Sorry, guys. Last night I had a way-too realistic dream in which Sidney Crosby asked to borrow my DS Lite so he could play Big Brain Academy, so I'm going to guess that we'll be facing the Ice Chickens. Read into it what you will.
I am positive that if we'll play Devils this year we will beat them.
I am positive that we will play better then last time, though NJD are always tough to beat, won't be any diffrent in the PO's. They got allot of talent upfront, and are still very well oiled as a team. They are also extremely focused on what it takes to be successful in the game of hockey.
"Of course giving Sather cap space is like giving teenagers whiskey and car keys." - SBOB "Watching Sather build a team is like watching a blind man with no fingers trying to put together an elaborate puzzle." - Shadowtron
Sestito still on the make a wish tour. - rholt168 "Okay, Joel. You've had your fun. Give your brother his pads back." - Trxjw
Ideally, Who do YOU Want to Face in the First Round?
Mods, feel free to merge this with the Nightly Scoreboard Watch, although I felt that this would be deservig of its own thread.
That having been said, after today's win in Boston, the top 8 standings look somewhat like this (Courtesy of TSN):
Team GP W L OT PTS GF GA Home Away Conf. Last Ten Streak
1. Buffalo * 74 48 19 7 103 281 220 25-10-3 23-9-4 42-16-6 5-3-2 2W
2. New Jersey * 74 43 23 8 94 193 184 22-10-5 21-13-3 41-17-6 3-5-2 3L
3. Atlanta * 76 39 27 10 88 229 232 21-11-6 18-16-4 37-20-9 6-4-0 2L
4. Ottawa 75 44 23 8 96 260 205 24-11-3 20-12-5 40-18-7 6-0-4 2W
5. Pittsburgh 75 42 23 10 94 254 229 24-9-5 18-14-5 36-20-9 7-2-1 1W
6. Tampa Bay 75 41 30 4 86 233 233 20-15-1 21-15-3 36-26-3 5-5-0 2W
7. NY Rangers 75 38 28 9 85 217 197 19-15-5 19-13-4 32-24-9 7-1-2 4W
8. NY Islanders 74 36 27 11 83 224 216 20-11-5 16-16-6 32-24-8 4-4-2 2W
Now, at this point, it's safe to assume we will not be in the top 4, let alone being able to qualify for the division title. Assuming these will be the final teams in the playoffs, If we overtake the Lightning, we will face the Sens. However, assuming we remain in seventh, this means that more than likely, it will be the race between the Pens and Devs to determine who we face in the first round. Then of course, there is the possibility of falling to eighth, in which we play the sabres.
SO - Without trying to jump the gun, we are likely to be given 4 scenarios: We play the Sabres @ Eighth, the Devils or Pens @ 7th, and the Thrashers @ 6th. All teams that have given us trouble this year.
Personally, because of the relative inexperience of the Pens and Thrashers, I think we stand our best chance with this route. However, much can happen in the course of the final games left. But I would like to see your opinion of our prosepctive first round opponent.
Pitt, despite their inexperience, has way too much talent for my taste.
Buffalo is the best all-around team in the conference.
NJ just has our number. We can outplay them every game and they'd still probably get enough bounces to take the series.
And of course, since the most important thing in a playoff series is the goaltending, I think Lehtonen is the least likely of all those teams' goalies (Miller, Brodeur, Fleury) to steal a series.
On the flip side, how great does it feel to finally feel like a team that NO ONE would want a part of? If the Sabres fans conducted this poll, I'd bet that they'd all say that they'd rather face TB, the Isles, or the Habs before they face the team led by King Henrik.