Beyond the first round

The last couple days I posted my predictions on the first round matchups. So, before the games begin, let me post my predicitons for the rest of the playoffs.

Conference Semi-finals

Buffalo defeats Ottawa
New Jersey defeats Carolina

San Jose defeats Detroit
Calgary defeats Dallas

Conference Finals
New Jersey defeats Buffalo
Calgary defeats San Jose

Stanley Cup
New Jersey defeats Calgary

Playoff MVP: Brian Gionta: 18 goals, 34 points

After round 1 the predictions get quite difficult. I think any of the four teams in east or west could make it to the finals. I am predicting that Dominik Hasek doesn’t come back healthy and in top form and that is the main reason Ottawa doesn’t make it past Buffalo as I think Buffalo’s Ryan Miller has an excellent playoff and that will cut Ottawa’s playoff hopes short. But in the conference finals Brodeur and Gionta have an awesome series pushing them past Buffalo. For Calgary, I think Iginla plays some great playoff hockey giving the Flames just enough offense to get by with the help of Kipprusoffs outstanding play. That and Calgary’s defense shutting down Thorton and Cheechoo allows them to get past the Sharks in the semi-finals. The Stanley Cup finals is a battle of the goaltenders but Gionta-Elias-Gomez provide the devils more offense than the Flames can get giving the Devils yet another Stanley Cup.

What do you all think?

This article has 28 Comments

  1. David…as you see in my post yesterday and the night before..i have the Devils vs Flames in the Cup final as well. I have this final set in all my Playoff Pools i entered this season. My Conn Smyth will be Martin Brodeur. He is the only goaltender in the East Conference with any type of playoff experience (depending if Hasek and Esche play or not). Only starting goaltender who has experience is Matt gerber, CAR with 20mins played. This will be a huge advantage to the Devils who have gotten hot at the right time. Devils and Flames in the Final…not sure who im taking in that yet. Out of 6 pools ive entered i have NJ winning on 3 and Calgary winning on 3 as well. Im leaning more towards the Flames tho.

  2. sorry but i will ahve to disagree with you here…lol

    if the refs stick to what they have done all year it will be a different playoffs …power plays will be the main key to win a series…

    nj might get by the first round but all the way i don’t think they will…and the same for the flames…n.j has a goalie and not enough scoring and the opposite for cal not enough scoring and plus no will have their hands full with anahiem…cal will have loads of penalties…because their goaltending is brutal…

    Carolina all the way on east side, got the goalie and the defence and the scoring, all three lines very deep….and as you know, it’s always the 2nd and third lines that do the scoring in the playoffs, it will be hard to stop this team, I am a montreal fan to the end but they will have their way with the habs carolina in 5…

    they will meet san jose in the final…

    s.j is streaking all at the right time….thorton, the choo choo train, marleau, and the rest of the boys will crush nashville to get out of the gate and the new confidence of this series will carry them all the way to the end…their goalie is also pretty good…he will prove himself…

    and their it is folks …lol you heard it here…

    P.S Mr Hockey you should have sent me your money instead of waisting it…

    just kidding….

    Mike L

  3. Calgary goes to the final. Goaltending and defense will make the difference…….and thank goodness that Kipprusoff won’t face the shoot out in the playoffs….he was terrible..I think 1-8 or 1-9 in shoot outs.

  4. Conference Semi-Finals:

    Detroit defeats San Jose
    Dallas defeats Anaheim
    Ottawa defeats Buffalo
    New Jersey defeats Carolina

    Conference Finals:

    Dallas defeats Detroit
    New Jersey defeats Carolina

    Stanley Cup Finals:

    New Jersey defeats Dallas

    Playoff MVP: Martin Brodeur: 11-4-1, 3 SO, 2.17 GAA

  5. wow if i had a 1$ for every time I heard n.j cal to meet in finals??????I don’t get it???

