I have always hated predictions, I hate playing sports action but I decided to start this and see what people have on their mind....
Detroit vs Calgary
If the Red Wings stars show up in the playoffs, I take the Wings if not Calgary will have this over early. The Flames will undoubtably get in Hasek's face which will pretty much mean that Chelios will be kicking the crap out of a lot of the boys from cow town. Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Lidstrom are the keys to the Wings attack but like I said they need to show up. There may only be one or two games in this series that get to a combined goal total of 5 or more. I will go on a limb and say Red Wings in 7.
Anaheim vs. Minnesota
This series could be a barn-burner or it could be an absolute dud. If the Ducks are able to attack the Wild and physically dominate them I would have to say that this series may be on of the best of the first round. On the other hand, I have witnessed first hand the Wild put 18,000 fans to sleep within the first 2 minutes of the game. Gaborik and Demitra should prepare themselves for a whole lot of Dustin Penner and Chris Pronger. Meanwhile, if Neidermayer and the rest of the Ducks speedsters can find a way to beat the trap the Ducks will take it. I will say Ducks in 6.
Vancouver vs. Dallas
I hate predicting Canucks games. All I have to say is that at some point in the 6 games that will be played...Bulis will take a lazy penalty that will cost the Canucks that game. Oh, and the coach will not bench him. I love what Alain has done with this team, but why so much Bulis? Goaltending will not be a question from either team despite Luongo's lack of experience and Turco's recent Cloutier like tendancies. Like I said I hate predicting Canuck games, but I will leave you with either Vancouver or Dallas in 6.
Nashville vs. San Jose
This is probably the only series in the Western Conference that will feature multiple games where the combined score is greater than 5. That is not due to the lack of goaltending, but it is due soley on the fact that both line-ups are loaded offensively. It is a good thing that the Preds picked up Peter Forsberg, in hindsight I think the trade was made for a series like this. If Forsberg and Kariya have the same magic as Thornton and Cheechoo, I take the Preds. I like the Preds goaltending and defense over the Sharks. I take the Preds in 6.
Buffalo vs. NY Islanders
Sabres in 4. (Insert Sabres roster including stats and the NHL standings) Enough said. Don't get me wrong I like the Islanders, but the Sabres are too good for a team that had to get in on a shootout goal the last game of the regular season. If the Islanders win more than 1 game, the series will be considered an upset. Sabres in 4, maybe even 3.
New Jersey vs. Tampa Bay
I am getting tired of typing. I have always been a fan of the Lightning, Vinny Lecavalier (Love 'em) but I think the lack of defense on the Tampa Bay blueline and the lack of a clear cut number one goaltender will end up spoiling Vinny's outstanding season. I always thought Marc Denis was a goaltender that needed to be with the right team and I thought Tampa was that team, maybe its the defense (We don't see the Lightning much out here). Enter, Martin Broduer, game...series...round 2 for the Devils. Devils in 6.
Ottawa vs. Pittsburgh
Sidney Crosby, we don't see much of him out here but the other day I was watching some highlight packages and WOW! Does this guy have a low gear? everything he does is at top speed. The Senators on the other hand have experience, experience in losing in the playoffs. This series may seem tough to predict, but if you look deep down, its not. The youth and skill of the Pens will come through on this, Sidney Crobsy will make the Senators chase him all over the ice. I say Pens in 6 (There will be some absoulte blowouts in this series).
Atlanta vs. NY Rangers
Shanahan, love this guy and he may very well be the key to this series. Atlanta counters with Keith Tkachuk, not even close. Everything Shanahan has ever done is magic, when he signed with the Rangers this past summer I first though, swan song. Then he made me eat cake, had an unreal season. Lundquist in net, not to mention Jagr. I seriously don't think Atlanta has much of a hope here. Rangers in 5.