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Playoff Picks

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OK I'll slip on my fortuneteller hat and look into the playoff future.
Note: (winning percentage against other playoffs teams during the regular seasons.)

Eastern First Round

Montreal (.537) v. Boston (.463) Montreal easily dominated the season serious. I think the Habs will make a long run. To me Montreal and the Rangers have the strongest all around clubs in the Eastern Conference once you consider talent and experience combined. Pick: Montreal

Pittsburgh (.478) v. Ottawa (.476) I'm sorely tempted to pick Ottawa. Both clubs had weak winning percentage against other playoff teams. Ottawa has a ton of talent and the Canadian press--which was ready to award them the Cup after a hot October--have ripped them apart with a relish usually saved for the Leafs. If Ottawa wins the first game the young Penguins squad could panic under the weight of expectations. However, it looks like Alfredsson and Fischer will both miss games and that tips the balance back to the Pittsburgh. Pick: Pittsburgh

Washington (.561) v. Philadelphia (.446). The Flyers sort of stumbled into the playoffs and Capitals are red hot. The Flyers must win the 1st game to have any shot in my opinion, the confidence of the Capitals is sky high and they will keep rolling if they can nail down that first playoff win in several years. Pick: Washington

NJ Devils (.500) v. NY Rangers (.543). The Devils have home ice, but the Rangers dominated the season series winning 7 of 8 and have the better record against playoff qualifiers. Jagr sort of mailed it in most of the season but perked up during the last quarter of the season and if he gets going they are a more potent team. Pick: Rangers

Western First Round
Detroit (.694) v. Nashville (.389). Easily the biggest mismatch on paper. If the Wings stay healthy they win the whole thing. Pick: Detroit.

San Jose (.500) v Calgary (.476). There are people who say the Flames are constructed more for the post-season, I agree with that. The Sharks just torched weak teams during the regular season and the joy ride ends in the first round against a tough opponent. Pick: Calgary.

Minnesota (.439) v. Colorado (.427). I don't like either club that much and the Avalanche had a poor record against good teams. On the other hand, Colorado somehow managed to muddle through injuries that would have caused many other clubs to crater. Colorado is experienced--or old--depending on how you look at it. This one is tough for me to call. I'm giving the edge to Colorado for their gutty regular season. Pick: Colorado

Anaheim (.558) v. Dallas (.535). Looks pretty even on based on the regular season but when you add in Selanne, Nidermayer to Anaheim and subtract banged up Zubov it tips strongly toward the Ducks. Pick: Anaheim

Stanley Cup Finals Matchup:
Red Wings v Montreal. Pick Wings.