Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Semifinals Predictions

My playoff predictions have been inexplicably good this year. I picked all four second round series correctly and seven of eight first round series for a record of 11-1 at this point. I doubt I have ever picked more than eleven playoff series correctly in any year and am very willing to admit that there is some good luck mixed in with my predictions to get that record. On the whole these playoffs are stunningly predictable. I know of others who have had the same success (and got overly cocky after an 8-0 first round). I have not found anybody with a 12-0 record at this point, but if you know of anyone with documented predictions that came out before the series began who is 12-0 please leave me a comment with a pointer to them.

Here are the semi-final predictions:

Anaheim Ducks defeat Detroit Red Wings The Ducks have the one two punch of Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer that gives them the best defence left in the playoffs. This is Anaheim's biggest advantage as Detroit has only Nicklas Lidstrom (only - and he's amazing) who plays at that level. Offensively, both teams have some guns. Anaheim has a slightly better group of defensive forwards in Rob Niedermayer and Sami Pahlsson vs. Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby. Both have goalies that can steal games. I think Anaheim wins a close series.

Ottawa Senators defeat Buffalo Sabres The advantage here is defense. Ottawa has a better team defence and more go to guys in Wade Redden, Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov (compared with Brian Campbell, Teppo Numminen and Henrik Tallinder). Ottawa also has the most explosive offence with Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson all in the top five playoff scorers so far this year. Buffalo has the goaltending edge as Ryan Miller is a better bet than Ray Emery, but that's not likely enough.

Couldn't agree more with your picks. Buffalo Ottawa will be a good one, but I too give Ottawa the edge. As a Ranger fan I got a real good look at Buffalo in the second round and I don't think they've got what it takes. They didn't play well against the Isles, and the Rangers outplayed them in games 2,3 and 4. Buffalo's attitude seems wrong, they seem to think they're entitled to win because they won the President's trophy. Even the Buffalo media consistently refers to them as "The President's Trophy Winners". As if that matters in the playoffs. Ottawa is too good of a team to play against if you've got the wrong attitude.

The Hockey Rabbi
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