The Good Old Hockey Predictions: #4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #8 Montreal Canadiens
This is going to be a big matchup between the defending champions and a ragtag group playing for hockey’s most storied franchise. I expect a bigger role from Jordan Staal in this series. Sidney Crosby can take care of the rest. Jaroslav Halak proved he’s no slouch, but the Habs simply won’t be able to match Pittsburgh’s firepower.
Pittsburgh in 5
Many people are calling for the Pens to dominate this one. Well…many people were calling for the Caps to do the same. I was impressed as hell by Jaroslav Halak. He was out of his mind in games 6 and 7. He has some amazing confidence right now and he is going to continue to roll with that confidence in the second round.
Montreal was able to shut down the best offensive team in the NHL season. They can do it again against the defending Stanley Cup champions. Much like Dwayne Roloson in 2006 with the Oilers or Jean-Sabastian Giguiere in 2003 with the Ducks, a hot goalie can take a team all the way to the finals…and we will see it again this year. The 8th seeded Montreal Canadiens will upset the #4 Pittsburgh Penguins and move on to the Eastern Conference finals.
Montreal in 7
The Canadiens, the 8th seed, came back against the best team in hockey, the Washington Capitals, from 2 games down to win in seven games. Jaroslav Halak was absolutely brilliant for the Canadiens, who got help from key players at key times. Their defense was almost impeccable. The Caps were only 1 for 33 on the power play. On the other side, the Penguins got past the Ottawa Senators in six games. What more could I say about the Penguins. They have the scoring power, good defense, and an equally good goalie in Marc-Andre Fleury. The Penguins should win…but you never know.
Pittsburgh in 6