Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Here we go. It’s time to take on the Western Conference match-ups so welcome to Gregsky’s Playoff Picks. As I stated before, I have a new bag of tricks to guide me through the maze that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but for the first round I will trust in good old-fashioned know-how and a bit of luck (I’m sure to dip into the ol’ bag-o-tricks for the next round. Especially if that freakin’ monkey kicks my ass in the first round!). Remember, I’m shooting for one better than last year which means I will have to go no worse than 11 – 4 (yikes!).

At the start of the season I tried to tell people that the Preds would sneak into the playoffs despite the salary dumping and ownership issues and that they had a better team than most were willing to give them credit for (not surprisingly, I haven’t heard a peep out of some of the people who laughed at my notion). With that said, I want to extend a hearty Welcome To The Playoffs Preds! Your prize for your accomplishments is a first round date with the Wings. Well…. it was nice knowing you. This series will be merely a tune up for the next round for the Wings. They should roll right over the Preds in a puck possession, time management sort of way fine tuning the machine and making sure they are running on all cylinders. RED WINGS IN 5.

I can say that the stretch drive for the Sharks was extremely impressive, as they chewed up and spit out nearly every opponent to close out the season, but I wonder if it was a case of peaking too early. Jumbo Joe and the boys seem to be poised to take the Sharks to the promised land, but they still need to prove it. Calgary, on the other hand, limped into the post-season and has pretty much been mediocre all year. They did little in the off season to address the lack of secondary scoring and finding help to spell Kipper so he wouldn’t burn out come playoff time. Granted, bringing in Keenan and his whip cracking style of coaching hasn’t been as bad as I had first thought, but you can only get so much out of a roster that hasn’t been fixed in several years. Sorry Flames fans, but there just isn’t enough here to get excited about. SAN JOSE IN 6.

This series will be tough to pick. Gaborik is healthy and is out to prove he belongs in the playoffs and Forsberg is out to prove he still belongs in the NHL. The Wild are another year seasoned and most of the roster still feels the sting of last year, which should help them avoid another miserable end. The Avs have been up and down all year and have been bitten by the injury bug in stretches and yet they still managed to stay afloat and erase their own memories of last seasons miserable end. Backed by a resurgent Theodore (who has his own things to prove) the Avs are a veteran team with a few youngsters added in. The question is; are they too old to keep up the pace needed to go deep into the post-season? I’m not so sure they can make a long run, but they should get by the Wild. However, it won’t be easy and just might leave them with an empty tank going forward. COLORADO IN 6.

Jeez, the Stars just can’t catch a break. For the second year in a row they flew under the radar all season and found themselves a comfortable spot in the post-season only to have to face a tough opponent in the first round. Last year I wanted to pick them as a sleeper until I saw they had to contend with Luongo right off the bat. This year they drew the short straw again having to face the defending champs. Anaheim is a team built for the playoffs and will most definitely flex its muscle and pound down on the Stars. With a slightly banged up roster already the Stars are about to face more punishment. Turco will have to match his effort from last year and Richards will have to light it up if the Stars are to get past the Ducks. Maybe their luck will change next year. ANAHEIM IN 6.

No comments: