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Playoff Predictions: Round 1

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I refuse to read much into each team's record against their playoff opponent in the regular season. The playoffs are a new scenario altogether. The opinions below are just my opinions, and I'll be keeping track of my progress and comparing my predictions to the TSN guys for example....and Maggie the Monkey.

Western Conference

Detroit(1) vs Calgary(8)
The Oilers beat the Red Wings in the first round last year, and I think that the Flames will do the same this year. I think Calgary has a built-for-the-playoffs type team with plenty of heart. The Wings may still lack that post season character, especially with the losses of Yzerman and Shanahan last summer. Datsyuk has never performed well in the post season. No, Bertuzzi and Hasek can't save them.
Flames in 5

Anaheim(2) vs Minnesota(7)
The Wild may have been red hot in March and early April, but out of those 18 games, 10 of the opponents were non-playoff teams. Out of the 13 wins they had, 10 of them were against non-playoff teams. That being said, it wouldn't suprise me if the Wild pull off an upset here regardless. I just can't get around the Niedermayer/Pronger thing so....
Ducks in 7.

Canucks(3) vs Stars(6)
Every game these 2 teams played this season ended in 2-1 scores.
Expect the same in this series, except the Nucks have the better goaltender.
Canucks in 6.

Nashville(4) vs San Jose(5)
I just can't bet against the Sharks, even though the Preds have a great team on paper. This one could go either way, but I say:
Sharks in 6, Forsberg signing doesn't pay off.

Eastern Conference

Buffalo(1) vs Islanders(8)
The Sabres are just too good. Nice job by the Islanders to get into the playoffs, but...
Sabres in 4

New Jersey(2) vs Tampa Bay(7)
2 words: Martin Brodeur. No, not Marc Denis. The Lightning's goalie woes continue.
Devils in 5.

Atlanta(3) vs Rangers(6)
The Rangers have more grit than last season, and Lundqvist is playing great right now. The Thrashers play in a lousy division and recieve a reality check.
Rangers in 4.

Senators(4) vs Penguins(5)
To me, this is the hardest series to predict. Is Roberts going to lead a Pens' surge? He's done it before, and killed the Sens in the process. But I say the Pens are still about a year away from post season success, and will use this series as a learning curve. The Sens are (and really should be) the more desperate team.
Sens in 7.
And just to prove that I don't know what I'm talking about, I am going to pull names and numbers out of a hat to determine series winners and the length of the series to see how luck stacks up:

Western Conference

Detroit vs Calgary: Flames in 6
Anaheim vs Minnesota: Ducks in 6
Vancouver vs Dallas: Stars in 5
Nashville vs San Jose: Sharks in 6

Eastern Conference

Sabres vs Islanders: Sabres in 5
New Jersey vs Tampa Bay: Devils in 6
Atlanta vs Rangers: Thrashers in 5
Ottawa vs Pittsburgh: Penguins in 6.

Yes, there were 4's and 7's in the hat. My wife couldn't pick those numbers somehow.

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