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Sports - Sports With Bryan Wyatt
2013-04-29 at 15:28

NHL playoffs and first-round predictions

It's that time of year again, Stanley Cup playoff predictions.

Starting with the East, Sidney Crosby will come back strong and make the Penguins even more powerful. They should take down the over-matched, but hard-working, Islanders in five.

The all-Canadian battle in the opening round is not the Canadiens and Leafs, but the Habs against Ottawa. Carey Price will find his game again, and Habs depth and desire will be too much for Alfie and and the Sens. Montreal in six.

Alex Ovechkin has been on fire the last half of the season, and so have the Washington Capitals. They will continue to roll past the New York Rangers in the first round, probably in six.

And the Leafs are in the post-season again, and look for them to pull an upset. The Bruins faltered in final weekend, and blew the Northeast division. They will also blow the opening round. I'm taking the blue and white to win in seven.

In the West, I don't know if any team can touch the Blackhawks. I'm looking for the powerful Windy City crew to take down Minnesota, and it could very well be a sweep.

Anaheim is likely the only team that can go toe-to-toe with Chicago, but first the Ducks have to get past Detroit. Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and solid netminding will pull the spark plugs out of the Motor City boys in six.

The question in Vancouver is: Can the Canucks somehow put it all together for a lengthy playoff run? I don't think it will be lengthy, but I do see them getting by San Jose, which has not been the dominant force it was early in the season. Canucks in seven.

And, last spring was the story of Kenora's Mike Richards and the Los Angeles Kings. The story will continue for at least one round, as they should get by the one-dimensional St. Louis Blues in six.

Enjoy the first round.


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