By Gillon Gross

Blackhawks (1) Vs. Wild (8)

The Blackhawks sure did a lot of winning this year. They will be taking home the Presidents Trophy, as they prepare for a promising playoff run. They will face the struggling Wild. A team that has squeaked their way into the playoffs by one point in the west. In doing so, going just 4-5-1 in the final ten games of the season. On Friday night, the team had 60 minutes to beat the Edmonton Oilers at the Xcel Energy Center  to clinch the playoffs. They lost 6-1. If you can’t beat the 12th place Oilers, in your own building, to clinch the playoffs, you have to wonder if you belong in the playoffs. Last year the eighth seeded Kings beat the Presidents Trophy winning Canucks in the first round as they went on to win the Stanley Cup. I don’t see that happening this time. Blackhawks will sweep the Wild.

 

 

Ducks (2) Vs. Red Wings (7)

I have to say I am very impressed with the Red Wings. They came into the last week of the season knowing they had to win every game to extend their 21 season playoff streak. They swept the week, winning four games in seven days, and extending the playoff streak to 22. The Ducks have cooled down, but they have proven that they are not a fluke. Their two seed is well deserved. Their playoff goaltender, Jonas Hiller, is reliable and underrated. They have physical defensemen, a scoring first line, and effective grinding forwards. Perfect to beat the small, but skilled Red Wings team. The Ducks will dominate puck possession by cycling down low, until the Wings defense breaks down. Their forwards will get to the dirty areas. Their defense is big and strong. Their top line will score, and their goaltender will be consistent. Of course, no team wants to run into Pavel datsyuk and the dazzling Datroit Red Wings, who do possess a hot goaltender (Jimmy Howard) which can make the difference in any given series. Home ice decides it in this one. Anahiem in Seven games.

 

Canucks (3) Vs. Sharks (6)

This is a tough one to call. Every team stat between these two teams are similar. The sharks have been quietly solid all year. They suffered just two losses at home in the entire season. We know what we will get out of the Sharks. Their key is their stay at home defensemen who are good at what they do. Antti Niemi is a candidate for comeback player of the year as he tied for the most wins in the league. The question is, will the sharks get enough offense out of their aging stars like Patrick Marleau, and Joe Thorton? The Canucks have a clear advantage when it comes to forwards. Both Sedin’s are healthy! Music to a Canucks fan’s ear. On the other hand, their goaltender in not healthy. Roberto Luongo will be starting in net for the Canucks. Vancouver is a pressure cooker like no other. If luongo can handle the heat, the Canucks should be fine. The Canucks are far more talented than the Sharks. Combined with home ice advantage, the Sharks are relying on the Canucks to beat their selves. Game 1 is key. Canucks in five.

 

Blues (4) Vs. Kings (5)

This one should be a low scoring affair. The Blues have an unbelievable defensive core. In front of a hot Brian Elliot, you might as well build a brick wall in front of the Blues net. The Kings have a brick wall of their own. Jonathan Quick will give his team a chance to win every night. On the other side, the Blues offensive game has been abysmal. Their forwards have even looked apathetic at times. The Kings have much more firepower. These two teams were only two points apart in the regular season. I imagine the series will be just like that; neck and neck. This is the kind of series that comes down to bouncing pucks. For now, I’ll go with home ice. Blues in seven.

 

    

Filed under: Mohl Gross, NHL


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