So far, I'm really enjoying the first round matchups. In each series, the teams match up very well, and it could really go either way for each series. Anaheim looks like they are just too much for Winnipeg, but other than that no one has really been dominant.
Predictions? Best player in the playoffs so far? Best coach? Sleeper team? Disappointed there's no thread for this yet. Please also include the team you're a fan of. I'm a Pen's fan.
As you should if you're a Wings fan. Well the problem the wings had was their goal tending, now howard is on the bench.
Tampa Bay is a team full of young talent and speed. Plus some veteran all stars which makes them pretty tough. It should still be a good series. Detroit has some great coaching. Babcock will figure out a formula to slow them down.
While Montreal has not necessarily been dominant on the ice they obviously put the choke hold on Ottawa.
Ducks Jets is fun to watch since they are two of the biggest teams in the NHL. But I agree Anaheim is just too much for them.
Happy Chicago decided to sit Crawford and go with Darling. If he plays as well as he did last night Chicago will go far.
Calgary Vancouver is also fun to watch since they are pretty even talent wise. I think the Flames will pull it off in the end but will get stomped by the Ducks in the next round.
I originally chose the Blues over the Wild in the bracket challenge, but I am slowly changing my mind. Minnesota has a lot of fire power. Allen is going to have to play out of his mind to keep the Blues in it. Especially since the Wild are extremely difficult to beat at home.
Lightning Red Wings first game was unexpected. Second game was more what I expected from the series. Tampa Bay is dangerous.
Capitals Islanders has been pretty good. Kind of feel bad for Holtby in that last game. 40 saves and you get the L. I originally picked the Islanders but I am starting to think the Islanders will pull it off.
Saved the best for last. NYR vs Pit. I am a Rangers fan. If we play to our true ability, we should blow Pit out. It took stellar play from Fleury to even keep Pit in the first game. Second game our defense played horrendous and we were still in it. I will admit that I am impressed with how Pit has played so far. Fleury seems to really have figured shit out in the play offs this year. Crosby finally broke out of his scoring drought against the Rangers. I have a feeling this series will take all 7 games. I just pray my Rangers make it out.
As far as best players so far I would say Price, Stamkos, and Toews maybe. I think Fleury would be my most improved as far as play offs go.
I think the Wings will give them a good run. Do I think they'll win the series? No. Tampa Bay is just obviously a better team. Goaltending has been an issue since Howard was relieved. Mrazek played great in game 1. Game 2 I'd put the blame on the slow undisciplined D men of the Wings. Speed kills.
Thanks for your reply. I was hoping a Rangers fan would stress their opinion. I'll get to that soon.
Montreal is in my opinion, the team to beat in the east. Price is having a phenomenal season. Their foward have great overall talent, and Subban is dangerous anywhere on the ice and keeps getting better every year.
Agreed. The size play favors for both teams but the Jets just don't have the skill set the Ducks have. Getzlaf and Perry. Nuff said.
Chicago is still the best team in the west IMO. Sitting Crawford was a big move and has served them well. Toews is playing his heart out, as a captain should. Kane back in the lineup. They just have so many weapons I don't know how they'll be bested in 7 games.
Calgary is my sleeper team in the west. I don't think they'll get very far, because they have the Ducks to worry about like you said, but I think they'll surprise a lot of teams. Right now they're out playing Vancouver.
I have yet to follow this series. Some "expert analysts" have the Wild winning it all. Maybe it should be a series to watch a little more closely.
Tampa Bay is a dangerous team. That Tyler Johnson is one fast cookie. They'll beat Detroit with there speed and with Veterans like Stamkos and Fillpula leading them.
Islanders look good. They crowd that blue line and overwhelm the Caps. Tavares is maybe one of the most overlooked player in the NHL. The Islanders built a team around him and it's starting to really show.
