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CANUCKS HOCKEY BLOG

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Me vs. Maggie

Maggie The Monkey has made her picks. It's time to make mine.

Western Conference Round 1:

(1) Detroit Red Wings vs. (8) Edmonton Oilers

Detroit in 5. (Maggie picks Detroit.) If there's ever a time for Peca and Pronger to prove they're worth their dollars, and for Roloson to prove he was worth a first-round pick, this is it. Unfortunately, Yzerman, Shanahan, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Lidstrom, Schneider and Legace (second in the NHL with 7 SO) may just be too much for the Oil. (Footnote: I'm picking - and cheering - for the Wings to win the Cup.)

(2) Dallas Stars vs. (7) Colorado Avalanche

Dallas in 6. (Maggie picks Colorado.) In the past three regular seasons, Marty Turco has recorded 41, 37 and 31 wins. His playoffs, however, have been a different story with only seven wins in 17 games. (Canucks fans should be well aware of this syndrome.) Good thing for the Stars, Jose Theodore isn't exactly having a stellar season; he only has one win in five games with the Avs.

(3) Calgary Flames vs. (6) Anaheim Mighty Ducks

My heart says Anaheim in 7; my mind says Calgary in 6. (Maggie picks Calgary.) Thanks to their one playoff run in 2004, the Flames have a bit more experience than the young Ducks. And, you never bet against Kipper's goaltending and Iggy's will. Still, if the Ducks can force their speed game on the Flames and Giggy stops the puck at the most critical times, anything is possible. Besides, wouldn't you love to see Brian Burke get his revenge on the Flames?

(4) Nashville Predators vs. (5) San Jose Sharks

San Jose in 6. (Maggie picks San Jose.) The Preds have done okay despite not having Tomas Vokoun, Steve Sullivan and Marek Zidlicky for the last part of the season. They ended the season on a six-game winning streak, but facing the red-hot Sharks in the playoffs - San Jose only had six regulation losses since the Olympic break - without your second-leading scorer, top defenseman and starting goaltender is a different story all together.

Eastern Conference Round 1:

(1) Ottawa Senators vs. (8) Tampa Bay Lightning

Ottawa in 5. (Maggie picks Tampa Bay.) The only thing that will stop the Senators from advancing is if Ray Emery (2-4-1 in seven April starts) can't stop the puck.

(2) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (7) Montreal Canadiens

Carolina in 6. (Maggie picks Carolina.) For most of the regular season, I never really got the impression that the 'Canes were for real. After Eric Staal's (100 points) and Martin Gerber's (38 wins) breakthrough seasons, Rod Brind'amour's resurgence, and the 'Canes second division title in four seasons, I have no choice but to pick them.

(3) New Jersey Devils vs. (6) New York Rangers

Devils in 7. (Maggie picks NYR.) The Devils finished the regular season with 11 wins in a row; the Rangers lost their last five games and six out of their last nine. The Devils are peaking at the right time, especially Martin Brodeur, who beat Mikka Kiprusoff for the league lead in wins (43 - also tying his career high), Brian Gionta, who currently has an active 15-game point streak (12G-13A-25P, +11), and Scott Gomez, who has 25 points (9G-16A) in his last 14 games.

(4) Buffalo Sabres vs. (5) Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers in 7. (Maggie picks Buffalo.) The Flyers arguably have one of the most well-balanced team in the league. From their defense out. In late March, Robert Esche conceded his starting job to Antero Nittymaki; yesterday, Philly named him as their starter for game 1. Ryan Miller (30 wins, including five in his last seven starts) will keep the Sabres close, but I still like Forsberg/Gagne over Drury/Briere.

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Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 10:56 PM

1 Comments:

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