Boston (1) vs Montreal (8)
I understand that it's the playoffs and this is a big time rivalry and the Canadiens have had the Bruins number in the past, but I don't see the Bruins losing this series. I have trouble seeing this one go any further than five games. This has the possibility of being the only sweep of the first round. Plus, it doesn't help that Tim Thomas has been phenominal this season, while Carey Price has struggled big time. Prediction: Bruins in 5
Washington (2) vs. Rangers (7)
For this series I'll have a more details preview tomorrow before the game. For now I'll say that my heart says Rangers in 7 but my brain says Capitals in 6.
Devils (3) vs. Carolina (6)
Carolina looks very similar to the team that won the Cup a few seasons ago. Cam Ward has been one of the hottest goalies down the stretch and Staal and Brind'Amour have gotten much, much better in the final month. It's always hard to rule out the Devils, especially when they have Brodeur as their last line of defense. Six weeks ago the Devils were my favorite to win the East based on the way they were playing. But, that streak they were on has turned sour and coming into the home stretch the Devils looked bad. If they can regain that form then they'll win the series but if they play like they did down the strecth then the home ice advantage won't even help them knock off the Canes. Prediction: Hurricanes in 6
Penguins (4) vs. Flyers (5)
The Flyers blew their chance to have home ice advantage in the first round by losing to the Rangers in the last game of the season....that could really come back to bite them in the ass! The Penguins were 4-2 in the season series and I can see this series going the same way. The Flyers are another team with a hot/cold goalie in Biron and we'll have to wait and see which Marty Biron shows up. The Penguins have some serious scoring threats up front led by Crosby and Malkin but the Flyers may have more depth at forward, they are one of only two teams with four 30 goal scorers. Not to mention, Jeff Carter who was the second-leading goal scorer this season in the NHL. Prediction: Penguins in 7