Tuesday, April 10, 2007

More Postseason Prognostications

I just got tired of the word predictions. Anyway, I've been doing a little reading up around the net and I'm not the only one making guesses on the outcomes in the first round of the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs. So I'm going to share them and we'll see how they stack up against mine.

SPORTSNATION at ESPN.com is holding a poll for viewers to pick their favorites. At the time of this post, over 80,000 votes have been cast. I'll just post the consensus here. Also, Al Strachan of FOXSports.com has selected the teams he thinks will win (wasn't brave enough to predict the number of games, though). And over at CBS Sportsline and NBC Sports, they've each gathered their hockey experts. So for that I'll show their consensuses. Then I'll add a reminder of my picks from earlier today along with an averaging of everything.

Buffalo vs. NY Islanders
SPORTSNATION 58% say Sabres in 5
FOX Sports Sabres
CBS Sportsline Sabres, 5-0
NBC Sports Sabres, 8-0
My Verdict Sabres in 5
Averaging Everything Sabres, overwhelmingly. Nobody seems to think the Isles have a chance. That's the makings of a great comeback story, right there. But yeah, it's not going to happen.

New Jersey vs. Tampa Bay
SPORTSNATION 42% say Devils in 6 (11% agree with me)
FOX Sports Devils
CBS Sportsline Lightning, 3-2
NBC Sports Devils, 6-2
My Verdict Lightning in 6
Averaging Everything Devils, slightly. Everyone's been saying this series will be about goaltending and I'm not sure they're wrong. It'll be Johan Holmqvist's first postseason but I think he can handle it. I hope he can handle it.

Atlanta vs. NY Rangers
SPORTSNATION 27% say Rangers in 6 (15% agree with me)
FOX Sports Rangers
CBS Sportsline Rangers, 4-1
NBC Sports Rangers, 8-0
My Verdict Thrashers in 7
Averaging Everything Rangers, by a lot. Nobody but me seems to think Atlanta has a chance against New York. But I think if the series goes all the way, the Thrashers will take it home.

Ottawa vs. Pittsburgh
SPORTSNATION 28% say Penguins in 6 (8% agree with me)
FOX Sports Senators
CBS Sportsline Penguins, 3-2
NBC Sports Penguins, 5-3
My Verdict Penguins in 5
Averaging Everything Penguins, by a lot. FOX Sports went with Ottawa, but history has a nasty bitch of a habit that is repeating itself. Especially when it comes to the Sens in the postseason. Pens over Sens, I say.

Detroit vs. Calgary
SPORTSNATION 30% say Red Wings in 5 (13% agree with me)
FOX Sports Flames
CBS Sportsline Red Wings, 4-1
NBC Sports Red Wings, 6-2
My Verdict Red Wings in 4
Averaging Everything Red Wings, by a lot. Seems to be a sure bet for Hockeytown. But even though I'm giving them the sweep, there was that 2003 series when Anaheim embarrassed them with a sweep of their own.

Anaheim vs. Minnesota
SPORTSNATION 31% say Ducks in 6 (10% agree with me)
FOX Sports Wild
CBS Sportsline Wild, 5-0
NBC Sports Ducks, 5-3
My Verdict Wild in 7
Averaging Everything Wild, slightly. A lot of people think the Ducks defense, led by Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer, will be unpenetrable. But I don't know.

Vancouver vs. Dallas
SPORTSNATION 29% say Canucks in 6
FOX Sports Canucks
CBS Sportsline Canucks, 3-2
NBC Sports Canucks, 6-2
My Verdict Canucks in 6
Averaging Everything Canucks, overwhelmingly. It seems that like the Islanders, the experts make no room for the possibility of the Stars moving on. But if the playoffs are all about goaltending, this could be a tricky one.

Nashville vs. San Jose
SPORTSNATION 24% say Sharks in 6 (16% agree with me)
FOX Sports Sharks
CBS Sportsline Sharks, 3-2
NBC Sports Sharks, 7-1
My Verdict Predators in 6
Averaging Everything Sharks, by a lot. Here again, I've been very much outnumbered. Call me crazy, but I think the Predators have a real shot. The superstars they added (namely Forsberg and Kariya) have playoff experience. Some even have Cups of their own. San Jose is the Ottawa of the West. Great until April and then they let the air out.

So, there you have it. Even more predictions than you could ever possibly want. The CBS experts were Wes Goldstein, Erin Brown, Greg Cimilluca, Dan Dobish and Mike Cercel. See their picks here. The NBC experts are Bill Clement, Ray Ferraro, David Pagnotta, The Bellowing Moose, Brian Schiazza, Martin Thorstensson, Pamela Barone and Eric McErlain. They're picks are here.

Dude, I just totally realized all three New York teams made the playoffs this year. Geez, when is the last time that happened? If anyone knows, please comment!

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