    cal might sqeak by the ducks but when they meet a real team like det, s.J, nash, dal, they will fold like a cheap tent…
    not that ana is a run over they just lack a lot of depth…

    hey maybe i am wrong here but after all these years of watching the nhl and the upsets etc i just think cal is over achieving with average players and a really good organization…

    i really think that n.j and cal won’t come close this year…

    s.j cost me three hundred tonight on my prolines…. had detroit ott cal s.j and a few ball games with mixed tickets …only game wrong was s.j…oh

    if cal wins this i will eat my hat….lol too low scoring of a team….

    brodeur will fade as it goes on…

    car….s.j all the way…. this will win all my playoff pools…

  6. As strange as it may sound to some of you, I think carolina, detroit, and nashville are getting too much credit. Look at the teams in Carolina’s division: Atlanta, Washington, Florida. 24 games against those teams and another 8 against Tampa. Detroit and Nashville each played 24 games against Chicago, Columbus, and St. Louis, the three worst teams in the Western Conference and in the bottom of the league rankings, as well. Dallas should get a lot of credit because of the teams they played. 16 games against Anaheim and San Jose, both playoff teams, and going 2-5-1 against Los Angeles. Dallas has had the hardest divisional match-ups of any team in the playoffs, not to mention they have the 2nd best record in the West and are going to have a hard time against 7th seed Colorado. “What are you saying, Kevin, that the 2nd seed will lose to the 7th?” As I’ve said numeral times in previous posts, if the shootout games resulted in ties, the season series would be 1-1-2. Dallas has the advantage in goal with Turco, but even with that edge, I give them more credit than Detroit, Carolina, and Nashville for the time being. That might change if/when Dallas has to play a couple of those teams.

  7. Interesting Mike L. San Jose and Carolina in the final? It could happen of course..i doubt it tho. Carolina has to be the weakest 2nd place seed ive seen in a while. They are not as good as their record has you believe. Big reason i think Carolina will not make it to the Cup is because the Caneshave the 17th ranked PowerPlay and 19th ranked Penalty Kill in the NHL. These are too bad of numbers for them to make it to the Cup. As for San Jose. They have a great team. If I didnt pick Calgary from the West i would have taken San Jose. Only reason i think they wont make it to the Cup is…..yup you guessed it…..the Calgary Flames. Home ice advantage in the playoffs to the Flames; San Jose wont beat them if they should happen to meet.

  8. I remember before the 03-04 playoffs got underway, someone posted an article by this old guy about his take on what regular season stats to pay attention to when trying to anticipate post season success stories, and highest on his list was how teams performed in 1-goal-margin games. I subsequently did a thread based on his assertions for that season, with Tampa & Calgary featuring highly in those tables, and what followed we all know. Unfortunately that thread of mine & the one that contained that guy’s article is long gone, but I decided to do the leg work to see what this season’s, and the last 3 season’s, have thrown/threw up. Below are the results and my extrapolations from them…

    First, the last 3 seasons results….


    Detroit …………. 20-10 ….. 66.6%
    Chicago ………. 20-10 ….. 66.6%
    Los Angeles .. 17-16 ….. 51.5%
    Colorado …….. 16-8 ……. 66.6%
    S. Louis ………. 15-15 ….. 50.0%
    Phoenix ………. 13-11 ….. 54.1%
    San Jose …….. 11-10 ….. 52.3%
    Vancouver …… 11-15 ….. 42.3%

    Detroit beat Colorado in the Western Conference Finals.

    New York ……… 20-17 ….. 54.0%
    Boston …………. 20-19 ….. 51.2%
    New Jersey ….. 19-15 ….. 55.8%
    Toronto ………… 18-12 ….. 60.0%
    Carolina ………. 16-15 ….. 51.6%
    Philadelphia … 13-13 ….. 50.0%
    Montreal ………. 12-12 ….. 50.0%
    Ottawa …………. 12-15 ….. 44.4%

    Carolina had to beat New Jersey and Toronto (the 2 top % winners) on the way to making the Stanley Cup Finals.


