Congratulations, Oilers fans! You win Ryan Nugent-Hopkins! I’m just relieved it wasn’t Boston who won the Draft Lottery. But I digress.
We looked at the first five quarter-final series last night. Now here’s a glance at the games starting on Thursday.
Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks
All three California-based teams made the postseason, and two of them will battle it out in the first round. The Kings are young and hungry, while the Sharks have firepower from Heatley and Pavelski. I’m giving the Kings the edge in this series. I just have a good feeling about Jonathan Quick between the pipes.
Buffalo Sabres at Philadelphia Flyers
I smell an upset here. Philly didn’t play like the Atlantic Division champs in the home stretch of the season, while Buffalo has been red hot despite a slew of injury woes. But Miller and Vanek are back and ready to give Buffalita a reason to cheer.
(P.S. I found that terrific photo on the now-defunct blog Sabretooth’s House, but author Anne is the currently the boss of the excellent Queen City Sabres Blog. Do check it out, Buffalo fans. It has a dancing squirrel.)
Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins
How much does hockey matter in the province of Quebec? Enough to move a federal leaders French language debate ahead one night because Habs fans are going to be tuned into this series. I expect a long one, but I don’t expect a repeat of last year’s Cinderella story. For one, Jaroslav Halak – the star of that series – is long gone. And frankly, in the battle of tenders, Tim Thomas rules over Carey Price.
On that note, I am predicting a Boston-Vancouver final. I know. When are my predictions ever correct? How about you? Who hoists Lord Stanley’s Cup this year? What series are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments.
(If you’re wondering which network is carrying your fave series, you can find the schedule here.)