Well congratulations to all the qualified for the playoffs. As fans this is our favorite time of the year. Forget March Madness. This is the real fun tournament in the spring!
Some final analysis on the season and the unbalanced schedule. Previously I wrote about a plan to play a balanced schedule with 86 total games. 4 (2 home, 2 away) against all teams in the conference plus 1 home and 1 away against the other conference. Now I have some stats to back up my theory from my previous blog: http://my.hockeybuzz.com/...id=20828&post_id=4800
The teams in the Atlantic Division had the hardest road to the playoffs. Cumulatively the divisions recorded the following Points for the season.
Now since each team played 32 of 82 games within the division, the Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Penguins and Flyers played the most difficult schedule in the league.
So now for some predictions:
Montreal vs Boston
. The Habs have had the edge all year and dominated. I like the Habs in 5.
Pittsburgh vs Ottawa
. I am suprised Ottawa got into the playoffs with the way they are playing and now banged up. I like the Pens in 6.
Washington vs Philadelphia
. Well the Flyers got the 6th seed in the east and got the weakest opponent. But Washington is playing well and AO is amazing. This might be a classic series with the goalies stealing games. I like the Flyers and their balanced scoring in 7.
New Jersey vs Rangers
. This one baffles me. These teams already played 8 games and this will be a great series. Look for the Rangers to win in 7.
Detroit vs Nashville
. Nice to see Nashville make the playoffs after the ownership issues and Nashville is a great place to watch hockey. Detroit in 4.
San Jose vs Calgary
. Should be a great series. San Jose is really hot and as long as Nabakov keeps playing they will win in 6.
Minnesota vs Colorado
. Congrats to the Wild for the division title, but the Avs core has one more run in them. Avs in 6.
Anaheim vs Dallas
. Wow what a matchup here. It's not fair, but Turco has had trouble winning (he plays well, but the Stars lose). Ducks in 6.
Let's all sit back and enjoy the best 2 months of sports in the year. Meaningful playoff games every night and great matchups to boot!