    Anaheim ……. 24-15 ….. 61.5%
    Minnesota ….. 21-16 ….. 56.7%
    Edmonton ….. 19-18 ….. 51.3%
    Detroit ………… 18-9 ……. 66.6%
    S. Louis ……… 15-9 ……. 62.5%
    Vancouver ….. 15-10 ….. 60.0%
    Colorado ……. 14-15 ….. 48.2%
    Dallas ………… 10-8 ……. 55.5%

    Anaheim had to beat Detroit (the top % winner) and Minnesota (who beat Vancouver, who in turn beat S. Louis) on the way to making the Stanley Cup Finals.

    New Jersey …. 24-15 ….. 61.5%
    Toronto ………… 22-14 ….. 61.1%
    Washington …. 20-15 ….. 57.1%
    Philadelphia … 18-9 ……. 66.6%
    Boston …………. 16-10 ….. 61.5%
    Ottawa …………. 16-12 ….. 57.1%
    New York …….. 11-10 ….. 52.3%
    Tampa Bay ….. 11-14 ….. 44.0%

    New Jersey had to beat Boston and Ottawa (who beat Philadelphia, who in turn beat Toronto) on the way to making the Stanley Cup Finals.


    S. Louis …….. 23-11 ….. 67.6%
    Calgary ……… 19-13 ….. 59.3%
    San Jose …… 19-13 ….. 59.3%
    Vancouver …. 19-17 ….. 52.7%
    Nashville …… 18-11 ….. 62.0%
    Detroit ……….. 17-8 ……. 68.0%
    Dallas ……….. 15-9 ……. 62.5%
    Colorado …… 14-15 ….. 48.2%

    Calgary had to beat Detroit (the top % winner, who beat Nashville) and San Jose (who beat S.Louis) on the way to making the Stanley Cup Finals.

    Montreal ……….. 19-14 ….. 57.5%
    Tampa Bay …… 18-14 ….. 56.2%
    New Jersey …… 17-12 ….. 58.6%
    Toronto …………. 15-10 ….. 60.0%
    Boston ………….. 14-32 ….. 30.4%
    Philadelphia …. 12-12 ….. 50.0%
    Ottawa ……………. 9-17 …… 34.6%
    New York ……….. 8-16 …… 33.3%

    Tampa had to beat Montreal (the top 1 goal game winner) and Philadelphia (who beat Toronto and New Jersey) on the way to making the Stanley Cup Finals.

    From the above tables, its clear that the eventual Stanley Cup Finalists were amongst the top 1 goal game winners and/or the highest % of 1 goal game winners – 3 first places and 2 seconds for total 1 goal games won, with Carolina providing the 1 exception (but in being so, still had to personally go through the 2 highest % winners who were also 3rd & 4th for overall wins, and as that exception was the 1 side who failed to win more than 1 game in the actual Finals).

    As for the finals themselves, if whats then looked at is how the Finalists performed in 1 goal games against all other (eventual) playoff teams during the regular season, this is what is found….

    Detroit …………. 10-5 ….. 66.6%
    Carolina ………. 7-13 ….. 35.0%

    New Jersey … 10-9 ….. 52.6%
    Anaheim ……… 7-11 ….. 38.8%

    Tampa Bay …. 7-7 ……. 50.0%
    Calgary ……….. 6-9 ……. 40.0%

    In every instance, the Stanley Cup champions had a better regular season record in 1 goal games against eventual playoff qualifying teams than did the team they beat in the Finals, and that record topped at least 50%. The largest % differential here also led to the largest Finals margin (Detroit by 4-1) – the narrowest % differential here also led to the closest Finals series (thou the Devils/Ducks series also went to 7 games, the Devils were never behind in games in that series, whereas Tampa was, on 3 occasions).

