(1) San Jose Sharks vs (8) Colorado Avalanche
This was such a sweet series in 03/04, I still remember when Cheechoo scored a deflection goal through his legs. For this series, I say Sharks in four. Bold? You bet. There is no way that San Jose is going to fuck things up this year. Is their situation as bad as Calgary's? Maybe a little worse. Calgary knows what their issues are. There is no scoring, there were locker room problems, among other reasons. San Jose's problem is that they have no problems to address. This should mean that finding success in the playoffs should occur. The problem is, they've got the scoring, the defence, and the goaltending to win. And for some reason they fail over and over again. If the Sharks lose in the first round, what more can you even do to tweak for next season?
On another note, fuck Colorado Enjoy your two home playoff games. Know what? I'm glad Colorado finished eighth instead of Calgary. Seven months of hockey is plenty. Who really needs to watch hockey in May and June anyways?
Also, their head coach looks like my physics teacher from Grade 11 (RIP).
(2) Chicago Blackhawks vs (7) Nashville Predators
Yes, that is the Yellow Power Ranger's Zord; a Nashville Predator. Every year the playoffs come around, and just about every year Nashville gets a lower seed. It's enough. Stop making the playoffs so you can lose in five or six. It's getting a little annoying. I will say Blackhawks in six, purely because I absolutely do not trust their goaltenders as far as I can throw them. When we did our hockey pool at the beginning of the season I thought goaltending was my strongest position. I had Cristobal Huet and Ray Emery. Please, have a "lol" at my expense.
I was watching Deadliest Warrior on Spike yesterday and I got thinking, what if these two teams were actually what their mascots are? Who would win in a fight between an actual Indian chief and a sabretooth tiger? It would be pretty sweet. Just food for thought.
(3) Vancouver Canucks vs (6) LA Kings
It kills me to say, but the Canucks will beat the Kings in seven games. Luongo won't fall apart until the second round. On a different note, Alex Burrows is a jerk. In an interview that took place before the playoff matchups were determined, this is what he had to say about Detroit:
When asked by AOL FanHouse about playing Detroit in the playoffs, Burrows said, "We don't mind facing anyone, but as far as Detroit, the only thing I dislike is having to fly there and having to stay there, to have to spend a couple of days in that city."
Are you fucked? Why on earth would you actually say that? Talk about the team you're playing against. Maybe how Holmstrom crashes the net too hard or how Bertuzzi shouldn't have an NHL job. You do not talk about how you dislike a city. That's an embarrassing quote.
Anyways, the Kings probably aren't ready for the playoffs. I would so love to be wrong.
(4) Phoenix Coyotes vs (5) Detroit Red Wings
This series could honestly be a coin flip. Both of these teams worked extremely hard to finish as the four and five seeds, and it is awesome that one of the two will go to the second round of the playoffs. Detroit is a popular pick because down the stretch they looked unbelievable, but as I have analyzed in earlier posts, their schedule was super easy, including two matchups against Edmonton and three against Columbus. Also, they're Detroit. They seem to play pretty well in the playoffs in general.
I truly believe Phoenix will win this series. In seven games. Hell, maybe they'll even sell out the seventh game in Glendale. There is one reason why I pick Phoenix, and that is Ilya Bryzgalov. I honestly think he is the funniest hockey player in the league, as well as one of the best goaltenders.
Bryzgalov talks after Giguere
I remember in 05/06 when Calgary played Anaheim in the first round and ran Giguere out of town. Coach Carlyle puts in some Russian dude with a hard name to say and Flames fans start laughing, dreaming of another cup run. All of a sudden, they can't score to save their lives, and Bryz takes the Ducks to the Conference Finals. Never doubt a hot goaltender.
Stay tuned for my Eastern Conference picks!