Hey folks, first off thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my blog. Most of you that know me know that I can write and write and well this is going to be one of those times. Its 5:30 when I started this blog and the Flyers drop the puck in about an hour and a half so lets hope I get it all in.
I did this last year and basically it is just going to be my breakdown on the Eastern Conference Playoffs. I dont watch the West or follow any teams over there so I wouldnt have more than a guess to who I would think would be coming out of their. So lets start it off!
I think both teams bring a pretty solid group of forwards to the table. Montreal will be lead by veteran Kovalev while Boston will look to Marc Savard and players like Kessel and Lucic to chip in. I dont think either team really has the edge here because Boston is a defensive team and Montreal just has not been that great all around.
Defense: Big Time Edge Boston.
No doubt here that Boston has the edge. Picking up someong like Matthew Schnedier will help the Habs but in reality Boston has lived off of being a defensive team. Chare and Wideman are probably the best pairing in the east and they are not easily beat.
Goalie: Edge Boston.
Carey Price is just one big question mark. You never know what your going to get. He makes huge saves and then gives up a weak blocker side goal. Tim Thomas is not an Elite goalie but with the players he has infront of him he doesnt need to be. He is unconventianal to say the least but he gets the job done.
What to watch for:
The history with these two teams is just really rich. They have met several times and Montreal has history on its side but that might not be enough. If Montreal wants to win this year they will need a better effort from their goaltender and will Kovalev to be the veteran leader that he is supposed to be. There is a huge chance this series goes 7 games but I just think Boston has been too dominate all year to drop out in the first round.
Series: Boston in 6
Offense: Seriously? Do the Rangers have one? Capitals HUGE edge.
No doubt about this one. Not much to say either. Capitals can score and they can score lots of goals.
Defense: Edge Rangers.
Washingtons Defense is nothing to write home about. Mike Green is great but once you start hitting him he gets pissed and stops playing his game. Rangers D has been solid all year and has helped this team to get where it is. The big question is if they can shut down such a powerful offense.
Goalie: Edge Rangers
Lundquist is just that much better than Theodore. But Lundquist will be tested early and often throughout the series. Theodore may not need to be spectacular and may not be tested that often.
What to watch for:
Typical offense vs defense here. Personally I think the Capitals offense is way too powerful for the Rangers D and Lundquist as good as he is just sits too deep in his net. With sharp shooters like Semin, Backstrom, Greene, o and that kid Ovechkin. I think they will not have an issue scoring. The problem will be if the Rangers will be able to get any offense if they are to get down early. Rangers are not a scoring team and rely on the D to win games. I think the Rangers offense will need to be on fire for any shot for them to win this series.
Series: Capitals in 5
#6 Carolina Hurricanes at #3 New Jersey Devils.
Offense: Slight edge Carolina.
With Stall on fire and Cole back on the team the Hurricanes ended the season pretty hot. Scoring at times anywhere between 6-9 goals a game. NJ had its stretches but coming into the playoffs they struggled to find the net.
Defense: Edge Devils
Defensive team with a defensive system that starts with the forwards. I just think NJ is a strangling team that will just suffocate its prey. Carolina is not bad but overall I think the D in NJ is better.
Goalie: Edge Devils
Cant take anything away from Broduer. He has not been playing like the Broduer from years back but he had plenty of rest during the season and should be fresh. Cam Ward was outstanding at the end of the season before he hit a rut in the final few games. Depends which Cam Ward will show up for the playoffs.
What to watch for:
This is going to be a good series as well. This is tough to even pick a winner for. I think for NJ to win it will need to find its scoring touch and have the Broduer of old show up. For Carolina they will have to continue to play the way they were when they were on their amazing streak not too many games ago.
Series: Carolina in 7
#5 Philadelphia Flyers at #4 Pittsburgh Penguins.
Offense: Edge Flyers.
Sure Pittsburgh has the offense and the fire power but everyone knows that what keeps the team going is 87 and 71. Flyers have a 6 million dollar proven playoff player on their 3rd line. They have a healthy Gagne, a new addition in Giroux and 6 players with 25+ goals.
Defense: Edge Penguins
Flyers defense is probably the worst Defense out of the Eastern Conference playoff teams. A bunch of no namers that continue to make mistakes night after night and leave the goalie hanging. They average 35+ shots against and as seen in the middle of the season, if Timmonnen goes down this team struggles. Penguins are not that great defensively either but they are more of a threat and make less mistakes. They have players that can hit and move the puck much better as well.
Goalies: Slight Edge Penguins
Fleury is a solid goalie, however, he has run into several issues through his short career where he just struggles. He and Biron both are not consistent. Fleury is better than Biron because hes flexible, mobile, and quick. Biron is a big guy that just uses his body to get in the way. If you start moving the puck around he gets out of position and is known for at least one bad goal a game.
Watch to watch for:
I shouldnt have to tell you. Its Penguins Flyers...probably the biggest rival in hockey with two teams that hate each other. Keep an eye on Malkin and Crosby. Watch for the Flyers 3 top lines and see if they all produce or if we rely on 1. Watch for Briere to continue his playoff tear and for a young Giroux to shine in the spotlight or fall flat on his face. Flyers D will need to step up inorder for Philly to win. Pittsburgh will just have to play its game and get production from outside 87 and 71. Keep an eye on Hartnell stirring things up to get Crosby and Malkin off their game. He may be the one thing to help Philly get through.
Series: Penguins in 6 (My heart wants me to say the Flyers in 5)