NHL playoffs coming up.

Every year, I make predictions for the NHL playoffs. Every year, my picks are way, way off. Let’s see if this year will be any different.

Ottawa – Tampa Bay. I have to think back to all of those years I picked the Sens to do well in the post-season. . . and they choked. But – the Lightning were completely awful at season’s end. Ottawa in 4.

Carolina – Montreal. Carolina beat Montreal all 4 times that they played this season, by a combined score of 25 to 9. For that reason, I think Montreal will belly up and steal 2 games in this series. Canes in 6.

Devils – Rangers. I have to pick the Devils, because that’s what I want to believe. The Devs always manage to blow it in the playoffs against the damn Rangers though. . . Devils in 7.

Buffalo – Philadelphia. This should be an exciting series. As a Devils fan, I’ll be rooting for Buffalo, but I predict the Flyers to upset. Philly in 7.

Detroit – Edmonton. Every year, you expect the mighty Red Wings to falter in the playoffs. Sometimes they do. Every year (that they make the playoffs), you expect the scrappy underdog Oilers to turn it on and stun their higher-ranked opponent (usually the Stars). They haven’t done it yet. I can’t believe that they will against the Wings. Detroit in 6.

Dallas – Colorado. This is my big upset pick. I haven’t been that impressed by the Avs this year (sorry, no offense!), but I think they’ll find a way to upset the Stars. Avs in 6.

Calgary – Anaheim. Wow, the Mighty Ducks made the playoffs! I think it was all of those wins against the Coyotes that did it. . . Calgary in 5.

Nashville – San Jose. Remember how bad San Jose was for most of the season. How did they end up in 5th place? I like Nashville’s team, but I think the magic Sharks will win this series. Sharks in 6.

Hockey fans, feel free to pitch in your own picks. Just don’t grumble at me if you feel that I slighted your favorite team.

57 thoughts on “NHL playoffs coming up.

  1. Oh good. J.C. says go Stars. I bleed Avs. This thread should be fantastic.
    Im afraid the injury bug has bit my team a bit to hard this year tho. Its taken our top scorer in Svatos and top p/k grinder in Konowalchuk. That being said we’ll see if Theodore can find something. We’ll also see if Turco can win in the playoffs…

    And Jack, you are my favorite podcaster anymore.

  2. I really do like hockey….but I havent been watching this season….or the last. I think ive forgotten things. but with that said, Go Stars!

    Hell I dont even know if they are using those fucked up “new” uniforms anymore. sigh…I dont know why I stopped watching. Oh right…school. That damn bitch.

    um….Go Stars! 😉

  3. They were skating manically across the ice rink made of “dog water.” The more agressively they skated the more they would sick as the dog water ice began to thaw beneath the skate tracks. Meet you after the game for a slurpy? Mixing metaphors for rationally challenged.

  4. Oh I see how it is! But youre right Jason when you say A win. Just one. Thats all youre getting!!!

    Yknow I bet between the 2 of us we could post 50 comments here during the series. That would be awesome! At least for me and you. I doubt anyone else would give a shit.

    Mr. Mangan thine Devils be riding high. I really dont think youve got to worry ’bout this round.

  5. Oh now its on. You bust out the Stooges sound effects?!?!

    Well a *nyuck nyuck nyuck* right back at ya! Boom! Blam!
    Whats up!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!

    Hey does anyone else really miss the fighting/goon aspect of the game. Its almost non exsitent, and while I like the majority ‘o the rule changes I do miss that aspect.

    But I digress…

    C’mere you! **Whoop!**

  6. Just to let you all know, Jack don’t know POO about hockey. I’ve been whoopin’ his rear since ’85 when he was in the Girl Scouts! So once again I must set him straight in his picks for this season. OTT vs. TB Jack may have got this right(a broken clock is still right twice a day) OTT in 4. CAR vs. MTL last I checked there was no one on Carolina named Katrina -MTL in SIX. NJD vs. NYR no brainer the Rangers must DIE in 4. BUF vs. PHI Forsberg’s health is key but PHI in 6. DET vs. EDM I HATE THE DETROIT DEAD THINGS and for that reason they will win in 5. DAL vs. COL Avs in 6 in a entertaining match up. CAL vs. ANA BORING CAL in 5(I’m rooting for the black guy). And the grand Gem of the NHL playoffs of ’06 SJ vs. NSH SJ is better than their record and should beat the preds in 6.

  7. I think your picks are pretty good overall. I do thing Detroit will win in 4, but, like you said, they do have a history of faltering. Buffalo vs Philly should be a good matchup considering how much they hate each other. And, I’m hoping that this year Ottawa will do well now what they don’t have to contend with the Leafs–woe is me. It would be very cool to see a final with Detroit and Ottawa in it.

