Well, alas this will be my first playoff predictions that don't feature Ottawa in it but I think every fan loves to predict even without their favorite team in the playoffs. Here are my predictions, analysis, and Series MVP. Note I predicted Pittsburgh to face Dallas in the SC finals. Dallas didn't make the Playoffs. There goes half of it.
(1) Boston Bruins vs. (8) Montreal Canadiens
What a difference a year makes, eh? Last year, the Habs were riding off one of the best years in their franchise history and facing a lowly Bruins team who had barely made it in the playoffs. This year, the Bruins face a Habs team who have done major horrible this season and if it weren't for Matt D'Agostini's impeccable season-saving goal against the Bruins in the last week of play, the Habs would be in the outside looking in. The Bruins will blow past the injured Habs' defense so fast that Hab fans won't have time to blow up Montreal.
Bruins in 5 Games
Series MVP: Zdeno Chara(sniff, sniff)
(2) Washington Capitals vs. (7) New York Rangers
The Capitals have been on fire as of late and maybe on fire since their 2-6 start to the season. Alex Ovechkin is poised yet again to win another Hart Trophy. Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom have improvedm uch as the Caps' secondary scorers. Mike Green is on pace for a Norris Trophy season and Jose Theodore has been just fine in goal this year. The Rangers have been better since Torts took them over, however, they still have questions on offense and I still doubt they can handle the massive ego of Sean Avery. The caps bust 'em open like a pretzel in a barbecue.
Capitals in 4 Games
Series MVP: Nicklas Backstrom
(3) New Jersey Devils vs. (6) Carolina Hurricanes
The Hurricanes have been the NHL's hottest team since the Trade Deadline. By acquiring Erik Cole, the Canes' have spiked up their offense and are also getting help from their defense. joe Corvo has great playoff experience which should be useful to the Canes. The Devils have been sluggish since Marty Brodeur borke the all-time wins record. Role players such as Paul Martin on defense and Johnny Oduya have quietly faded while Zach Parise's stock has plummeted. The question will be whether the Devils can rebound and find a way to beat Paul Maurice's team, unfortunately, the Canes have better depth at all positions on the ice and Cam Ward will find a way to win.
Hurricanes in 6 Games
Series MVP: Cam Ward
(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (5) Philadelphia Flyers
The Battle of Pennsylvania resumes in watch should be a series for the ages. Sidney Crosby and Art Ross winner Evgeni Malkin lead the Penguins against Jeff Carter and Mike Richards and the Flyers. The Penguins get the edge on offense because of their 2 superstars but the Flyers have more depth on offense and defense and even though Fleury will outduel Biron/Nittymaki, the Flyers have the edge this time.
Flyers in 6 Games
Series MVP: Scott Hartnell
(1) San Jose Sharks vs. (8) Anaheim Ducks