  9. Now, taking into account all of the above, and applying it to this season’s stats as provided by the curent crop of playoff teams, we find…

    …for all 1 goal games from the regular season…

    Eastern Conference

    Montreal ………. 21-14 ….. 60.0%
    Philadelphia … 20-10 ….. 66.6%
    Carolina ………. 20-11 ….. 64.5%
    Buffalo …………. 18-10 ….. 64.2%
    Tampa Bay ….. 17-8 ……. 68.0%
    New Jersey …. 15-13 ….. 53.5%
    New York …….. 9-22 ……. 29.0%
    Ottawa …………. 8-9 ……… 47.0%

    Western Conference

    Calgary …….. 22-14 ….. 61.1%
    San Jose ….. 20-15 ….. 57.1%
    Nashville ….. 18-11 ….. 62.0%
    Detroit ………. 16-11 ….. 59.2%
    Colorado ….. 16-15 ….. 51.6%
    Edmonton … 15-13 ….. 53.5%
    Dallas ………. 15-14 ….. 51.7%
    Anaheim …… 13-15 ….. 46.4%

    Teams are highlighted on the basis of having a top 4 winning %, or being amongst the top 2 total game winners, for 1 goal game results from the regular season.

    …and for 1 goal games from the regular season vs. all other playoff qualifying teams…

    Eastern Conference

    Montreal ………. 9-9 …… 50.0%
    New Jersey …. 8-5 ……. 61.5%
    Carolina ………. 7-6 …… 53.8%
    Buffalo …………. 7-6 …… 53.8%
    Tampa Bay ….. 6-5 …… 54.5%
    Philadelphia … 6-6 …… 50.0%
    Ottawa …………. 4-6 …… 40.0%
    New York …….. 4-12 …. 25.0%

    Western Conference

    Nashville ….. 10-7 …. 58.8%
    Edmonton … 9-5 …… 64.2%
    Calgary …….. 8-8 …… 50.0%
    Colorado ….. 8-9 …… 47.0%
    San Jose ….. 8-10 … 44.4%
    Detroit ………. 7-6 …… 53.8%
    Dallas ………. 7-7 …… 50.0%
    Anaheim …… 5-8 …… 38.4%

    Teams are highlighted on the basis of having topped at least 50.0% vs. fellow playoff teams (from both Conferences).

    Now that we have 2 sets of highlighted groupings, its time to find which teams are highlighted in both of them for each Conference….


    (Tampa Bay)

    ….with what was shown earlier, I project the Stanley Cup finalists will come from these teams. In the case of Tampa Bay, I believe they fall into the anomaly that Chicago & (the) New York (Islanders) did in 01-02: a case of such a team only making the playoffs simply because they had a great season in 1 goal games, rather than those good-to-great 1 goal game results being a harbinger of future playoff success, hence I have them in brackets, being exempt from these Finalist projections.

  10. I’ll add the obvious and say Nashville’s stats are compromised by their forced change in goalie, so if not deserving of Tampa’s brackets, at least an asterix should be beside their name.

    i have other stats to add regarding particular series going on at the moment, but I need sleep first

  11. So you say Nashville and New Jersey? Thats still not a bad guess at all. Nashville could very well come out on top of of the West. Mason has played superb in replace of Vokum. I myself am taking New Jersey and Calgary and you have New jersey ranked very high as well in his stats. I like how you used the following trends above to prove your point and to show the irony in this trend thru the years. very well done. Im still suprised no one has taken the obvious yet… Detroit, and Ottawa.

  12. Passion-power rating just after the regular season:

    Rank 1: BUF, NJD, NSH
    Rank 2: DET, SJS
    Rank 3: ANA, CAR, DAL, EDM, OTT, PHI, TBL
    Rank 4: CGY, COL, MTL
    Rank 5: NYR

    I also like NSH because they are still warming up, and SJS is a good target for that as they are calming down after outstanding two~three weeks of a greate play. NJD are hot for too long, and it can stop them on a half way to the Cup when they reach the functional peak. In principle, COL can make the Cup if they make an upset over DAL, than, say, an upset over CGY or ANA, and then, say, an upset over NSH. It is quite possible since they were pretty stagnating (read “accumulating passion”) over the last few weeks.

