Monday, April 09, 2007

Predictions of MY own... NHL 2007 Playoffs

No team in the NHL has ever played the three New York area teams in the Stanley Cup final. The Canucks are the only team to have ever played 2 of the 3 and if New Jersey does its part, I believe the Canucks in front of Luongo's backstopping are ready to do their's.

Martin Brodeur is playing some of his best hockey ever and faces a struggling opponent in Tampa Bay. Tampa made it in by the skin of their teeth, overcoming shaky goaltending along the way. If New Jersey takes out Tampa, they'll face the winner of the Ottawa-Pittsburgh series (assuming the NY Rangers beat Atlanta, which I am). With Ottawa's lack of finish and Pittsburgh's lack of playoff experience and depth at defence, I'd take New Jersey to win in 5 against Pittsburgh and 6 against Ottawa. That would setup the Eastern final in a match up with the Buffalo Sabres who would get by the Rangers while rolling 4 lines. New Jersey's Martin Brodeur against Ryan Miller, well let's just say I'll take Brodeur to hold off the Sabres attack.

In the West, Vancouver versus Dallas, I'll take Luongo and the Sedins in 6, with each team winning all their home games except the last game when Vancouver closes them out in OT no less. The second round would see the Canucks face the winner of the Nashville-San Jose series. I have to admit, I like a match up between the Canucks and either of these teams, but I'll take Nashville to meet in the 2nd round against the Canucks. The goaltending has been spotty on the Nashville side with Vokoun not providing the consistency they need. The Canucks D is solid in front of Luongo and I'll take Vancouver in a series of 1 goal games. Canucks in 7, with the difference being home ice (in fact it doesn't matter if it's Nashville or San Jose, I'd take the Nux in 7 at home as the Nashville-SJ series will be a barn burner and very tough to call). That leaves the Canucks to get by Detroit in the Western final. I like Detroit to beat Calgary and then Minnesota (yes, the Wild would have to beat the Ducks in order for the Canucks to play Nashville). Todd Bertuzzi and Detroit, versus the Canucks. What a match up. Hasek versus Luongo. Original Six versus an Expansion franchise. The Old versus the New. Canucks beat Detroit in game 6 at home to take the series. Bertuzzi is the best Detroit player on the ice, but the Sedins prevail and Luongo outduels Hasek.

There you have it, the Canucks make history as the only team to ever play all three NY area teams in the Stanley Cup final.

What's that you say, what about the final. No predicition there????

Well, it's going to be a goaltender duel, Luongo versus Brodeur. It'll come down to Game 7 in New Jersey.

Third time lucky, the Canucks lift the Stanley Cup, with the winning goal scored by Brendan Morrison, the former NJ Devil. No riots in Vancouver, though a pleasant time is had by all.

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