2013 NHL Round 1 Predictions

The playoffs start today…actually they start in less than 10 minutes so I better get these predictions in quick. Looks like Nick Backstrom already hurt himself in warm-up.

Western Conference

(1) Chicago vs (8) Minnesota

Prediction: Hawks in 5

This should be pure destruction. The $100 million dollar men in Ryan Suter and Zach Parise can’t win this on their own. The Hawks are far superior in every facet of the game. Good night

(2) Anaheim vs (7) Detroit

Prediction: Wings in 7

Yes, the Wings are not the same dynamo they’ve been in recent years, but they are still dangerous. Jimmy Howard is far superior than either of the 2 Anaheim backstops and can win this series all on his own. Factor that in alongside the Boudreau playoff curse and we’ve got ourselves an upset.

(3) Vancouver vs (6) San Jose

Prediction: Canucks in 7

The Canucks are lucky they have home ice advantage in this series. If it was reverse I’d be inclined to take the Sharks. The Canucks have been playing better of late and a lot of that can be attributed to the return of Ryan Kesler and the addition of Derek Roy. How serious is this Schneider mystery injury? I say he’s in there for game 1. In true Canucks fashion they give half the city a heart attack and win by 1 goal in game 7.

(4) St. Louis vs (5) Los Angeles

Prediction: Kings in 7

The Blues are the sexy pick, but I still like the defending champs’ chances in this one. These teams are very similar; however, I trust Jonathan Quick to pull through in the clutch more so than I do Mr. Elliott. Expect to see a ridiculous amount of 1 goal games and possibly a few shutouts as well. Whoever comes out of this series will be beat up bad.

Eastern Conference

(1) Pittsburgh vs (8) New York Islanders 

Prediction: Penguins in 6

Expect to see the opposite of the Blues and Kings series. These two teams can light the lamp. The Pens are just too much for the up and coming Islanders, but I do expect to see the Islanders win a couple of these high scoring shootouts. Sidney Crosby comes back game 1…you know he will.

(2) Montreal vs (7) Ottawa

Prediction: Sens in 7

After the Sens lost Jason Spezza and then Erik Karlsson I thought they were done. However, Paul MacLean worked some magic and kept his boys believing. Now that Karlsson has made a miracle comeback, this team is high as a kite. The Habs had an amazing year; however, they ended the year not so hot. Carey Price better find his A game soon or it could be an early exit for the Habs. I think the Sens keep riding the MacLean magic into an upset.

(3) Washington vs (6) New York Rangers

Prediction: Rangers in 7

It seems like these teams always end up playing each other in the playoffs. This is an amazing match up. Alex Ovechkin comes into this series as the hottest player on the planet. Can the Rangers contain the Rocket Richard Trophy winner? I think they can. They have an all-world goalie in Lundqvist and a solid d-corps. The blue shirts can also light the lamp and have been clicking on all cylinders since the wheeling and dealing of deadline day. They also better win because I picked up a bunch of them in my work playoff pool.

(4) Boston vs (5) Toronto

Prediction: Bruins in 5

Congratulations to the Leafs for making it back to the playoffs. Unfortunately for them they have to play a team that owns them. This will be a good learning experience for the Leafs, but in the end the Bruins are just too deep, too big, too skilled and too good in net. Maybe if the Leafs traded for Luongo they’d have a…nah, they’d still lose.