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2010 NHL playoffs: Eastern Conference first round predictions

Apr 14, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

This is what everyone loves to do as we gear up for the first of four
rounds of playoff hockey: throw a dart at the wall and hope we can come
close to predicting the outcomes of each series.

So we are, Pro Hockey Talk’s predictions for 2010 NHL Conference
Quarterfinals:

(1) Washington Capitals vs. (8) Montreal
Canadiens (
full
preview here
)

Season series (Tied 2-2)
Nov. 20:
Montreal 3 @ Washington 2
Nov. 28: Washington 4 @ Montreal 3
(SO)
Jan. 5: Montreal 2 @ Washington 4
Feb. 10:
Washington 5 @ Montreal 6 (OT)

Brandon: You have to feel bad for the
Canadiens, who have a decent shot of scaring the Capitals. But
Washington is too hungry and too talented. Washington in 5.

James: I have to admit that I’m surprised so many
people are picking the Habs. Is this just for attention? Did someone not
get hugged enough growing up? Washington in 5.

Joe: This will be Washington’s test, at team that has great goaltending, a semi-adherence to defensive hockey and some scoring touch. Caps will still win but it’ll be annoying for them. Washington in 6.

(2) New Jersey Devils vs. (7) Philadelphia
Flyers (
full
preview here
)

Season series (Philadelphia won 5-1)
Oct.
3:
Philadelphia 5 @ New Jersey 2
Nov. 16: New Jersey 2 @
Philadelphia 3
Dec. 12: Philadelphia 1 @ New Jersey 4
Feb.
8:
New Jersey 2 @ Philadelphia 3
Feb. 10: Philadelphia 3
@ New Jersey 2 (OT)
March 28: New Jersey 1 @ Philadelphia 5

Brandon: If the Flyers had any sort of
reliable goaltending, I’d be seriously tempted to go with the fellas
from Broad St. Yet Boucher has been too inconsistent; is Michael
Leighton better? New Jersey in 6.

James: The Devils haven’t been a great
playoff team since the lockout, but thankfully the Flyers are an
absolute mess. That being said, don’t discount the Flyers’ overall
talent in this one. New Jersey in 6.

Joe: I don’t trust Brian Boucher in the playoffs, but I do think he can steal a couple of games. New Jersey in 6.

More after the jump.

(3) Buffalo Sabres vs (6) Boston Bruins (full
preview here
)

Season series (Boston won 4-2)
Nov. 7:
Buffalo 2 @ Boston 4
Nov. 20: Boston 2 @ Buffalo 1
Jan.
29:
Boston 1 @ Buffalo 2
Feb. 9: Boston 3 @ Buffalo 2
March
29:
Buffalo 3 @ Boston 2
April 8: Buffalo 1 @ Boston 3

Brandon: Of all the teams for the Sabres
to get, it had to be Boston. The Bruins match up perfectly with Buffalo,
in what will be an extremely low scoring series. Buffalo in 7.

James: Nothing makes more sense to me than
the Bruins ending their season at home; they barely went over .500 in
Beantown (18-17-6). People assume that the Sabres lack firepower because
they don’t have a big name star, but they have too much offensive depth
for Boston. Buffalo in 6.

Joe: This
will be a slow, bleeding death for the Sabres against a dreadfully
boring team that can get by with one or two goals a game. Unless
Olympics Ryan Miller shows up, the Sabres are going to struggle. Boston
in 7.

(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (5) Ottawa Senators (full
preview here
)

Season series (Tied 2-2)
Oct. 12:
Pittsburgh 4 @ Ottawa 1
Nov. 19: Pittsburgh 2 @ Ottawa 6
Dec.
23:
Ottawa 2 @ Pittsburgh 8
Jan. 28: Ottawa 4 @
Pittsburgh 1

Brandon: Upset special! The Penguins were
too inconsistent at the end of the season, while the Senators finally
pulled it together in front of Brian Elliott. The Senators get first
round revenge for 2008, against a tired and pressured Penguins team. Ottawa
in 7.

James: If I were to pick an upset in the
East, it would be this. The Senators are frisky and the Penguins are
tired. That being said, Evgeni Malkin hasn’t been right all year
(dropping
from 113 points to 77 points), so if he gets things together the
Penguins are dangerous. Again. Pittsburgh in 6.


Joe: Everyone
that wants to pick a sweep never does and says it’ll end in five games.
Screw that noise. Pens in four over a brutally over matched Sens team. Pittsburgh
in 4.

  1. Lilja - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    Pens were 10-6-3 since olympics. Sens 8-9-2. how’s that for consistency?

  2. Donny - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    Pens were 5-4-1 in the last 10. Sens were 7-2-1. That’s more consistent

  3. SteveR - Apr 14, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    The quicker the Sabres are eliminated, the sooner we no longer have to see the Buffaslug.

  4. Geester - Apr 14, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    Although the Penguins will dispatch the Senators with relative ease, I am hoping that this series will go the distance (6 or 7 games) so they can at least wear the Penguins down for the second round.
    C-A-P-S CAPS! CAPS! CAPS!

  5. KELLMAN - Apr 16, 2010 at 7:06 PM

    ah ah ah..this dheads fr boston they always think they own buffalo,they might own the refs in the nfl but buffalo,has everything and i mean everything better than boston including the snow,i hate bostonteaheads!! they cant stand it when we beat te heck out of them in hockey as well as football go cry with you crybaby quarterback, the brady bunch of aholes,go seek help dude! you know that i hate you when i think that the only way i go to BOSTON is if ever i go BACK TO a bills game in buffalo again and i see a new england patriots fan screaming obsenities to bills fan and i decide to make such ahole eat his mouth!!and then dECIDE to risk my life and do the same to you guiys in youR home field and they might make a comercial “not in our house” ahh.. yes in your house!!!!!STEViE beenie!!

  6. kellman - Apr 16, 2010 at 7:14 PM

    oh by the way the closest i ever being to boston was one time that i went ot a seminar near boston in a tittybar town by the name of worsceter mass,and i i saw was exactly that”nothing but tities baby! not an effing thing else not even a building taller than a titie bar ,go suck a duck steve!!

  7. kellman - Apr 16, 2010 at 7:18 PM

    by the way steve the closet i’ve been to boston is a boobybar town by the name if worsceter mass and that is excatly what i saw nothing else but boobies!not even a building only boobybars!!

  8. kellman - Apr 16, 2010 at 7:53 PM

    this is the playoff year of the upsets,,all the “best teams” except my sabres are going down baby!! i use to be the number 1 miller skeptic last year because he let in one to many softies,but this year is miller time !! i believe that the sabres are going to win the stanley cup and they have to remake another version of bruce almighty! yea baby!and also all of you slabering all over crosby fans,he might choke and i really hope he does!.so far they have been made a fool of by ottawa,that is the team to beat im afraid of that freaking alfredsson he is the real miller killer.

  9. daveh - Apr 17, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    hey joe bruins will be out in 5 there the ones gonna die a slow death you rump

  10. daveh - Apr 17, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    sabres baby sabres

  11. grimjack - Apr 22, 2010 at 7:47 AM

    When you said bruins will be out of there in 5, did you mean cause they would have knocked off the Sabres and were resting for round two? I’m also bettin the house that the Devils aren’t winning in 6.

  12. HBHOCKEY - Apr 28, 2010 at 11:05 PM

    hahaha terrrrrrible predictions…. what? did you not get hugged enough as a kid??

  13. Anonymous - Apr 29, 2010 at 3:25 AM

    haha so true…. i think I only counted 2 series to have 1 right or even close to right predictions… these guys dont know what theyre talking about

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