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 2004 Cup Predictions - First Round
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Posted - 04/13/2004 :  23:33:22  Show Profile
Contributed by: Raphael Borenstein

2004 Stanley Cup Predictions - First Round

Tampa Bay vs. New York
Tampa will have little trouble with the Islanders. They have the speed, defense and goaltending advantage, plus tight chemistry and a mission to win one for the “Chukker”. Tampa’s real question is how far can they go, not if they will make it out of the first round. Tampa in 6.

Boston vs. Montreal
Anybody remember 2 years ago? Boston first overall in the East, Montreal scraping into the playoffs on the Koivu return from cancer triumph. Well, back then, Boston was a better team, and Montreal wasn’t as good. Plus with Thornton less then 100%, look for “No way Jose” to lead the Habs to yet ANOTHER playoff exiting of the Bruins. Montreal in 7.

Philadelphia vs. New Jersey
This one seems like more of a toss up then it really is. New Jersey is nowhere near half as good a playoff team without Scott Stevens. Philly has a lot to prove…to everyone! Sean Burke finally gives them some playoff goaltending legitimacy, and don’t think that Philly has forgotten their playoff exit at the hands of New Jersey when Lindros barely escaped being a drooling, twitching, oatmeal eater for the rest of his life. Philly in 7.

Ottawa vs. Toronto
Ahhhh…the Battle of Ontario. Part one of a tragic battle of 2 Canadian teams that could do some damage in the playoffs, but need to face off in the first round. Now I know that all the Toronto fans have their blinders on and are planning a cup parade down Young street, but I have bad news….Ottawa will finally get this playoff monkey off their backs. Toronto’s aging, ailing squad will not even come close. Ottawa in 6.

Detroit vs. Nashville
Now keep in mind that I picked Anaheim to beat Detroit last year, and I can’t even tell you how many people laughed at me. In fact I have the bet stub that shows I picked Anaheim to win the cup last year in March at 56:1 odds. Anyway, did anyone else see these 2 teams match up during the regular season? Talk about bad blood boiling over. This will probably be the highlight series of the first round. Nashville in 6.

San Jose vs. St. Louis
San Jose was a cup contender for 2 years in a row, but with early playoff exits and a dismal campaign last year, nobody’s radar even blipped with a shark in the proverbial playoff pool. San Jose IS grit. They have everything in place for a long playoff run if the good goaltending holds true. Of course they will probably end up like the other 2 California teams who also got dates to the dance, but ended up going home a virgin. San Jose in 5.

Vancouver vs. Calgary
Canada vs. Canada part 2. Unfortunately both the teams would be better off if Calgary had just beaten Anaheim on the last day of the regular season. For 2 weeks following Bertuzzi’s exile, things looked bleak. The really good additions that Vancouver made at the deadline are finally in sync and Vancouver is once again a good bet to win the West. One can only imagine how good they would be WITH Bertuzzi still in. Calgary could have had a good playoff run, but they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Vancouver in 6

Colorado vs. Dallas
This series is the only real toss up in the first round. A lot of question marks on both sides. Unproven goaltending, unproductive superstars, which team is hated more by the rest of the league. The advantage falls on Dallas though with health issues. Kariya, Forsberg, and Tanguay, all might be missing or less then 100%. If Colorado were healthy, I would say they had the edge due to Dallas’ HUGE lack of leadership, but there will be no Ray Bourque storybook ending to a team that looked invincible on paper in October. Dallas in 6

Have an opinion on Raphael's article? Let us know. Just hit reply below and post your thoughts. Anything goes...but keep it clean.
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PickupHockey Pro

365 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2004 :  21:04:28  Show Profile
What are your predictions for the second round Raphael? Looks like you were hitting about 500 if you don't count the number of games predictions. I think my cat "Mr. Snuggles" picked the same amount of winners...
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