The second game NY just got out coached. They're known for taking advantage of openings and hitting those long stretch passes. The pens shut that down. NY couldn't come up with an answer. With Letang, Maata, Ernhoff, and Pouliot out, our D is spread really thin but I was very impressed with how the pens swarmed the net and cleared a lot of the garbage for Fleury. Fleury is playing great. Very similar to how he played in 09. The Rangers are a better team. They have been all year. We match up well with speed. Hell I didn't know Sutter was that fast until he blew right by, I forget who it was, on the breakaway shot that hut the post. He's having a great series so far. And putting Kunitz and Sid back on the same line was a smart move by Johnston. Malkin seems a bit off. Hesitant to pull the trigger. He a few opportunities but decided to pass the puck instead of hitting the net. I think it will go the distance. The pens have the momentum heading to game 3 in Pittsburgh. We'll see though.
I am on the fence about Montreal. While Price is having a stellar season, the rest of the team is pretty lack luster compared to some of the other teams at the top. It just feels like something will give at some point. If they go on to represent the East in the SC the West will surely be hoisting the Cup again. Just ask Lundqvist. Just my opinion though. I know most will argue with that.
100% agree. Size + talent beats Size alone.
I picked the Hawks to represent the West in the big dance. I got nervous after the second game (and most of the first). I am a little more confident after last night. I forgot how fun it is to watch Kane. His moves are just unbelievable sometimes. As I said in my previous post Toews has been one of the best players thus far in the play offs.
I was going to choose them as a sleeper but I have no confidence they will beat Anaheim.
I have seen a lot of the Wild (Fox Sports Wisconsin covers them) and they are fun to watch. Dubnyk has the ability to shut teams out and they seem to shoot the puck a lot.
Admittedly I haven't watched much TBL games, but from what I have heard and seen in the play offs they are the only teams with as much speed as the Rangers. And with Stamkos playing like a stud this year they can beat anyone. I have them going to the Eastern Finals.
I will admit, in my bracket I used my heart for this match up. I really do not want the Islanders to win (POTVIN SUCKS) but I think they will advance. Washington's defense is pretty fucking bad.
I agree. Y'all are playing very well. I knew this one was going the distance despite what all the experts were saying. Malkin seems to be pretty unsure of himself. He tried to take a puck to his backhand and pass it while he was in front of the net when if he would have just pulled the trigger it would have been a tough shot on Lundqvist. Just one example off the top of my head. It also plays in your favor that we cannot score on the PP. I still feel good though. Klein should be back in game four. Him and Staal are a very solid defensive pair and it should help us out. Take pressure off Boyle and have him on the ice less, as well as eliminating a need for Matt Hunwick. I also expect Hayes and Zuccarello to step it up in the upcoming games. I am not too worried about playing on the road. Pit 17th in the league at Home, Rangers 1st in league on the Road. But hey they Play Offs are a completely different monster all together.
I hate to have to agree with you will the fact the West will probaly take home the cup again. Chicago or Anaheim.
Those home/away stats really don't matter in the playoffs in my opinion. The playoffs are a completley different atmosphere and the fans bring a different intensity to their support.
In regards to Malkin, when he turns it on, it's over. He single handily took control of the Eastern conference final in 09. He has yet to show the world what he is really capable of since that series. You can tell he gets frustrated much too easily. It slows him down and his confidence or I guess arrogance is no longer there.
In 09 he did. I really think that whole Cup series was the the most exciting Cup in a long time. The west has been dominant the past several years. That game 7 was crazy.
Malkin looked like shit last night. Something isn't right with him. Could be an injury perhaps his back that hasn't been made public. He's slow and sloppy with the puck. Very much not like him. Idk if he doesn't get better, I think I'd have to put my money on NY in that series.
Detroit has speed too, it is their defense I worry about.
Stamkos must be injured, he was a non factor.
While I like Filppula and was sad to see him go I don't see him as a tough matchup for the wings. They have seen everything he has to offer. He was in their organization for seven or eight years after all.
Abdelkader is back in the lineup. Which is good news for the wings. As shown last night he was a big contributor. The wings looked like they had some zip in their skates last night. Mrazek had a great game. I knew the Wings would make this a good series, and we'll see, they could easily prove me wrong.