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Old 04-11-2017, 11:42 PM   #19
noname219
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Default Re: 16/17 NHL Playoff Pick'em

DIVISION SEMI-FINALS
Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division
(A1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (W1) New York Rangers
(A2) Ottawa Senators vs. (A3) Boston Bruins

Metropolitan Division
(M1) Washington Capitals vs. (W2) Toronto Maple Leafs
(M2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (M3) Columbus Blue Jackets

Western Conference

Central Division
(C1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (W2) Nashville Predators
(C2) Minnesota Wild vs. (C3) St. Louis Blues

Pacific Division
(P1) Anaheim Ducks vs. (W1) Calgary Flames
(P2) Edmonton Oilers vs. (P3) San Jose Sharks

-

thoughts

(A1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (W1) New York Rangers

Habs looks healthy (with Weber returning pretty soon) and all-around solid since Julien's hiring. I'm concerned about Galchenyuk, Gallagher and Plekanec all having a below average to mediocre year, so I hope they can bounce back during the playoffs. They might go far, but there are better teams on paper only in the East.
Rangers had a relatively bad end of season, but they were mostly consistent through the year. They have a talented pool of forwards (Nash, Kreider, Zuccarello, Stepan, Grabner, etc.) who will definitely pose a threat. On defense, aside from McDonagh, it's very average so I expect Lundqvist to receive more shots on average per game than Price. In the end, it's gonna be a goalie series.

Habs won all 3 matches against the Rangers this year.

(A2) Ottawa Senators vs. (A3) Boston Bruins

Senators have been hit with injuries on their defense and as such have been struggling to clinch a spot. When they're healthy, they seem to be pretty good, Phaneuf turned out to be a good addition, but they really need Karlsson back. Their offense is lacking however and it's worrying (if they wouldn't trade their prospects, that would be a good step).
Bruins finished strong and some of their best players had great years (Pastrnak, Marchand, Krejci, Bergeron as usual). While both teams have solid goalies, imo Bruins have better 2nd and 3rd defensemen and that might make the difference.

Surprise, Ottawa was flawless (4-0) against Boston this year. All tight games. (!) This series might go to 7 games.

(M1) Washington Capitals vs. (W2) Toronto Maple Leafs

This seems too easy of a choice. Capitals have easily the best defense in the league and with Shattenkirk's trade, that's just absurd now. (177 GA, 16 goals less than the 2nd team) Holtby is beast as usual and Grubauer turned out to be of the best backup around. Add to that their forward pool, they have all they need to make it to the end. (just don't choke)
Who thought the Maple Leafs would make it this year? Extremely skilled and surprising rookies (Matthew, Marner, Nylander), plus JVR and Kadri. Who needs defense when your offense is so great, right? Let's not forget that Andersen was injured recently but he seems to have recovered very quickly.

Washington is 2-1 against Toronto

(M2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (M3) Columbus Blue Jackets

Hagelin and Kunitz are both out so Malkin coming back for game 1 is at least good news. And with Letang being out for the whole playoffs, that's gonna be a problem. For some reason, their injuries leave me really pessimistic about their chance this year. (especially when they have to face Columbus Bobrovsky first round)
Oh yeah Bobrovsky being the best goaltender in the NHL atm is a big problem for the Penguins. I don't know how much steam he's got left but he seems unstoppable right now. While he's pretty much the reason the team was so good this year, Werenski and Jones are solid defensemen and Atkinson, Saad, Jenner, Foligno can produce.

2-2 for the matchups. Columbus got this, Pittsburgh looks broken right now.

(C1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (W2) Nashville Predators

It's almost as if the Blackhawks started losing at the end of the year just to regain some energy. They even managed to lost against the Avalanche, so that's concerning. Apart than that, they're consistent year after year, lineup stays mostly the same so once again, they should be hard to beat. Also, Panarin and Kane.
I was really thinking the Preds were one of the best looking teams before the season started but now, I'm unsure. They had a few droughts this year and Subban had an average year. A few good points: Ellis, Josi, Forsberg and Arvidsson were excellent and Rinne seems more confident than last year.

Chicago is 4-1 against Nashville

(C2) Minnesota Wild vs. (C3) St. Louis Blues

The Wild is kind of an enigma to me. They don't look too threatening but they had great results - up until maybe March when they started to suck really bad. Dubnyk bounced back from an average year, but he's still not as insanely good as he was 2 years ago. Staal and Parise turned out great for the team somehow and I do like their defense.
Oh I still don't quite get the Shattenkirk trade. Cap space? Getting some young talent? Both of these reasons seem to suggest the Blues won't be able to get far into the playoffs this year and it was more of a long term move. Maybe they think 2018 will be a better timing who knows. Anyway, they still have a great pair with Parayko and Pietrangelo (don't trade them), they just need a few more top forwards, Tarasenko can't be on every shift.

St. Louis is 3-2 against the Wild. Still think Minnesota is stronger this year.

(P1) Anaheim Ducks vs. (W1) Calgary Flames

I remember looking at the standings in January and seeing Anaheim struggling for a spot, I would never have guessed they would finish first in their division. Probably one of the strongest finish of any team this year. I do think they have wind in its sails and will continue their successes against the Flames. They have a good pair of goalies in Gibson and Bernier.
Ups and downs for the Flames, goalie problems seems to have settled on Elliott who had a great run last month. Their offense isn't bad at all, but the Ducks have more experience and a bit more depth. Hamilton is improving every year and their forwards are still young, so the team has a bright future ahead.

Anaheim is 4-1 against Calgary

(P2) Edmonton Oilers vs. (P3) San Jose Sharks

Kind of the same deal with Edmonton. Another young team that keeps getting better, and now they're in the playoffs. Don't know where this team would be without McDavid, he proved to be a great leader and they finally solved their goalie problem (Talbot). They really need to address their d-man problems - Klefbom and Larsson are developing very well though.
Burns, Pavelski, Couture and Marleau all have 25 goals or above. Who's at 5th place? Chris Tierney and Melker Karlsson at 11 goals. It's kinda crazy the gap between the first lines and the depth players on that team. Couture is out right now, so their production will be hurt for a while. And with Jones being average this year, I don't see how they could go far.

Oilers are 3-2 against the Sharks
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