Well, the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs are about four and a half hours away from puck drop as the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins open things up at 7:00. That being said, now is a good time to share my first round picks for the Eastern Conference...
Washington vs. Montreal:
Getting to the playoffs even is an accomplishment for the Canadiens this year after a disastrous Centennial season. That being said, the Capitals are that much better and have more depth up front. Defensively, not so much, but they will advance and end the Habs 101st season.
Prediction: Caps in Four
New Jersey vs. Philadelphia
The Flyers won five out of six against the Devils during the regular season. However, they don't have the goaltending to get them far, and their playing against the goaltender by the name of Martin Brodeur. The Flyers will make things a bit interesting, but they will be heading to the golf course after a six-game series.
Prediction: Devils in Six
Buffalo vs. Boston
On paper, this should be the best series of the playoffs. The Bruins won four out of six against the Sabres this year with each game being a tightly contested battle. Neither team has a great offense, but they both have a good defense and stellar goaltending. Ryan Miller's experience however, will pay off as the Sabres will advance in a tight series.
Prediction: Sabres in Seven
Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa
The Penguins went 5-4-1 in their last 10 games, while the Senators enter the playoffs as one of the hottest teams going 7-2-1 in their last 10. These two teams have met in the playoffs in 2007 and 2008, with Ottawa and Pittsburgh each winning one series respectively. Despite the good goaltending from Brian Elliott, I don't see the Sens advancing this year, but they have a good future. Sid the Kid, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Penguins make quick work of the Senators.
Prediction: Pittsburgh in Five