VANCOUVER  VS. CALGARY  Calgary in 6. Kiprusoff's too damn good and I never bet against a hot goaltender.
COLORADO  VS. DALLAS  Colorado in 7. All of these series (except DET/NAS) look like close ones. I think the Avs will recover in time to make a strong playoff run.
TAMPA BAY  VS. NY ISLANDERS  Tampa in 5. I know the Isles won the series this year, but Tampa just has so many scoring threats.
BOSTON  VS. MONTREAL  Montreal in 7. Could go either way, but I'll take a proven goaltender and a great, loud fanbase over Raycroft and a fanbase who'll actually be worrying more about Pedro's fastball than their hockey team.
PHILADELPHIA  VS. NEW JERSEY  NJ in 6. I'll always pick the Devils to reach the Finals until some other team can show more consistency.
TORONTO  VS. OTTAWA  Ottawa in 6. This is THE SERIES to watch. I just hope one of the games gets outta hand (5-0, 6-0...) so we can see some fisticuffs.
(edited by Reverend J Shaft on 6.4.04 1010) Where the population of Ann Arbor doubles every home football Saturday.
Same problem for St. Louis that St. Louis always has: goaltending. Plus I think San Jose is getting hot at just the right time."
Oh sure you feel for me, but I still get no invite...
DETROIT  VS. NASHVILLE  Red Wings are way too good for this team. Wings in four.
SAN JOSE  VS. ST. LOUIS  If San Jose is getting hot, then what is St. Louis doing? Goaltending was my main concern but Osgood has been pretty great over the past month. Scoring is the real problem. Still, the Sharks don't like living up to expectations and the Blues players know if they don't do well, this team will be ripped apart so I'm saying Blues in 6.
VANCOUVER  VS. CALGARY  Calgary has been good, but I don't think they have the talent overall to knock off Vancouver. Vancouver in 6.
COLORADO  VS. DALLAS  Wow, Colorado has looked terrible lately, and Kariya being out doesn't help things. Dallas has come on a bit and this should be a seven game series no matter what. I'll take Dallas in 7.
TAMPA BAY  VS. NY ISLANDERS  Tampa should roll in four.
BOSTON  VS. MONTREAL  I think I'll take the upset here as well. Boston, well it's Boston. Montreal in 6.
PHILADELPHIA  VS. NEW JERSEY  The Devils know how to play playoff hockey. I'll take them in 5.
TORONTO  VS. OTTAWA  Tough call but I'll take Toronto in seven.
I don't see Boston as being a much better team than 2 years ago. But I know for a fact that Montreal has greatly improved since 2 years ago.
Regardless I have to go with Montreal over Boston just out of loyalty anyway.
The rest (based on what I'm hoping):
Sens over Leafs, just to shut up all my friends (who are Leaf fans) Philly over Jersey, I'm sick of the same teams winning the cup. Isles over Lightning Nashville over Detroit (see New Jersey) San Jose over Blues Dallas and Colorado who knows (although I still can't help liking Kariya) And Calgary and Vancouver I'll be happy either way.
East: Tampa Bay vs. The Isles-- The Isles are pretty hot right now, and everything looks like they're starting to come together pretty well, so they're a lot more evenly matched right now than it looks. I'm thinking they're the dark horse of the first round and win in 7! That's right, I said it.
Boston vs. Montreal-- This is another one that's tougher to predict than the standings show. In fact, I think it'll come down to goal tending, which will put Montreal over the top in 7.
Philadelphia vs. New Jersey-- I don't think Philadelphia has it what it takes to win 4 against the Devils. New Jersey in 6.
Ottawa vs. Toronto-- Another tought one, I'm going to give it to Ottawa in 6 or 7.
Detroit vs. Nashville-- Though I'm impressed that Nashville got this far, I don't think they're ready for Detroit. Wings in 5.
St. Louis vs. San Jose-- It'll definitely be a great series, I think St. Louis will (barely) win this one in 7.
Vancouver vs. Calgary-- Canucks in 6.
Colorado vs. Dallas-- Hmm....I'm thinking Dallas here in 7.
Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals Tampa Bay (1) v. New York Islanders (8) New York Islanders in 6. Boston (2) v. Montreal (7) Montreal in 7. Philadelphia (3) v. New Jersey (6) Philly in 7 Toronto (4) v. Ottawa (5) Toronto in 5.
Eastern Conference Semi-Finals Philadelphia (3) v. Montreal (7) Montreal in 7. Toronto (4) v. New York Islanders (8) Toronto in 4.
Eastern Conference Finals Toronto (4) v. Montreal (7) Toronto in 7.
Western Conference Quarter-Finals Detroit (1) v. Nashville (8) Detroit in 4. San Jose (2) v. St. Louis (7) St. Louis in 6. Vancouver (3) v. Calgary (6) Vancouver in 5. Colorado (4) v. Dallas (5) Colorado in 7.
Western Conference Semi-Finals Detroit(1) v. St. Louis (7) Detroit in 6. Vancouver (3) v. Colorado (4) (Steve Moore Returns) Vancouver in 5.
Western Conference Finals Detroit (1) v. Vancouver (3) Vancouver in 7.
STANLEY CUP FINALS Vancouver (3W) v. Toronto (4E) Toronto in 6.
(1) Tampa Bay (106 pts) vs (8) NY Islanders (91 pts) -PICK: LIGHTNING IN 6 -- Tampa really has some good balance in their lineup. I think Islanders will play them tough but Tampa's balanced offense will win in the end.
(2) Boston (104 pts) vs (7) Montreal (93 pts) -PICK: BRUINS IN 5 -- Montreal doesn't impress me in the least. Boston all the way, injuries is the only thing that might give Boston problem.
(3) Philadelphia (101 pts) vs (6) New Jersey (100 pts) -PICK: FLYERS IN 6 -- This is a real tough call, home advantage will mean alot.
4) Toronto (103 pts) vs (5) Ottawa (102 pts) -PICK: LEAFS IN 5 -- If Toronto wins game 1, Ottawa is as good as gone. Ottawa is totally psyched out by the Leafs, Even in the Corel Centre the Leaf fans overtake the Sens fans. Once Ottawa get behind they get the "Oh gawd it's happening again" feeling. Leafs win easily.
(1) Detroit (109 pts) vs (8) Nashville (91 pts) -PICK: REDWINGS IN 4 -- A repeat of last year Red Wings flamming out is not happening.
(2) San Jose (104 pts) vs (7) St. Louis (91 pts) -PICK: SHARKS IN 5 -- Can a 2 seed be underrated? But the Sharks are, this is a real talented team. Blues are way to inconsistent.
(3) Vancouver (101 pts) vs (6) Calgary (94 pts) -PICK: CANUCKS IN 6 -- This series can be a lot of fun, I think Calgary lack of depth can will hurt them here, but there heart is going to push this series to the late stages.
(4) Colorado (100 pts) vs (5) Dallas (97 pts) -PICK: AVALANCHE IN 6 -- I'd thing both teams feel they had a disapointing year this year, especially Colorado. The Avs pure talent will shine in this matchup.
Here's the AP article: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/H/HKN_NHL_LOCKOUT?SITE=MIDTN&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT I'm actually pretty geeked about this. This is the most significant movement since the lockout was announced.