  13. keif… Colorado is a solid team no doubt…but being a 7th seed theyd have to pull off far too many upsets to reach the Cup finals in a very strong tight Western Conference. I personally dont think Colorado will make it to the Cup…or make it past Dallas for that matter. The NJD yes they are very hot…and thats exactly what you want entering the playoffs. The winning streak streak will obviosly end sooner or later but the momentum and team moral is extremely high right now…I think they are unstopable in a up for grabs Eastern Conference. I still strongly support my guess of NJD vs Calgary in the Cup final.

  14. What is the nice parlay:

    NHL Hockey Edmonton @ Detroit Puck Line – Goal Handicap EDM Oilers Puck Line – Goal Handicap +1.5 1.869 WON

    NHL Hockey Tampa Bay @ Ottawa Puck Line – Goal Handicap OTT Senators Puck Line – Goal Handicap -1.5 2.00 WON

    NHL Hockey Colorado @ Dallas Puck Line – Goal Handicap COL Avalanche Puck Line – Goal Handicap +1.5 1.50 WON

    NHL Hockey NY Rangers @ New Jersey Puck Line – Goal Handicap NJ Devils Puck Line – Goal Handicap -1.5 2.35 WON

    Odds: 13.18. Could work in the second round as well.

  15. So much for all those who took Carolina to even get out of the 1st round. Nice to see the habs taking control. Montreal is a good 7 seed vs a very bad 2nd seed. Glad i dont have the ‘Canes gettin of the 1st round in any pool.

  16. Carolina has fought back to make it 3-2 so this series is not over yet. The Hurricanes have too many veterens to give up this early in the series. Montreal may still win but it won’t be easy.

  17. Yes. That was not a parlay easy to do. Two of three games went into OT.

    NHL Hockey Montreal @ Carolina Money Line – Match Winner MON Canadiens Money Line – Match Winner 2.75 WON

    NHL Hockey NY Rangers @ New Jersey Puck Line – Goal Handicap NJ Devils Puck Line – Goal Handicap -1.5 2.15 WON

    NHL Hockey Colorado @ Dallas Money Line – Match Winner COL Avalanche Money Line – Match Winner 2.60 WON

    Odds: 15.37

    Also took
    EDM +1.5 1.833 WON
    OTT -1.5 1.952 LOST
    ANA +1.5 1.50 WON
    BUF Winner 1.645 WON
    COL +1.5 1.50 WON
    NJD -1.5 2.15 WON
    MTL +1.5 1.571 WON
    Odds: 44. But Ottawa is not like NJD today…

    Table. Play-off teams sorted by Home Points / Away Points:

    Team Home Points /
    Away Points

    Detroit 0.91
    Edmonton 0.94
    Philadelphia 0.98
    Dallas 1.07
    Buffalo 1.08
    Ottawa 1.17
    Montreal 1.27
    NY Rangers 1.27
    New Jersey 1.30
    Tampa Bay 1.30
    Carolina 1.33
    San Jose 1.36
    Anaheim 1.39
    Colorado 1.44
    Nashville 1.59
    Calgary 1.64

    Hope the handicap trend will be continued in the third round when today road team gets home field advantage.

  18. it’s real early to jump to conclusions…teams make adjustments to fix errors in therir games and this has already begun…montreal might win? but carolina has made the first move to recovering…koivu will now be out big change for habs…this series i believe now is 50 -50…

    nj goes 4-0 to win ..easy one…

    I believe phil win the next game tie it up at 2-2 then anything can happen?

    ottawa will win in 6

    detroit scares me…..I still think they win this series…

    colorado pretty obivious..’

    s.j made the right changes and they will reap the benefits…

    cal can still go either way i think because of their low scoring…it’s a good thing they have therir goalie….if ana can wake up their goal scorers …look out…50-50 here also it’s not the lay down everyone thinks ….

