CAPITALS VS RANGERS: Bruce Boudreau might have trouble keeping his job, if the Caps are upset victims in this series. A hot goalie can make that happen. Washington is a much better team on paper, but New York has stronger goalkeeping, with Henrik Lundqvist ( 68 GP, 36 W, 27 L, 5 OTL, 2.28 GAA, .923 SV% ). The Caps goalkeeping isn’t bad, but they have less experience. Michael Neuvirth stats are certainly respectable. (48 GP, 27 W, 12 L, 4 OTL, 2.45 GAA, .914 SV% ) Washington has improved it’s penalty killing, moving up from 25th last year, to second best this season. Colorful Coach John Tortorella, is also outspoken, and sometimes tough on his own players, as he was in leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to their Stanley Cup championship in 2004.
Capitals win in 6.
PHILADELPHIA VS BUFFALO: The Flyers are the better team, but the Sabres have been on a roll since they introduced their new owner, who is dedicated to doing whatever it takes, to help the Sabres become a Cup contender. Ryan Miller is one of the best goalkeepers of the last decade. This season, he still carried a heavy load: ( 66 GP, 34 W, 22 L, 8 OTL, 2.59 GAA, .916 SV%.) Even the backup, Jhonas Enroth, has been superb over the final few weeks, in helping the Sabres secure a playoff spot. ( 14 GP, 9 W, 2 L, 2 OTL, 2.73 GAA, .907 SV%) The Flyers goalkeeping has also been good. Sergei Bobrovsky record overall is good:( 54 GP, 28 W, 13 L, 8 OTL, 2.59 GAA, .915 SV%). In terms of rock solid franchise blue liner, Chris Pronger, his status is still undecided, in recovering from a broken hand.
Flyers win in 7
BRUINS VS CANADIENS:
It doesn’t get much better than Tim Thomas matching up against Carey Price. Both are capable of stealing a series on their own. Thomas had 35 wins, 11 losses, 9 OTL, 2.00 GAA, .938 SV%. Price had 38 wins, 28 losses, 6 OTL, 2.35 GAA, .923 SV%. Boston has a big advantage in size and strength, while Montreal is a faster team. If the Bruins stay out of the penalty box, they have a good chance of wearing down the Canadiens. Over the season, the Habs were 4-2 against the “B”’s. Boston prevailed in their last meeting, 7-0, and pummeled them physically as well.
Boston beats Montreal in 7.
KINGS VS SHARKS:
Even with a healthy roster, Los Angeles would have a tough time with San Jose. Both goalkeepers are very good, with Antti Niemi having led the Hawks to a Stanley Cup championship last year. Jonathan Quick is also solid between the pipes, with his record of 35 wins, 22 losses, 3 OTL, 2.24 GAA, .918 SV%. The Kings lost Anze Kopitar to a broken ankle, late in the regular season. In 75 games, he had 25 goals, 48 assists, and was also a + 25. Without the 6-3, 227 pound centre, L.A., will be overwhelmed against a stacked San Jose squad, that is deep enough to win the Cup, and lost to the Blackhawks last year, in the Western Conference final.
Sharks win in 5.