Friday, September 24, 2010

2010-2011 Playoff Predictions

Okay, this is it. I’ve consulted my tarot cards, my magic eight ball, my lucky Chihuahua foot and sacrificed a goat (don’t worry San Fermin friends, it’s not the goat from Pamplona).

And here it is. My predictions for the 2010-2011 NHL Season.

New Jersey Devils
Washington Capitals
Pittsburgh Penguins
Buffalo Sabres
Florida Panthers
Boston Bruins
New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs
Philadelphia Flyers
Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators
Tampa Bay Lightning
Atlanta Thrashers
New York Islanders
Carolina Hurricanes

I know, I love to watch them fail too, but the Toronto Maple Leafs are actually going to see the benefits of Brian Burke’s hard, smart work this year. A full season with JS Giguere will help as will the addition of Phaneuf and Versteeg. The Rangers will make the cut this year, as long as Gaborik isn’t sidelined by injuries. The Pens will continue rely on the Russian Frankenstein, Evgeni Malkin and the Canada’s Golden Child (and my not-so secret crush) Sidney Crosby. The Devils will be the only surprise here. They’ll not only do well (they always do well) but this year they’ll take top honours with the help of Kovalchuk, Jason Arnott, Patrick Elias and Olympic Silver medallist Zach Parise. In not surprising news, Pierre Gauthier’s gamble on Price won’t payoff. Despite the best efforts of Gionta, Gomez and the gang, the Canadiens won’t come close to the playoffs this year.

Detroit Red Wings
Vancouver Canucks
Chicago Blackhawks
San Jose Sharks
Los Angeles Kings
St. Louis Blues
Phoenix Coyotes
Calgary Flames

Anaheim Ducks
Minnesota Wild
Colorado Avalanche
Nashville Predators
Columbus Blue Jackets
Edmonton Oilers
Dallas Stars
Shocked? I know a lot of people think the Bad News Bears story of the Phoenix Coyotes last year was a One Hit Wonder thing but I disagree. Maybe the limbo state of their club gives them a chance to focus more on hockey and less on hockey politics. Whatever the reason they work harder than most and it will pay off again. Vancouver’s acquisition of Malholtra will be a key in their success and I see Torres also making a big positive impact. The Flames are angry about last season and that’ll be enough to push them into playoff ranks. The Kings young, fresh line up will only be made stronger by vetran Willie Mitchell, if he stays healthy, and they have 2 solid goaltenders in Joanathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier.

Devils over Leafs – this will be easy.
Capitals over Rangers – not as easy but still not hard
Penguins over Bruins – quick and easy.
Panthers over Sabres – the upset.

Wings over Flames – but Calgary puts up a fight.
Canucks over Coyotes – I see this being easy.
Hawks over Blues – Halak won’t be able to do it all himself this year.
Kings over Sharks – the biggest surprise and longest fight of the round.

Devils over Panthers – not a hard series.
Penguins over Capitals – It’s a simple case of good over evil. Superman over Lex Luthor. Hot over Ugly. Crosby over Ovehckin.

Wings over Kings – It won’t be easy though.
Canucks over Hawks - FINALLY! With the C off Luongo’s back – and Dustin Byfuglien out of his playoff crease he’s bound to finally live up to his hype – and paycheck.

Devils over Penguins – I heart you Sid, but this isn’t going to be your year (again).

Canucks over Wings – 7 nailbiting games but Vancouver will prevail.

Canucks over Devils.

Canuck’s goalie bailed out Team Canada when the Devil’s goalie melted down. Brodeur is on his last legs. With the “C” off Luongo’s back, he’s bound to finally fully live up to his hype – and paycheck. And after 40 years of failure…. Vancouver will finally do it.

Please keep in mind that I’m a Canucks-Habs fan so for me to predict anyone else would be ridiculous. The Habs made moves so stupid even I can’t pretend they’ll succeed this year, but Vancouver – even with the GM from Hell, Mike Gillis – are making smarter moves. They’ve kept a core of solid performers together and added Torres, Malholtra and Schneider is ready to be a solid back-up goalie. If we don’t have it this year, it’ll be another 40 years.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Puck Bunny! Nice to see another funny, tongue-in-cheek, hockey commenter who is also a girl!
    I very rarely blog on hockey, since I live in Hong Kong now and can't go to games. But I just wrote one long NHL opener post that may amuse you.