  19. For anybody who hasn’t been able to keep track of the playoffs so far, here are the series standings

    (1) Detroit vs. (8) Edmonton
    Series tied 2-2
    (2) Dallas vs. (7) Colorado
    Colorado leads 3-1
    (3) Calgary vs. (6) Anaheim
    Series tied 2-2
    (4) Nashville vs. (5) San Jose
    Series tied 2-2

    (1) Ottawa vs. (8) Tampa Bay
    Ottawa leads 3-1
    (2) Carolina vs. (7) Montreal
    Series tied 2-2
    (3) New Jersey vs. (6) New York
    New Jersey leads 3-0
    (4) Buffalo vs. (5) Philadelphia
    Series tied 2-2

  20. Koviu being out for the Habs changes everything. He is the life line of this team. I feel real bad for the Habs losing last night and giving up control of the series and shifting momentum in Carolina’s favour going back to Carolina. This could spell the end for the Habs. How often do you see a top goal scorer and team leader go down in the playoffs and his team loses ther series. Quite often. Im hoping Montreal steps it up and plays well last few games. Huet needs to wake up and show his regular season form once again. This will be a great series….def will go down right to the wire. I still stand behind my original guess before the playoffs….Habs in 7 games.

  21. Sorry, but I made a mistake in my most recent post. I would also like to make a couple updates:

    (1) Detroit vs (8) Edmonton
    Edmonton leads 3-2
    Game 6 Monday in Edmonton
    (2) Dallas vs (7) Colorado
    Colorado leads 3-1
    Game 5 Sunday in Dallas
    (3) Calgary vs (6) Anaheim
    Series tied 2-2
    Game 5 Tonight in Calgary
    (4) Nashville vs (5) San Jose
    San Jose leads 3-1
    Game 5 Tonight in Nashville

    (1) Ottawa vs (8) Tampa Bay
    Ottawa leads 3-1
    Game 5 Tonight in Ottawa
    (2) Carolina vs (7) Montreal
    Series tied 2-2
    Game 5 Sunday in Carolina
    (3) New Jersey vs (6) New York
    New Jersey Wins 4-0
    New Jersey will play the winner between (2) Carolina and (8) Montreal
    (4) Buffalo vs (5) Philadelphia
    Series tied 2-2
    Game 5 Sunday in Buffalo

  22. Well, we now have four teams advancing; one team in each semi-final round. Here are the match-ups for the next round based on what we have so far as of the night of April 30:

    Western Conference:
    (5) San Jose vs (1) Detroit or (8) Edmonton
    Edmonton leads Detroit 3-2, Game 6 Monday in Edmonton
    (7) Colorado vs (3) Calgary or (6) Anaheim
    Calgary leads Anaheim 3-2, Game 6 Monday in Anaheim

    Eastern Conference:
    (1) Ottawa vs (4) Buffalo or (5) Philadelphia
    Buffalo leads 3-2, Game 6 Tuesday in Philadelphia
    (3) New Jersey vs (2) Carolina or (7) Montreal
    Carolina leads 3-2, Game 6 Tuesday in Montreal

    With what we have now, I’m going to predict Edmonton winning Monday, Anaheim winning Monday and Wednesday, Buffalo to lose Tuesday, but win Thursday, and Carolina to win Tuesday. Ironically, this would set the next round to have a team with each seed:
    (1) Ottawa
    (2) Carolina
    (3) New Jersey
    (4) Buffalo
    (5) San Jose
    (6) Anaheim
    (7) Colorado
    (8) Edmonton
    (1 vs 4)
    (2 vs 3)
    (5 vs 8)
    (6 vs 7)

  23. EDM +1.5 5 of 6
    NJD -1.5 4 of 4
    COL +1.5 4 of 5
    OTT -1.5 3 of 5

    Overall 80%. Charmant 😀

  24. Kevin, your award ceremony is just fantastic. My two cent worth goes to St. Louis for huge contribution to elimination Vancouver from play-off.

  25. Wow! 😯

    ANA +1.5 6 of 7
    MTL +1.5 6 of 6
    BUF Winner 4 of 6

    84% overall. Das ist fantastisch.

  26. ya who would of thought this final 4 in this years playoffs? crazy outcomes. Good for the NHL and Edmonton…bad for my pocket.

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