well. This is tough to even pick a winner for. I think for NJ to win it will need to find its scoring touch and have the Broduer of old show up. For Carolina they will have to continue to play the way they were when they were on their amazing streak not too many games ago.

Series: Carolina in 7

#5 Philadelphia Flyers at #4 Pittsburgh Penguins.

Offense: Edge Flyers.

Sure Pittsburgh has the offense and the fire power but everyone knows that what keeps the team going is 87 and 71. Flyers have a 6 million dollar proven playoff player on their 3rd line. They have a healthy Gagne, a new addition in Giroux and 6 players with 25+ goals.

Defense: Edge Penguins

Flyers defense is probably the worst Defense out of the Eastern Conference playoff teams. A bunch of no namers that continue to make mistakes night after night and leave the goalie hanging. They average 35+ shots against and as seen in the middle of the season, if Timmonnen goes down this team struggles. Penguins are not that great defensively either but they are more of a threat and make less mistakes. They have players that can hit and move the puck much better as well.

Goalies: Slight Edge Penguins

Fleury is a solid goalie, however, he has run into several issues through his short career where he just struggles. He and Biron both are not consistent. Fleury is better than Biron because hes flexible, mobile, and quick. Biron is a big guy that just uses his body to get in the way. If you start moving the puck around he gets out of position and is known for at least one bad goal a game.

Watch to watch for:

I shouldnt have to tell you. Its Penguins Flyers...probably the biggest rival in hockey with two teams that hate each other. Keep an eye on Malkin and Crosby. Watch for the Flyers 3 top lines and see if they all produce or if we rely on 1. Watch for Briere to continue his playoff tear and for a young Giroux to shine in the spotlight or fall flat on his face. Flyers D will need to step up inorder for Philly to win. Pittsburgh will just have to play its game and get production from outside 87 and 71. Keep an eye on Hartnell stirring things up to get Crosby and Malkin off their game. He may be the one thing to help Philly get through.

Series: Penguins in 6 (My heart wants me to say the Flyers in 5)

 

 

Posted on: April 7, 2008 8:07 pm
Edited on: April 7, 2008 8:08 pm
 

'07 - '08 Eastern Conferene Playoff Predictions

So the NHL playoffs are upon us and I thought I would put together my predictions for this years festivities. Please note that all of my predictions are based on pure guesses. I am a Flyers fan living in South Jersey and I dislike teams such as the Devils, Rangers, Red Wings, and Penguins. So yes some of my predictions may be based on me being biased. Lets start with the the first round:

#1 Montreal vs # 8 Boston
Outcome: Montreal in 5
Reasons: Montreal is an extremely strong team this year. They have got great play from all aspects and with a power play that is pretty much unstoppable, they too will be pretty hard to beat.
What to watch for: Bergeron being cleared for the playoffs. Montreal has won 13 straight against the Bruins and a little offensive help with Bergeron back in the lineup could help the Bruins. Tim Thomas will have to be huge in every game for them to stand a chance. One thing that could help could be the rookie goalie Carey Price being nervous come playoff atmosphere and being rattled early. If the Bruins want a chance they will need to get to Price early and find a way to stay out of the penalty box.

#2 Pittsburgh vs # 7 Ottawa

Outcome: Ottawa in 7
Reasons: Well I know seasons series don't mean anything now but Ottawa handled the Penguins pretty well during the year. Everyone must think I am crazy that Malkin, Crosby and Hossa can be stopped, but hey Spezza and Heatley are not bad themselves. These two high powered offensive teams are gonna have to tone it down and play playoff hockey which means closer games...but will they? Will this series be a 7-6 game....maybe 7-1 wins for each team? Offense wins games but defense wins championships. This series is going to come down to goal tending. Fleury is hot going into the playoffs but one thing with him is that he is very inconsistent. Gerber, well he is nothing much either but all its going to take is a few good games from one of these goalies to steal the series. This will probably be one of the most entertaining series in the first round and I think will go to game 7.
What to watch for: Crosby diving. I know I am crazy for even saying this but I really want the league to stop protecting the star players and call a good clean game both ways. I know it would be great for the NHL to see Ovechkin and Crosby in the East finals but please don't ruin the playoffs for me.

