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04-12-2011, 02:17 AM
  #12
nyisles
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East

WSH vs NYR - WSH in 5, and not even because I hate the Rag$... in previous years I'd give them more of a chance (or even go for a possible NYR upset), but I think Washington has learned their lesson about trying a Go-Go-Gordon style come April and will be a viable threat this time.

PHI vs BUF - BUF in 6, Philly has been looking pretty bad lately and Buffalo seems to have an uncanny ability to turn it on in the playoffs no matter where they finish in the standings (kinda like Carolina). If Miller is not 100% then this series could easily go in Philly's favor, but if he is, don't be surprised if Buffalo knocks the Flyers off like they did in '06.

BOS vs MTL - MTL in 7, they always seem to find a way against Boston in the POs (even though the Bs crushed them last time around). Price has been playing like the guy the front office prayed he'd become when they decided to trade Halak, and I have a feeling Boston's still shell-shocked from last year's historic choke.

PIT vs TB - TB in 6, the 4-5 matches are always tough to call and this one's no exception. Will the Pens be able to roll forward without Malkin and (maybe?) Crosby, or will the new blood in TB plus the grizzled vet in goal emerge? IMO, if Crosby does not come back, Tampa gets the nod.

West (note: this was my first season in a long time without Center Ice, so my west predictions are probably even worse than usual)

VAN vs CHI - VAN in 5, this Chicago team is a shadow of its former self and a sad victim of the salary cap. The whole western conference is an embarrassing reflection of the "parity" ideal as I find it disturbing that there's a 2-point spread between 4th and 8th, but that's neither here nor there... this might finally be Vancouver's year and I cannot see this Hawks team knocking them off.

SJ vs LA - SJ in 6, another tough choice but I think their experience (including a solid goalie who hoisted last year's Cup instead of choker-ass Nabokov) will give them the edge over the still relatively-green Kings.

DET vs PHX - PHX in 7, getting revenge for last year. I know the Wings have had some injury trouble lately, whereas last year they got healthy just in time for the POs and made for a good sleeper pick. If DET's usual heroes are not 100% then I feel Phoenix will sneak by this time.

ANA vs NSH - NSH in 6, I honestly have no idea here so this is a blatant "homer" pick as I'd really like to see Nashville get past the first round... if only for Barry Trotz.

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