  8. True. With Hasek in top form he is practically unbeatable. Ottawa would be unwise, however, to rely on him. Emery is an unknown: he’s never played in the playoffs, though he has played well enough for the past while. If he can build up his confidence, he should be decent enough in net. Ottawa is going to have to go with the strategy that their goalie is not going to win games for them. That will be the only way the team will go far in the playoff.s

  9. Dave, are you a Sens fan?
    I’ve always kinda respected them – – if the Devils get knocked out, I’ll transfer my rooting over to them in the East. Well OK – I’d love to see Montreal add to their legacy, but that doesn’t seem too likely.

    I think I’m cheering for the Sharks in the West.

  10. Problem with the Sens is it seems theyre always a favorite and always get knocked out early. This year may be different. I think the east is wide open, like my ex girlfriend, and really the top 4 or 5 teams have a legit shot.

    Jack you dont think your cheering for the Sharks out west, you know your cheering for the Avs. Have they looked like shite the last 3rd of the season? Yep. Losing scorers will do that. Forgetting to play D will too. But theyre a likeable bunch and they dont take shifts off. Theyre the hardest working Avs team Ive ever seen. More so even than the cup teams in 96 and 01. Have I swayed you? No? Thats ok. More for me.

  11. Hi, Jack. Well, you could say that I am first and foremost a Leafs fan. But, being a Leafs fan is almost as bad as being a Cubs fan. 😉

    Aside from that, I tend to be a fan of the game as a whole, though I do have some other favorite teams such as the Devils, Sens, and Lightning. Hmmm. I’ve lived in all those places so, maybe that has something to do with it?

    I also really like the Devils since Brodeur is one the best players ever, and he’s a class act to boot.

    Alvie, I’m not convinced the Avs will make it very far. Then again, this is the playoffs. Magic happens just from hard work & blood. Time and again we find that the regular season standings don’t mean squat.

    I’m really glad my wife got me Center Ice so I can watch most of the first two rounds. Come Friday, the beer will be cold and I’ll be ready for some great hockey. 🙂

  12. Cool.
    I don’t have Center ICe (note that “Donations” button) – OR OLN, so I’ll have to go out to watch the games.
    Alvie, please never mention the 2001 Avs Cup victory over the Devils again.
    I love Brodeur, of course – – but I think Scott Stevens is the single most underrated NHL player of all time. I never saw Bobby Orr play – but Scott Stevens is the best defenseman I’ve ever watched. That includes Potvin, Coffey, Bourque, Langway, Lidstrom, Niedermayer, Chelios, Housley, MacInnis, etc.
    His on-ice presence is missed.

  13. Ooh, sorry Jack. Dinna think of that.

    Dave Im not convinced either. But Ive seen super talented and President Trophy winning Avs teams bow out in the first round. This will be the first time that theyre lower than a 4th seed. Im not used to it.
    Quite honestly unless the Red Things and Legacy really, really cock up, I think their the toast of the conference.

  14. Yeah, I’ll see what I can do about a donation. I normally don’t get Center Ice since it is so expensive, but the wife gave it to me for Valentine’s Day. 🙂

    I agree that Scott was horribly underrated. Better than some of those other defensemen? Possibly, but that’d be one of those fun let’s-argue-over-beers discussions.

    Bobby Orr. Wow, that brings back memories. I used to have a pair of “Bobby Orr” Bauer skates when I played hockey as a kid.

  15. Alvie, I agree, Detroit looks pretty formidable. I expect Yzerman will retire at the end of this season no matter what. I’m not a Detroit fan, but I have a hard time rooting against Stevie. It would be nice if he go out with glory.

  16. Three games have been played so far and no team has looked impressive. Ottawa woke up in the 3rd to take their game, but Detroit had to go to 2 OT to beat Edmonton.

  17. Nobody told me there’d be days like these.
    Nobody told me there’d be Wojtek Wolski.

    Also a shout out to Jacks Devils. Tuff man. Real tuff.
    I wonder whatll happen first. Calgary allows more than one goal a game or Calgary scores more than two goals a game. Kiprusoff be on fire.

    Otherwise I agree with Dave. We’ll se what 2nite brings.

  18. If – IF – these were one-game series, I’d have gone 5-for-8. But – there are still 4 wins to be achieved in all of the series.

    Alvie gets points for the John Lennon reference.

    Go Devils!

  19. What you say is true, Jack. However do not think youd HAVE gone 5 for 8, rather say you ARE 5 for 8 right now.

    Cause right now its all about the now. Now is now and theres no time like the now.

    Um, Ive written myself into a corner.

  20. Wow. So far complete turn arounds in Game 2’s. Tampa looked like dog shit in Game 1 only to bounce back in Game 2. Hope this trend doesnt continue tonite.

