Tag:New York Rangers
Posted on: April 12, 2009 8:41 pm
Edited on: April 12, 2009 8:45 pm

Stanley Cup playoff predictions

 It's been a long four years. I have less hair and less money but the same love for my St. Louis Blues.

The Bluenotes are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2005. The franchise that once owned the longest postseason streak of the four major sports (26 consecutive years) is back where it should be.

If the hockey gods continue being kind, Nashville missing the playoffs will lead to that franchise moving to Kansas City. The folks of Nashville know country music but they don't know hockey. Please, give us this franchise. We've got a new arena (Sprint Center) and plenty of open dates.

There, that's my way of easing into my annual playoff predictions:

Western Conference

No. 1 seed San Jose vs. No. 8 Anaheim:  Don't know if the team with the league's best record can finish the deal but winning the Cup, but they take care of the Ducks here in five.

No. 2 Detroit vs. No. 7 Columbus: Jackets just happy to be here in the franchise's first playoff appearance. Detroit in five.

No. 3 Vancouver vs. No. 6 St. Louis: Blues were one of the best teams in the league down the stretch. They got a huge break by finishing sixth on the last day of the season. A matchup against No. 1 San Jose or No. 2 Detroit would have been a killer. Blues carry over regular-season momentum. St. Louis in six.
No. 4 Chicago vs. No. 5 Calgary: Hawks are too young to make a run. Calgary is the most anonymous NHL team, but is good enough to reach the Cup finals. Calgary in six.

Western Conference semis

No. 1 San Jose vs. No. 6 St. Louis: Blues hit their emotional wall. San Jose has too much of everything. Sharks in six.

No. 2 Detroit vs. No. 5 Calgary: Wings goaltending inconsistencies show up. Flames in seven.

Western Conference finals

No. 1 San Jose vs. No. 5 Calgary: These teams have a colorful playoff history.  This will be the fourth meeting since 1995. San Jose leads 2-1. Just a hunch but Mikka Kiprusoff steals this one for the Flames. Calgary in seven.


Eastern Conference

No. 1 seed Boston vs. No. 8 Montreal:  A bitter rivalry is renewed. Habs slumped badly in the second half. Boston should have no problem winning in five.

No. 2 Washington vs. No. 7 New York Rangers:  Caps are Eastern Conference's team of destiny with all that scoring. Caps in five.

No. 3 New Jersey vs. No. 6 Carolina: Devils can't turn on the switch after a late-season slump. The Canes have that Cup look about them again. Carolina in seven.

No. 4 Pittsburgh vs. No. 5 Philadelphia: Ever see "Gladiator"? This isn't a loser-leave-the-state series. This is a loser dies series. Slight edge to Flyers if they can corral the big two (Crosby and Malkin). Philly in six.

Eastern Conference semis

No. 1 Boston vs. No. 6 Carolina: In what might be the best series of the playoffs, the hits and goals just keep on coming. It's run-and-gun for six games with Boston winning a bitter battle.

No. 2 Washington vs. No. 5 Philadelphia: Philly stopped the No. 2 and No. 3 best players in the NHL in the first round. It can't stop No. 1 (Ovechkin). Washington's scoring balance is too much. Caps in seven.

Eastern Conference finals

No. 1 Boston vs. No. 2 Washington:  I picked an upset in the West. Might as well stay consistent. Caps outscore the Bruins in a highly entertaining series to get to their second Cup final. Washington in seven.


Stanley Cup finals

Washington vs. Calgary: Not exactly a ratings winner for the networks, but who cares? Ovechkin vs. Iginla. Green vs. Phaneuf. The teams met only once during the season but the hate will build up quickly. On the 20th anniversary of last Cup, the Flames grind it out in six. 


Posted on: March 20, 2008 8:34 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2008 8:43 pm

Live from Omaha...

Just as I expected, Omaha is cool. The arena here, the Qwest Center, is still fairly new. It has great sight lines and, most of all, it's clean.

I was at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. While everyone has to go to the Garden once in their lives, it ain't much to look at. It's more about the people in the arena. My 11-year-old's ears were scorching when he heard a couple of f-bombs after a bad Rangers power play.

While we're on the subject, don't ever go to NY's St. Patricks' Day parade unless you're drunk. It makes it a lot easier when you're trapped in a crowd and feel like you're about to be smothered. 

Tuesday as a dream: Lunch with Rutgers SID Jason Baum at Cafe 31 across the street from the Garden. A short tour of the new CBS College Sports Television studios at Chelsea Piers. Then, the Rangers. All with my best buddy and wing man, Jack.

Back to Omaha: The media hotel is so close you don't have to go outside to cover this sucker. There's a covered bridge from the hotel to the arena. Even the cops are cool which, if you remember my trashing of the Ohio State Nazis a few years back, is key.

 To the basketball: Boring, isn't it? In the day session here, Kansas blasted Portland State (expected) and UNLV ripped Kent State (not so expected). Props to Kent State which did the MAC proud by scoring 10 first-half points. That ties the NCAA tournament record.

Someone, please give us an upset.

 With UCLA still to go on Thursday, No. 1 seeds are 93-0 against No. 16s all-time.

"I love being a No. 1 seed," Kansas' Bill Self said. "But I will tell you this: It is going to happen some time (a No. 1 losing). And when it does, it's going to be the forever highlight that you're always reminded of."

 The L.A. media is here in Omaha, which looks kind of weird. The last time that happened was ... September, actually, when USC played at Nebraska.

 Sighting: NCAA selection committee Mike Slive who has to be one of the hardest working men in show business. He was in Indianapolis with the committee on Friday when the tornado hit his tournament in Atlanta. He was up until 4:30 a.m. working with his staff on moving the games to Georgia Tech. Then he had to be up bright and early continue his selection duties.

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