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NHL Playoffs – Round 1 Predictions

April 9, 2007

Here’s my predictions for the first round of the NHL Playoffs:

The Western Conference…

Detroit Red Wings vs. Calgary Flames

This will be a good battle, and I think Calgary will take it to the Wings pretty good, but in the end, I think Detroit will get past the first round, and win this one in 6 games.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Minnesota Wild

At the start of the year, and most of the way through it, Anaheim was the Stanley Cup favorite. I’m going to go against the grain, and pick Minnesota to win this one. It’ll be a tough series, but I’m going to say Minnesota in 6 games. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see Anaheim take it in 4 though. They are a good team, I just think Minnesota has too solid of a team for Anaheim to beat. Also, I think Anaheim’s weakness will be in goal.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Dallas Stars

It will be a good series, but I’m going to go with my team, the Canucks, to take it in 7 games. Dallas is a good team, and we’ll see a lot of 1 goal games in this series, with probably each game being a 1 goal game. There won’t be a lot of scoring, but in the end, I think Luongo will out-do Turco.

Nashville Predators vs. San Jose Sharks

Nashville has a very good team, but they won’t be enough to beat the Sharks. San Jose is as complete as a team as there is in the NHL, and they are just too big and tough for the Preds to defeat. I’m going with San Jose in 5 games.

And the Eastern Conference…

Buffalo Sabres vs. New York Islanders

This is, in my mind, the only for sure series in the playoffs. Buffalo will easily take this one, and I think it’ll be a 4 game sweep.

New Jersey Devils vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa has an explosive offense, but they will be no match for the Devils. Tampa’s defense and goaltending is so horribly weak, there is no way Marc Denis/Johan Holmqvist will be able to out-play Martin Brodeur. No chance at all. Tampa will probably win one game, but that’s it. Devils in 5.

Atlanta Thrashers vs. New York Rangers

The Rangers have been flying lately, and although, based on regular season points, the Thrashers are the favorites, I’m going with New York (in 6 games) in this one. The Thrashers just aren’t deep enough to win this series.

Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh has loads of talent, and they will be a force for years, but I think Ottawa will win this series. It will be very close though, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see The Pens take it, though. Senators do have a good team, and after years of hearing they will win the Cup, people aren’t saying it this year. I, however, think they have a good shot. Ottawa in 6 games.

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12 comments

  1. I would love to see the Canucks make a run


  2. I really like your picks. We are thinking along the same lines for the most part.

    I always go by goaltending and I think that it may be even more relevant for one VERY darkhorse team than any other.

    Here are my predictions.

    In the west

    Detroit will defeat Calgary in 6 games. The Flames haven’t come together as a team and Babcock is an amazing coach, Playfair seems to be a let down behind the bench.

    Anahiem will defeat Minnesota in 7. Pronger and Niedermeyer will be much more prevelant in the post season and when you play a team like the Wild the first pass is the most important.

    Vancouver will defeat Dallas in 6. Turco has a lot to prove and that makes him very dangerous but this is going to be a very tight low scoring series and no one has been better in one goal games than Vancouver.

    San Jose will beat Nashville in 5. Nashville has not meshed at all since Forsberg came in. It is obvious that he is not healthy and either is Sullivan. They have a young defense that often moves out of posiition to go for a big hit. San Jose has 3 lines that can score, enough said. If Nashville ends up winning this series it will be because of Jason Arnott but I don’t see it happening.

    I think Vancouver will win the west, how sweet is that.

    In the East Buffalo will sink the Isles in 5. I think the NYI will win one of the first two games based on guts and being on a big run battling their way into the playoffs, that will wake up the Sabres and it will be over.

    New Jersey defeats Tampa Bay in 6. Goaltending.

    Atlanta falls to the Rangers. The Rangers are my darkhorse in the east and the reason is Lundqvist.

    The Sens will edge the Pens in 7. The sens can outscore almost anyone they face.

    Buffalo wins the East and the Cup.


  3. Good predictions. A lot of people are going with San Jose over Nashville, but the more I think of it, I think the Preds might take it.

    I didn’t make my finals predictions… but if I were to make them right now, I would go with Minnesota vs. Buffalo in the final, with the Sabres taking the Cup.

    Of course, I want to take Vancouver to win it all, but I’m clouded by my love of them, so I am leaving them out of my final predictions. They really do have a chance at making it to the final, based on other teams beating out the teams Vancouver has problems with (if Nashville beats San Jose, and Anaheim beats Minnesota). Vancouver could get lucky, and end up with match-ups that are good for them. We’ve already lucked out getting Dallas. They are a very good team, but out of the 7 options, they’d be my first choice as the team to face.

    It could just as easily be Vancouver vs. Buffalo in the final. What an amazing series that would be.


  4. In the East, Penguins will be the surpise this year as Buffalo looks like a lock to the finals. I’m also thinking ahead and wondering if the Rangers pull it off against the Thrashers, can they beat Buffalo or the Devils?

    The Luongo v. Turco battle will be great – I think Turco will step it up this year. The conference is so good and the teams are so close…almost any team can win it. There is always a shock in the wild West…that’s why I tood Nashville.


  5. Turco stepping it up is what I am afraid of. He has always been out-dueled but yet in the regular season he is lights out.

    My love for Vancouver has maybe clouded my judgement too but this is season 12 and every 12 seasons they lose in the final to a NY based team so maybe this is their year.


  6. Nice! The stanley cup playoffs are pretty intense and I doubt any of us will be 100 percent right. But Go Sharks!!


  7. Go Canucks Go!


  8. I am afraid you’re right about my beloved Lightning. I was severly disappointed in our goaltending the last two games of the regular season. If they don’t make it (if? I know, I’m dreaming) I’ll be rooting for the Canucks.


  9. Rangers start their run tonight…Lets go Rangers!!!


  10. Well, frankly I’m sick of the most underrated team in the NHL being ill-considered.

    Finals: Buffalo v. Sharks.

    Sharks win it all this year. Hands down.


  11. Well, I did pretty good in my predictions, going 7-1.

    You can read the full post here:
    http://mattgunn.ca/2007/04/24/nhl-playoffs-round-1-predictions-how-did-i-do/


  12. […] How so? Well, nearly every team that was supposed to win, actually did. Before the Playoffs started, I did a post on my predictions for each round. Let’s take a look at how I […]



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