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2011 NHL Playoff Predictions – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

2011 NHL Playoff Predictions

We thought we would post some of our emails that are going back and forth here at PenguinPoop about how we think the playoffs will go down.  We are doing this informally, so some of us are only talking about the first round Eastern Conference, while some of us talk about both conferences and who will win the cup.   Enjoy.

If you are interested in our in depth Pittsburgh Penguins vs Tampa Bay Lightning analysis & predictions, you can read them here:  Pittsburgh Penguins vs Tampa Bay Lightning Playoff Predictions  Southside Shultzie: CAPS-RANGERS: Look for the cinderella story Rangers to parallel what the Flyers did last year!  I’m thinking the Rangers will easily rattle Slow-vechkin et all and win this series in 5.  Too bad for the Pens because historically playing Washington equalled a trip to the next round! FLYERS-SABRES:  This will prove to be an ugly battle of ineptitude. I’m thinking the series will go 7 with each game being a showcase for amazingly bad hockey on all fronts. Flyers in 7 (Bet heavily on the OVER every game!) BRUINS-CANADIENS: I’d like another crack at those arrogant bastards in Montreal but unfortunately the Bruins and their goal tending will keep the Canadiens off the board and on the golf course! Boston in 4! CANUCKS-HAWKS:  I don’t care if the Chi-town Blackhawks barely made the playoffs.  There are still a few guys around that remember winning that cup and I dont think they are going to surrender another chance as quickly as everyone says they will!  As the underdog all you have to do is play 1 hockey game and that is tonight’s game.  If they win they will find the confidence and possibly win the next game and maybe the series.  They will need  luck, hustle, and the hockey Gods to have bet heavily on the longshot!  I’m calling the upset!  Chicago wins it in 6! SHARKS-KINGS:  I just flipped a coin and it landed in the urinal.  I think its  leaning toward heads so I’m going swimming with the Sharks. (not for my nickel though, I dont have a free hand).  The Kings are going to need a bigger boat and a bigger goaltender (like 4’x6’) to stop the shark attack.  Sharks in 5. WINGS-COYOTES:  I love wings!  Im eating them right now at Excuses in the Southside, and they are GOOD!!  Not like the old, tired, and dull wings from Detroit!  I gotta buck the system here and go with the ‘yotes!  (and another dozen of Excuses’s wings!).  Coyotes in 7. DUCKS-PREDATORS:   Sounds like 2 bad movies to me!  How did these towns get a hockey team before Winnepeg or Cleveland?  I would pic the Ducks if they put the frozen head of Walt Disney face up at center ice.  That wont happen so I’m going to order a beer and some more wings and think about this one.  Predators in 7.  Horse: As I take a look at the Eastern Conference, instead of predicting what I think will happen, I am going to examine what I think would be best for the Penguins.  It begins by figuring out a way for the Penguins to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.  The winners in Round 1 must be Boston, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and New York.  That would put the Penguins against the Sabers in Round 2.  This is important because Buffalo is the only Eastern Conference playoff team that the Penguins have a good record against this season.  Can this happen?  There is no doubt that the Capitals are the favorites.  The Rangers have as good a chance as anyone to beat them.  One big reason is goaltending.  Two smaller reasons — the Caps choke in the playoffs and Bruce Boudreau.  Buffalo can beat the Flyers.  They are playing as well as anyone of late.  The Flyers have been inconsistent for the past month.  The goaltending edge will go to the Sabers in this series if Ryan Miller is healthy.  Boston is better than Montreal – period.  Tim Thomas has had an incredible season and should lead a strong Bruins team to victory.  I am not prepared to look any farther into the playoffs, but I do hope anyone other than Vancouver wins the West so the Penguins would have home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Finals.  Coach Bombay: Here’s my disclaimer to all of you reading this:  I suck at predictions and I’m extremely indecisive, so take these for what their worth because they’ll probably change between the time I’m writing this and the time you’re reading it. First, how I see the rounds playing out: First round:  Vancouver over Chicago, San Jose over Los Angeles, Detroit over Phoenix, Nashville over Anaheim, Boston over Montreal, Rangers over Washington, Philadelphia over Buffalo, Pittsburgh over Tampa Bay Conference Semi-Finals:  Vancouver over Nashville, San Jose over Detroit, Philadelphi over Rangers, Boston over Pittsburgh Conference Finals: San Jose over Vancover, Boston over Philadelphia Stanley Cup:  San Jose over Boston I know that San Jose has tended to falter in the playoffs in past years, but I think that this is their year to finally get over that.  After losing to Detroit in the Conference Finals last year, they’re hungrier than ever.  The Sharks are loaded with offensive talent.  Everyone seems to think the playoffs come down to Thornton for them, but remember that they’ve also also got Marleau, Heatley, Pavleski, Clowe, etc., not to mention rookie Logan Couture who had one heck of a season.  One of the most important components for San Jose though is the additon of Antti Niemi in goal.  Niemi has returned to his Stanley Cup champion form and is up for the challenge again.  While the Sharks may not have as good of a defensive corps as Boston, your best defenseman is always your goalie and Niemi can backstop them to the win. Boston also has benefitted from lights out goaltending this year from veteran Tim Thomas as he led the regular season in GAA and SV%.  Thomas also has the extra bonus of a very strong group of defensemen playing in front of him.  I’m not sure though how they will handle so much offensive power over a series if San Jose keeps the pressure high.  On the flip side, Boston lacks the offensive fire that the Sharks have and sometimes has trouble putting up big numbers.  While the playoffs tend to be low-scoring games, this doesn’t mean that benefits the Bruins…it means that they’re going to have to fight even harder for the few goals that they will need. Really, a series between San Jose and Boston could almost be a coin flip and I think it would go the distance.  It would certainly be fun to watch.  The playoffs really are like a second season with an entirely separate style of play.  There are a lot of variables and teams to not count out along the way, especially when you’re talking about four rounds of seven game series over the course of two months.  But, that’s what makes the NHL playoffs the best time of the year!  LET’S GO PENS!  Disco Stu:  First round predictions with games played: Washington over NY in 7 Buffalo over Philadelphia in 6 Boston over Montreal in 6 Vancouver over Chicago in 5 San Jose over LA   in 5 Detroit over Phoenix in 6 Anaheim over Nashville in 6 Second round Washington over Buffalo Boston over Tampa Bay Vancouver over Anaheim San Jose over Detroit Conference Finals Boston over Washington Vancouver over San Jose Stanley Cup Champion  ——– Boston Bruins(Which means they will now most likely go out in the first round to Montreal)  Art Vandelay: 

