Stanley Cup – Round 1 Predictions
The season is over, the seedings are done and now we begin the craziest 2 months in sports, the Stanley Cup playoffs. In order to become champion, a team must win 4 straight best of seven series, each one more intense than the previous. Players will be tired, bruised and battered, yet will carry on as if nothing was wrong to have a shot to carry the holy grail of sports. This coveted trophy was first handed out in 1893. yes 1893. The cup has been the exclusive domain of the NHL since 1926. This would make it the oldest trophy in North America. On to the predictions.
Ottawa is Canada’s only team this year (I refuse to acknowledge the Vancouver Canucks as a Canadian team) but they are in tough against the East’s 1st seed, the Rangers. I have to give the nod to the Rangers based on overall depth and goaltending. Rangers in 5.
Last years champs, the Bruins are in tough against a recently hot Washington team. Sorry T, but the Bruins overall depth and Tim Thomas will prove to much for the perennial under achievers. Maybe next year for Ovechikin and crew.
Florida is a mirage, Devils in 4.
Potentially the best series of the first round. It is to bad that one of these teams will be gone from the show early. Since Sidney Crosby returned, the Penguins have to be favoured to win it all. I call the Penguins in a tough 6 game victory.
Vancouver Canucks vs Los Angeles Kings
Vancouver won the trophy for most points in the league for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, that doesn’t win the cup, but it does look pretty. I really believe that the Kings will win this, but I will predict that Vancouver will take it in 7 as they figure out that Cory Schneider is the answer in goal and move Burrows to the minors. Also, I can’t bash this bunch of losers if they aren’t in it anymore.
The Blues in 5. Goaltending will be the difference in this series and the Sharks move closer to dismantling a team that once had so much potential.
Another good series. The other Jets may just pull this off. The Hawks are hurting, but do have the firepower needed to win this one. Phoenix has depth and have played well all year. Tough to call, but Hawks in 7.
Another 4 vs 5 match-up that will send a very good team to the golf course before their time. Either team here could easily win the cup. The Red Wings have the experience and talent, the Predators got a taste of going deep into the playoffs last year and will want to go even deeper this year. Nashville will take this series in 6.
- Stanley Cup Odds 2012: Teams Most Likely to Raise Cup in June (bleacherreport.com)
- Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: Power Ranking Every NHL Playoff Team (bleacherreport.com)