Pittsburgh vs Columbus- Pitt is coming in after finishing second in the East. Although the team hasn’t looked supreme after coming back from the Olympics. They have a penchant for having a lot of defensive breakdowns, therefore they are very inconsistent at times. This requires them to score a lot of goals of which they are very good at. This team has the capacity finishing 2nd in the league in PP and 5th in the league in goals for. If Malkin doesn’t return, and Letang doesn’t bring his offensive pumps, look out. The Blue Jackets are hard pressed to score goals, relying on a PP that was 10th in the league. They rely heavily on the supreme play of Ryan J who tore the league up this year with 33. The team have only being to the playoffs once which will not be a factor considering it was six years ago with a different team. They do have the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in B.O.B. If Marc Andre continues his playoff-losing streak with Pitt, this could get supremely interesting. But it won’t be, so who cares Pitt 4-2 winners.
Boston vs Detroit- Yes Detroit is at the party one more time. However they have run in to some hockey players that like to party hardcore. This Boston team finished runner up last time around and were Cup Champs a few years ago. Right now they are celebrating their Presidents trophy win. Obviously Boston has four lines that they keep rolling at all times. You don’t think this team has a blue print on what it needs to do in the playoffs, think again. They have a strong Vezina candidate in net and a horse on the back end referred to as Monster Zinc. Detroit is flying into town with a young core that currently is the backbone of this team. There defense is thin and goaltending questionable at times. These kids in Tatar, Nyquist, Sheahan, and Jurco won a Calder Trophy last year with the farm team. They also beat the second seeded Ducks in last year’s playoffs, and almost took down the eventual Champs. They have felt extreme heat for the latter part of the season. This will greatly be beneficial moving forwards. Can Howard out duel Rask? Will youth prevail or experience, doubt it, Bruins in 6 games.
Montreal vs Tampa- This one is my favorite simply because I love the Les Canadiens growing up. Every time they have been the only Canadian team in the playoffs they have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. But who are we kidding this team isn’t that good. Price has only made it past the first round once in his career, that being his very first year. The city of Montreal is on his shoulders, he has no choice but to show us something. I watch this team quite a bit and no they have solid defense aside from the Price factor. No one gives this defensive core credit, if they can score goals, which they struggle with at times, look out. They have struggled particularly against the Lighting and Ben Bishop this year. Right now Bishop is on the sidelines, that could be good news for the Blue Blanc et Rouge. If the Desharnais line continues its great play, it takes pressure off of Pricey. Tampa Bay plays a tight team game and relies considerably on there PP. Montreal has one of the top 5 PK’s. They also have the best PK in the league. Get out your lucky drawers Canadien fans, I am rolling the dice on Price, it says Habs in 6.
Rangers Vs Flyers This is the toughest match to pick em. The season series was knotted at two games a piece. This has the makings of going 7 games. Both have fabulous goalies, Rangers probably have the upper hand. Mason is only making his second playoff appearance and the first didn’t go so well. Both teams have superstars on both ends. Which superstars on each team will come to play? Remember Nash was a toilet full of poop in last years playoffs. However, defensively Rangers definitely have the upper hand with Ryan McD and Dan Girardi on the back end. Illustrated by the fact the team was 4th in the league in goals against. These two have the opportunity to shut down the play of the Claude Giroux and his line. If they do this, the Rangers can wrap this series up pretty quickly. Flyers are on the opposing end of that spectrum. Philadelphia has sloppy team defense and typically it’s up to Mason or Emery if required to do their thing. This series on second thought is not going to be close, Rangers in 7 however.