Chi Vs Van-Vancouver in 6 Phx Vs. Det- Detroit in 5 LA Vs San Jose-San Jose in 6 (Would of picked LA with a healthy Kopitar) Nashville Vs Ducks-Nashville in 6 (Mrs. Underwood’s husband makes difference) NYR Vs Washington- Caps in 6 Mtl Vs Boston- Boston in 6 (Chara is heavily guarded on and off the ice) Buffalo Vs. Philly- Philly in 6  :(  Phil Krundle:   I guess Like Coach Bombay above, I’m going to have a disclaimer here also.   If Crosby returns at any point during the playoffs please discount any and all things I say from this point on (not that you wern’t doing that already) Boston vs. Montreal > This will probably be one of, if not the best opening round series.   It will be reminiscent of a Pens vs Philly match up.  Boston in 7 Washington vs.  Rangers > Washington in 7.  Hard fought, high scoring affair. Philly vs Buffalo > Philly in 4.  Buffalo won’t know what hit them. Ducks vs Preds > Ducks in 5, Nashville just doesn’t have a good squad. LA vs San Jose >  The Kings will win this in seven.  It would be faster if they were healthy. Vancouver vs Chicago >  This will be a bigger battle than you would think for a one vs eight match up.  Vancouver in 7 Detroit vs. Phoenix > Detroit in 5.  Detroit has been there done that and will do it again. Stanley Cup?  No Crosby no Cup.  Sorry, this is a great Penguin squad, but without Crosby, it is most likely beyond their means.  To add insult to injury, I’m going to take Philadelphia to win the cup over the Kings.  Only because I know if I pick Philly to make it to the cup, there is no way they will.
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1 Comment

  1. April 14, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Oh yeah, I also meant to add the same disclaimer as Krundle…if Crosby comes back, a lot of things change in the East. Though, he didn’t seem to do too bad of a job as the 3rd assistant coach from Shero’s box last night. I wonder if one of his messages to the bench was something along the lines of “Yeah, the power play sucks from up here too.”


            

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