Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/14/14 at 11:33 AM ET
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
- Interesting to see how many people viewed home ice swinging from the Montreal Canadiens to the Tampa Bay Lightning as the determining factor in picking the Lightning over the Habs in seven games, instead of likely picking Montreal had it held on to home ice. There's no question the Bell Centre is an X factor when it comes to the postseason, the most electrifying rink in the NHL at this time of year. And despite Tampa winning three of four from the Habs in the regular season, I'm in the minority: I'm picking Montreal in seven games. The Habs have been playing like a contender since they got Tomas Vanek at the trade deadline.
- I've developed a reputation over the years for always picking the San Jose Sharks come playoff time (although in truth that tradition ended a few years ago), and they once again look like a bona fide contender. The Sharks draw the Los Angeles Kings in the first round, though, and it's incredible how few people are giving San Jose a chance (including me). I'm picking the Kings to win in six. What worries me the most is that San Jose goalie Antti Niemi hasn't looked sharp. The good thing for San Jose (where I'm headed for the opening round to cover that series) is that perhaps the Sharks are coming into the series under the radar and as the underdog.
- If I had to pick a Cup champion right now, I'd go with the Bruins, especially because the East should be a more navigable journey compared to the contender-deep West. Yet I'm sure Bruins fans aren't exactly overjoyed their team drew the dangerous Red Wings in the opening round, a team that beat Boston three out of four games this season. I'm still picking Boston to prevail, but the matchup proves yet again that there's no such thing as a layup in the salary-cap era. All 16 teams that made the postseason have a shot.
read on for Burnside on Martin Brodeur, Custance on Teemu Selanne and Strang on Daniel Sedin...
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