CHIEF FIRST ROUND PREDICTIONS

DETROIT VS CALGARY
The pressure is off Datsyuk now that he’s signed the big deal.  That will pay them dividends… in the first round anyways.  And as long as Hasek stays healthy, they’ll dominate this series.  Calgary (read Kipper) is looking very ordinary these days and it looks like Jim Playfair doesn’t have what the team needs to push them to the next level.

Detroit in 6.

ANAHEIM VS MINNESOTA
The Wild have great goaltending, plenty of talent up front, and play a strong defensive game.  That is usually a recipe for success in the playoffs, but not this time.  The Ducks are simply too strong.  They also have talent up front and great goaltending, but also have a toughness factor, especially on the backend, that Minnesota won’t be able to match.  The Wilds forwards just won’t be able to stand up to the punishment coming their way.

Anahiem in 7.

VANCOUVER VS DALLAS
While the entire Western Conference is extremely close in talent and abilities, there are no matchups that come so evenly as these two teams.  Still, Turco has yet to prove himself a clutch goaltender at anytime other than the regular season, while Luongo has done it at every opportunity he’s had.

Vancouver in 6.

NASHVILLE VS SAN JOSE
Joe knows that now is the time to show everyone what he’s made of.  San Jose is a much bigger team and the longer they can take this series the better off they’ll be.  As much as Nashville thinks they got bigger with Arnott down the middle, they haven’t done enough yet.  Getting Forsberg is not going to have the impact…check that…he’s not going to have any impact.

San Jose in 6.

BUFFALO VS NYI
New York has done amazingly well this year.  They are not the joke everyone thought they would be at the start of the season.  Still, their starting goaltender is out and they are up against the best team in the NHL.

Buffalo in 5.

NEW JERSEY VS TAMPA BAY
Lou thinks he can cause lighting to strike twice and decided to put himself behind the bench with only a few games left in the season.  Lou’s been lucky since the lockout with his management moves, but I think his luck is about to run out.  New Jersey won’t even know what hit them when the Lightning do strike.

Tampa in 6.

OTTAWA VS PITTSBURGH
Muckler’s name is going to be mud when Roberts and the rest of the Penguins show all the grit needed to win the first round.  It’s not going to be Alfredsson’s fault, it’s going to be Mucklers.

Pittsburgh in 7.

ATLANTA VS NYR
Waddell stopped with the safe play and made a significant play at the deadline picking up Tkachuk and Zhitnik.  He put a lot on the line to not only make the playoffs, but make some waves there as well.  It’s too bad for them their running into a well balanced and well coached New York Rangers team that is also very hot of late.

New York Rangers in 7.

The Chief Canuck

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