#3 Washington vs #6 Philadelphia

Outcome: Philadelphia in 6
Reasons:
Well obviously they are my favorite team so I have to stick by them. Flyers and Washington are two of the hottest teams going into the playoffs. Philly had to overcome a horrible season last year and then a 10 game losing streak towards the end of the season that almost kept them out of the playoffs. Washington made some great moves at the trade deadline, Huet being my favorite. However, I am sorry to say it but the southeast is a terrible division and playing Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and Florida 8 times a year would help any team. If the scheduling was in the old format, Washington probably would have been eliminated a week ago or so. Instead they finish in 3rd in the east but have less points than the Flyers and would be tied for 7th in the East. Flyers are coming off two huge shut outs over the Devils and Penguins and that can only boost Birons confidence. Depending on which Flyers team shows up for this matchup, they could take the series in 4.
What to watch for: Ovechkin. He is the real deal, he is the best hockey player in the world. However, does the NHL want a Pittsburgh Washington East final? Will Capitals get the calls while the Flyers are on the short end of the stick because of players like Boulerice, Downie, and Cote? Also watch for Biron, he has tweaked his game a little and has two shutouts in a row. The Flyers D has also played well after averaging over 30 shots given up a game they came out and played solid down the stretch only giving up 20 - 25 a game. This should be another interesting series to watch.

#4 New Jersey vs #5 New York Rangers
Outcome: Rangers in 6
Reasons:
Rangers won 7 of 8 and lost the 8th in a shoot out. Its going against my theory of Defense wins championships because Brodeur is the best goalie in the game and the Devils play shutdown hockey. However, the Devils have been having lots of problems scoring goals and Devils and Rangers are 1 and 2 in goals against this season which tells me that Lunquist is not that bad himself. It will be a very very close series probably several overtime games but I feel Rangers have more veterans and more firepower.
What to watch for: Brodeur. Best goalie in the world. Does he have anything left in the tanks after starting 70+ games? Sean Avery. As much as I dislike the guy, he is a force out there and causes havoc everywhere. If he can get under the skin of the Devils players this series could get real ugly real fast.

Semifinals

#1 Montreal vs #7 Ottawa
Outcome: Montreal in 6
Reasons:
Like I said before Montreal is a tough team. They really got it going. Ottawa will need to stay out of the box and hope for an amazing series from Gerber to even stand a chance. Ottawa will be coming out of a 7 game series tired and beat up, against a team that is pretty fresh after winning in 5. Ottawa would need to get Alfredson back and hope to rattle Carey Price early and often.
What to watch for: Montreal power play.

#5 New York Rangers vs #6 Philadelphia
Outcome: Philadelphia in 7
Reasons:
Devils Rangers series should be ugly and tough. Leaving a Rangers team beat up and soar for the Semifinals. Flyers are another tough team that loves to play the body. Look for the Flyers to pounce on the Rangers from the get go and to go after the Rangers D.
What to watch for: Lunquist has not faired very well against the Flyers. Neither has Biron or Nitty against the Rangers. Valiquette looked good for the first couple games but proved to be beatable in his final game. Do the Rangers go with the backup? Does Biron stay hot through the Capital series and gain momentum and confidence?

Eastern Conference Finals

#1 Montreal vs #6 Philadelphia
Outcome: Montreal in 5
Reasons:
Several. Montreal owns the Flyers. Montreal will be well rested. Flyers take too many penalties and they are not that great at killing them. Montreal should swarm the Flyers like they do every year and take the series pretty easily. I figured I would give my team atleast one win.
What to watch for: Flyers of the future, Upshall, Richards, Carter, Umberger, Hartnell, Lupol. How do they handle themselves? Do they pick up the slack or disappear come crunch time. Carey Price, is he the real deal?

Thank you for stopping in and taking a look at my predictions for this year. I hope you thought they were interesting at the least. I am always open for feedback and discussions. Tell me what you think.

**I apologize for my poor spelling and grammar errors. English was never one of my fortes in school.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com