  21. Oh yes, very happy but still undecided on Theodore. Utterly untested in game 1 and let in 3 of the wierdest goals youll ever see in game 2. As I said before, hard work will get you everywhere. Just glad they didnt fold after giving up 4 strait.

    This game, and especially the Habs/Canes game epitomize the “new look” nhl and ill tell you, after watching some of the wretched nba playoffs, it still stuns me how overall the US hasnt embraced the nhl. You dont get up and down heartache/esctasy like this anywhere else.

  22. “it still stuns me how overall the US hasnt embraced the nhl. You dont get up and down heartache/esctasy like this anywhere else.”

    Agreed, but don’t forget that the braindead geniuses at Fox had tried to market the NHL using the “rocket puck” based on the deluded concept that people only watch the puck. Try imagining baseball or football marketed in the same way.

    There is also the misconception that a 1-0 game is boring while a 7-6 game is exciting.

    I’ve lived with hockey my whole life and I love the game. I’m wary of rule changes for the sake of “improving” scoring, but the changes this year have been good for once.

    I hope people come around eventually. Hockey is an exciting sport and the Stanley Cup has got to be the most gruelling championship of all professional sports.

  23. See I think these changes werent meant to hike up scoring (I say that half believing it) but honestly the fans and high power teams were sick of clutching and grabbing. I love a 1-0, 2-1 game when great goaltending and defense is the cause of it, but this shit that the Wild, and sorry Jack, the Devils used to do where they would just mug the guys carrying the puck at the blue line was ruining the game. The skaters couldnt skate. I like getting rid of the 2 line pass but I dont like the goalie only being allowed to roam in a certain area. Also Im debating whether I want to see an automatic icing or not. I could go either way.

    The “rocket puck” was bullshit. I propose that ESPN make the baseball bright yellow so we can see it flying thru the air.

    Thanks for talking puck Dave.

  24. Interesting that you say that, Alvie, because it’s a topic covered in Deadpan #4.

    I’ll defend Lemaire’s trap and say that it was all about the system and skating within the system. Niedermayer, Stevens, Daneyko, Elias, Arnott, Holik, C. Lemieux, etc. – – some of those could be chippy, annoying, and nasty – – but never clutchers-and-grabbers.
    Lemaire’s strategy spawned many imitators, but most of THEM employed it with holding-hooking tactics. And in fact, I remember the few teams that boasted a “trapless” system back then were the worst clutchers-and-grabbers, because it was the only way they could remain competitive with the defensively superior teams.
    Coaches should be allowed to employ legal defensive strategies; players should be allowed to skate and hit freely within the rules.

    You guys are going to love the interview in Episode 4!

  25. You make valid points. Clutching and grabbing IS very different than being chippy and nasty. I guess coming from the opposite side of the pond I just viewed the Devil’s differently than you. Its something I could argue about all day. But I wont. Cause I like you Jack. I should have never put the Wild in the same breath as the Devils. For this, I applegize.

    Am I to assume Mr. John B. is your next interview? Cause thatll fuckin rock.

  26. Jack, I totally agree with you. The Devils played a great trap, however, I’m not a big fan of what it became since it lead to the boring dump-and-chase game. IMO, the left wing lock was a lot more interesting to watch.

    In any case, there’s nothing wrong with defensive systems, but when they take over the game and stifle offense then something needs to change. It’s kinda like rebalancing in an MMO.

    The changes this season–goodbye can-opener! :)–have been working well and finally we got some consistent (in terms of seasonwise) ref’ing. Seing a player like Kovalov weaving around is awesome.

    I’ve been having a blast talking hockey with you guys, and, Jack, I’m looking foward to DP#4. You’ve been doing an awesome job.

  27. Condolences to Jason C. for his Stars. A skilled team like that is bound to be competitive again next year.

    Stay tuned to the playoffs though, man! The second round is going to be fun.

  28. Ok so if, IF the Ducks knock off the Flames then the top 4 Western seeds will be o-u-t out. I ask you, a product of the “new” NHL or just an odd occurance unlikely to happen again?

    Oh, and God bless you Oil. God bless you.

  29. Oh, I guess I shoulda read the “other” hockey post on the site before I wrote that. This just reiterates what Jack says. I guess we think alike.

    Ooooh, sorry bout that Jack.

  30. The Blues aren’t in it for the first time in forever, so WHO GIVE’S A FLYING F***!!!!!

    Sorry, but it had to be said. I’ll still be watching when I can. I’m actually pretty impressed with your picks. Just going on winners, you’ve got 5 out of 7 right. Better than I probably would have done.

    Finally getting around to listening: keep up the great work!

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