New York Rangers VS New Jersey Devils
Well, jeez. Who would have predicted this ECF? If someone told us this is what would happen, we would laugh riotously for hours then pause for a bathroom break then start up again. But here it is and it's really happening.
And in some strange way, it actually makes sense that these are the last two teams standing in the Eastern Conference.
Both teams, the Devils and the Rangers, play a defense-first system that rely heavily on their goaltenders and blueliners that no one but fans of the teams can actually name. They are often low-scoring teams that will win or lose quite a few games by one goal.
They also have offensively-gifted players who have been playing spectacular this post-season.
If this series doesn't go seven games then we lose all faith in hockey and humanity and our prediction skillz. You know it will and it will be one-goal games and triple overtime where both goaltenders stand on their heads and steal games.
Phoenix Coyotes VS Los Angeles Kings
Wow. Every time we see that the Kings and the Coyotes are representing the Western Conference in the playoffs, we kinda do a double-take. It's not that they aren't good or didn't earn their way into this but it's just odd that they are where they are.
The Coyotes and Kings, just like the two teams in the ECF, depend heavily on their goaltenders.
Honestly, this series should just be billed as Mike Smith VS Jonathan Quick because that's basically what it is.
Every game will be 0-0 into overtime where either Ray Whitney or Dustin Brown score the game-winner because they're the only dudes who score for these teams. Or something like that.
This is another series that will be defensive and played tight. But we can hope for the occasional 8-7 game where there are three hat tricks and scrums after the whistle and just general mayhem. In our dreams.