Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My 2007 Stanley Cup Predictions, Round 2

Generally speaking, it was a swing and a miss for my Round 1 predictions. So I aim to be better this time. But only time will be the judge of that. However, I think I have a better understanding of each team now, having seen them each win a playoff series this year. I'm going into it with a little more knowledge. But that can be dangerous.

Also, I'm doing away with the season series line as it obviously has no basis come playoff time.

Without further ado, let's get to it!

Conference Semifinals

Sabres vs Rangers
Sizing It Up: Once again, the Sabres get to save huge on travel costs facing another cross-state opponent. It makes me wonder. Do they bother with a plane or just hop a bus for road games? As I said, the regular season does not matter since the Sabres won this one 4-0. The last game these two teams played in together took place in December. Both teams are almost entirely different. That being said, I think Buffalo still has the edge. The Rangers may have impressed everyone, being the only team to sweep a quarterfinal, but Atlanta didn't really put up a fight when compared with the likes of Minnesota, Pittsburgh and especially Dallas. New York better be prepared to play real hockey or this could be another short series — this time not in their favor.
The Invisible Crystal Ball Says: Sabres in 6

Devils vs Senators
Sizing It Up: I think this will be one of the most evenly matched series of the playoffs, second only to Vancouver/Dallas. I'll be surprised if it doesn't go to seven games. Ray Emery has been phenomenal in goal against the likes of Sidney Crosby and co. while Martin Brodeur seemed shaky at times in the Tampa Bay series. On the other hand, Zach Parise and Brian Gionta lit it up time and time again. We can't discount the Senators' scorers, however, which is why I'm giving them the edge in the series, but only by a smidge.
The Invisible Crystal Ball Says: Senators in 7

Red Wings vs Sharks
Sizing It Up: Dominik Hasek has been almost unbeatable as the Detroit backstop. But I have to wonder how long he can go for. I'm not so much worried about the Sharks' netminding as I think their scorers may be able to find their way past Hasek. On the other hand, as in most playoff series, I'm afraid this one might come down to goaltending as well, despite the offensive abilities on both sides. It might be a tight series but I'm going with San Jose.
The Invisible Crystal Ball Says: Sharks in 6

Ducks vs Canucks
Sizing It Up: It's the Ducks and 'Nucks. (Remember Sens and Pens?) I really wish the Stars had won Game 7. I was looking forward to a Dallas/Detroit series. But this one looks pretty good too. These two teams have never met in the postseason before, so it'll be interesting. Luongo vs. Giguere/Bryzgalov. Who's better? I just don't know. Even if Vancouver were to jump out to an early series lead, they'd almost certainly blow it, as is habit for them. Still, I don't think it'll get that far. And I'm seeing Anaheim in the finals.
The Invisible Crystal Ball Says: Ducks in 6

Here are my predictions for the remainder of the playoffs, as it stands now.

Conference Finals
Sabres vs Senators : Sabres in 7
Ducks vs Sharks : Ducks in 6

Stanley Cup Finals
Sabres vs Ducks : Ducks in 7

You'll notice I used an invisible crystal ball to come up with my predictions. This way, when I'm wrong I can say it's not my fault as I couldn't see it anyway. I'm okay with that.

Any thoughts? Want to call me an idiot? Feel free to comment.

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