From my recent predictions in these blogs:
I've decided to do a early playoff prediction.
1 vs. 8, Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo
The defending champs will for sure make it out of the first round. Buffalo's Ryan Miller may steal a game in this series in Buffalo, but thats all.
Pittsburgh in 5.
2 vs. 7, Boston vs. Montreal
A repeat of the past two 1st round series. But last season the Bruins destroyed the Canadiensin 4 games. But this is a new Montreal team.
Boston in 5.
3 vs. 6, Washigton vs. New Jersey
The Caps explosive offense, against the Devils defensive style with Lemarie. I like the offense in a very close series, with Brodeur playing great.
Washington in 7.
4 vs. 5, Philadelphia vs. Carolina
I really like the Flyers in any 7 game series, they will be tough to beat with their physical style, they will cream all teams. But Ward and Staal are big time playoff performers.
Philadelphia in 6.
1 vs. 8, San Jose vs. Edmonton
San Jose isn't known for their playoffs, but they have had some 1st round success, and this isn't any Anaheim that they had to face last year.
San Jose in 5.
2 vs. 7, Detroit vs. St. Louis
I like St. Louis, but they were sweeped last season, I like them to bounce back and push Detroit to the edge, and this may be the upset of the playoffs, but I'll take the Wings in a tough, hard fough series.
Detroit in 7.
3 vs. 6, Vancouver vs. Calgary
These two teams hate each other, and this would be the series of the first round. But due to the Flames recent failures in the playoffs, I like the Canucks.
Vancouver in 7.
4 vs. 5, Chicago vs. Anaheim
Another great series, but I like the youth and energy of the Hawks. They are young but already has experience. I had no up sets in round 1.
Chicago in 7.
1 vs. 4, Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia
These teams hate each other, more than nearly any other two teams. This series will be close, but the Flyers can just wear down anyone, with Richards, Pronger, and others, and improved goaltending.
Philadelphia in 7.
2 vs. 3, Boston vs. Washigton
Defence wins championships, and this will be an elite defence vs. an elite offence. The Bruins may struggle scoring with no Kessel, but they got depth.
Boston in 6.
1 vs. 4, San Jose vs. Chicago
Chicago had a great playoff run last season, and almost won the West. San Jose isn't a playoff team, with guys like Nabokov, Heatley, Thornton, and Marleau struggling in the playoffs. But this may be their year, with lots of talent.
Chicago in 6.
2 vs. 3, Detroit vs. Vancouver
Detroit has won the West two times in a row. But Vancouver is a talented team, with great goaltending. Luongo can steal a game, or even a series. The pest on Vancouver are also really good with Burrows and Keseler.
Vancouver in 6.
2 vs. 4, Boston vs. Philadelphia
This is two tough teams, they like to hit and play defensive too. But the difference is that the Flyers have more scoring, they may not be as good defensive, but they are way better offensive with their depth, especially with the Boston lost of Kessel. What I would like to see is Pronger vs. Chara.
Philadelphia in 7
3 vs. 4, Vancouver vs. Chicago
A rematch of last years second round, in which the Canucks did not play good at all. The Hawks play great in Western Canada, but the Canucks will play better than they played last year against the Hawks. Also, last year the Canucks swept the Blues and went cold after being really hot, they had to long of a lay off.
Vancouver in 7.
Stanley Cup Finals
Vancouver vs. Philadelphia
This will be a good one. Can Canada win a Cup for the first time since '93? I think not. The Canucks are a balanced team, but so is Philadelphia, but I like Philadelphia more.
Carter, Gagne > Sedins
Richards, Giroux > Kesler, Burrows
Pronger and company > Bieksa and company, but close
Emery < Luongo
Overall, I like the Flyers against anyone in a 7 game series with Richards, Pronger, Giroux, and all their pest and physical players. The physical players aren't just 3rd and 4th lines, but their top line players too. And Emery isn't as bad as people make him out to be, he was a solid goalie.
Philadelphia in 6.