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2012 NHL Playoff Predictions

LC April 8, 2012 0

Predictions made by LaserRocketArm

Its the most wonderful time of the year…

A time where what you’ve done before doesn’t matter, where Rivals are renewed and new ones created, where the whole world stops and watches eagerly anticipating a new champion to be crowned at the end of the year.

It’s the NHL Playoffs! The matchup’s have been set and in 3 days, the best post-season in all of sports will dawn upon us.

Let’s take a look at what I think is going to happen in round one.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

(#1) New York Rangers vs (#8) Ottawa Senators

Series Record: Ottawa leads 3-1

New York, New York. The Eastern conferences best team in the regular season will go up against the Ottawa Senators, perhaps the most surprising team coming into this year’s playoffs, and a team I think the Rangers did not want to face. The Sens have proven to be a tough opponent and have outscored the Rangers 14-8 in their 4 regular season games. But we all know that goalies mean everything in the playoffs and that why I’m picking the team with the goalie who I believe is the best in the game at this point in time and that’s King Lundqvist.

Prediction: New York in 5

(#2) Boston Bruins vs (#7) Washington Capitals

Series Record: Washington leads 3-1

The defending Stanley Cup champs are taking on the most disappointing team in the NHL this year, the Washington Capitals. Washington was a popular Stanley Cup champion choice this year, but after the disappointing season that had this year, they are going to have a tough time selling themselves to anyone as a playoff contender. The Bruins have the deepest team in the NHL, with 6 20 goal scorers, and two goalies when at the top of their game, can take over any matchup. The Caps couldn’t make it far when they were the top seed in season’s past and they won’t be able to do it as underdogs.

Prediction: Boston in 4

(#3) Florida Panthers vs (#6) New Jersey Devils

Series Record: TIED 2-2

If you were to tell me this would be a round one matchup this season, I would’ve honestly laugh. But after winning their terrible division for the first time in 19 years, the Florida Panthers are riding high and find themselves as the 3rd seed in the Eastern conference. Unfortunately, they play the New Jersey Devils, who have been quietly put themeselves into the playoffs and are my favourite underdog heading into this years playoffs. Florida was 27th in goals this year, where the Devils were 10th in goals allowed, combine that with the best penalty killing unit in the NHL this season, this series will be a low scoring affair with New Jersey taking it all.

Prediction: New Jersey in 7

(#4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs (#5) Philadelphia Flyers

Series Record: Philly leads 4-2

HERE WE GO. This is by far the best matchup in round one, both teams absolutely hate each other and this will be a extremely physical matchup. Philly is better than Pittsburgh physically and can score just as well. But Pittsburgh has the home ice advantage and a goalie who is actually consistent, plus they have the prodigal son. It’s honestly a coin toss, Philly was the better team in the regular season, and decimated the Penguins just a few games ago. The X factor will be Bryzgalov, will we see the Bryzgalov who was absolutely incredible in the month of march or the goalie who was inconsistent in the months of December – February? Despite all that, Philly’s physical play will lead them to victory in this series.

Prediction: Philly in 7

Western Conference

(#1) Vancouver Canucks vs (#8) Los Angeles Kings

Series Record: TIED 2-2

Back to back Presidents Cup winner and defending Western Conference champions Vancouver Canucks will be taking on the L.A Kings… I expect it to be a mop up. Johnathan Quick is a great goalie having a great season, and the only way L.A will win is if he plays better than he did in the regular season. Vancouver is just better than L.A in every way.

Prediction: Vancouver in 4

(#2) St.Louis vs (#7) San Jose Sharks

Series Record: St.Louis 4-0

Remember back in 2009 when a certain goalie put on possibly the best playoff goaltending performance in the last few years and lead the Montreal Canadians to the Eastern Conference finals? Well, he is back in playoffs, with a new jersey and a much better team. Halak is St.Louis’s key to winning it all this year. They are one of the scariest team in the playoffs. Depth, grit, a strong defense, but most importantly the best goaltending duo in the league. San Jose is the Western Conference’s equivalent to the Washington Capitals, cup favourites that have had disappointing season, just barely getting in the playoffs. Despite San Jose having a lot more experience I just think St.Louis takes this one.

Prediction: St.Louis in 5

(#3) Phoenix Coyotes vs (#6) Chicago Blackhawks
Series Record: Phoenix leads 3-1

This is a weird series. The Blackhawks are a much more offensively talented team than the Yotes, The Yotes have a better defense, both goalies for each team I’m not sold on. Mike Smith has been playing out of his mind, I’m gonna hate and say that won’t last, and I’ve never liked Crawford, I don’t think The Hawks will make it far with him, although they did with Neimi so you never really know. It’s really tough to say which team will win. If the Blackhawks get their captain back, which it looks like they will, you’d be hard pressed to bet against them.

Prediction: Chicago in 6

(#4) Nashville Predators vs (#5) Detroit Red Wings

Series Record: TIED 3-3

HOMER ALERT!

As a Red Wing fan I’m happy about this matchup. It requires less travel than say, going to San Jose or L.A. Yes the team is old and I think having not to travel much in round one will fare the Wings well. I fully expect Franzen to turn into Super Franzen again, just like every post-season the last few years. The Red Wings will abuse Rinne who was the only goalie who started more than 70 games, and is fresh off his worst month (fatique?) That combined with Detroit getting healthy at the right time, The Wings will take it.

Prediction: Detroit in 6

Here is my prediction of the entire playoffs:

Round One

East
New York vs Ottawa
Boston vs Washington
Florida vs New Jersey
Philly vs Pittsburgh

West
Vancouver vs Los Angeles
St.Louis vs San Jose
Phoenix vs Chicago
Nashville vs Detroit

Semi Finals

East
New York vs New Jersey
Boston vs Philly

West
Vancouver vs Detroit
St.Louis vs Chicago

Conference Finals

New York vs Philly
Vancouver vs St.Louis

Stanley Cup Finals

New York vs Vancouver

Conn Smyth - Henrik Lundqvist

What are your predictions for this years playoffs? Join the discussion on the forums.

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