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Contending Teams Challenging For The Cup


  

21 members have voted

  1. 1. Contending teams challenging for the cup?

    • Vancouver
      7
    • Detroit
      5
    • Philadelphia
      3
    • Tampa
      2
    • Boston
      2
    • Washington
      1
    • San Jose
      1


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This time last season,I posted this topic,so once again...

Heading into the playoffs (not far off),who's your favorite for the cup?

Feel free to add any other team that is not in the poll that you think should be there.

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Ummmmmmmm.I dont see us in that poll FH. :blink::lol:

Seriouly though....If the Caps are in there then you may as well toss our name and the Pens in that list too. ;)

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None of those teams will win the cup.

Lets see your picks.:P

Ummmmmmmm.I dont see us in that poll FH. :blink::lol:

Not going there.:lol:

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Habs

Bring Home The Cup!

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MY Prediction: Unless Price pulls what Halak did last year I say habs get eliminated first round in 6 games.

Is that what you call,,,covering all the bases?? :)

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Honestly, as much as I hate to say it... I kind of like Boston :S. It's rare that a trade deadline move actually has any significant impact, but adding Kaberle to that blueline was exactly what they needed. Not to mention the incredible forward depth they got from Atlanta.

It's too bad Savard is out, they could have had a really, really great team. As it stands, though, I think only Philly can stand in their way. I think whoever wins of those two will take whoever comes out of the west.

Edit: assuming they don't have to play the Habs, of course. As always, we've just got their number ;)

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Detroit is my pick for the cup, my Eastern conference pick is Philadelphia. I think that we'll make the second round, unless we finish in 8th and play the Flyers. I think we can beat Tampa Bay, Boston is definitely possible, Pittsburgh is screwed without the 1-2 punch of Malkin and Crosby. Even if Crosby can play, we can just play Plekanec against him again and he'll be held off the scoresheet for the most part. Malkin doesn't get enough credit for what he does in Pittsburgh, and the Penguins aren't deep enough without him to make a deep playoff run.

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I have my money on Vancouver, especially since I love them. The team is an absolute juggernaut this season, with Kesler on pace for just shy of fifty goals; as the second line center. That alone is astonishing. Raymond's rampant inconsistency is problematic but Samuelsson recent explosion and the possibility of Higgins rebounding leave them with ample depth. Edler will return by the playoffs alongside their depleted defense. How so many injuries have occurred is baffling but the fact they have maintained first in the league only demonstrates the pure skill.

From the east, Philly is a nigh guarantee to repeat a Stanley Cup finals appearance. Boston is in the best position to challenge them. I see Tampa being a contender but much like Detroit out west, will falter near the end. What it will come down to between Philly and Boston; the likely conference final, is goaltender verse depth. The Flyers lack consistency with the former but have essentially three top level lines, they can dominate a game with relative ease. Boston can fire back on the offensive front but I believe it will come down to Thomas if they intend to win. He has struggled in the past but this season seemed posed. Shaping up to be an excellent series I am looking forward to. So yes, I shall cheer for Boston. :P

Evidently, this means I have little expectations for the Habs. In actuality, I do not see us leaving the first round as our likely opposition is Tampa, Boston or Philly, all of whom have a superior roster. Philly in particular would be liable to sweep us unless Price pulls a Halak. That said, I foresee a Washington choke job in the making all over again. Ovy and Backstorm and not defensive first players and their attempt to implement this into their arsenal will be the Achilles' heel. Pittsburgh may be their saving grace from a first round ousting, if only because the Caps seem to have their number.

In the west, San Jose is a team I love but their inconsistency is toppled only by Calgary and New Jersey. Until recently they were arguably a bubble team even in the immensely competitive Western Conference. I simply cannot foresee their defense in conjunction with Niemi being enough to drop Vancouver or Detroit. Phoenix will be Phoenix; preform well but lose to a better team and Chicago... they are an intriguing team. If I would to wager anyone emulating the Habs of last season, it would be on the Hawks. They have struggled similar to San Jose but seem to be a more reliant team and our playoff proven. Vancouver's undoing could very weel be Chicago slotted in eighth.

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. I see Tampa being a contender but much like Detroit out west, will falter near the end.

I also like Tampa...just not sure if Roloson/Smith can take them all the way.

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Washington since the trade dead-line has been playing much better hockey...adding Arnott & Wideman were good pick up's.

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Both conferences are wide open again this year and it wouldn't surprise me if we have first-round upsets on both sides. In the East, I think any of Buffalo, Montreal, and the NYR are capable of taking down a division winner, and the West is so tight for those last 4-5 playoff spots that it really just depends on what match-ups are created. I see the West as being a little more top-heavy, with Van, Det, and SJ, and of those teams, I like SJ to come out of the West right now. In the East, it's going to depend on who peaks when, but I think any of the 8 teams could make the Cup finals. As it stands now, my favorite would actually be Boston (sadly) and I would take the Sharks to beat the Bruins in the finals. That can all change depending on how the last few weeks of the season play out though.

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I was the one guy voting for Washington a while back and I still like their chances, they're a much more responsible team this year but goaltending remains an issue due to a lack of experience. Vancouver will be tough to beat but now that they're already clinched a playoff spot AND the division title, there's a risk of complacency setting in. Not saying this will happen but it'll be interesting to see how they'll do in the first round nonetheless.

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My team by team analysis of teams that have realistically clinched playoff position:

Philly: As much as I hate to say it, this team is really complete. They have an incredibly deep offense and it is hard to deny the defense. While goaltending has been good throughout the season, Bobrovksy is still a rookie and we don't know how well he will perform under pressure. If they get first and New Jersey makes 8th, New Jersey IMO would take them down.

Washington: This team is also relatively complete, and their new, more defensive system is formidable. However, I still don't know if they are committed enough to their system to play it through and through in the playoffs.

Boston: Another complete team. I just don't think that they have what it takes. It may be my bias, but they aren't that deep below thier top 6 with scoring talent. They can rely on their physical game, but we have proven that a physical game is easy to beat.

Pittsburgh: While Bylsma has done extremely well with pretty much every core player injured, a Pittsburgh withuot Crosby and Malkin is hardly Pittsburgh. They need more talent up front to do well, and Fleury's inconsistent play doesn't help.

Tampa: They have played very well all season long, but this team has a lot of question marks. Goaltending, defense, and how young players react. I don't think that they will do much this year, but look out for this group in the future.

Montreal: I will save the in-depth analysis for other threads, but IMO we have all the tools in place to win the Cup, but we have to use them well. I don't think we will. If Price plays like Halak did though, we will win.

Vancouver: I didn't think this team had enough depth until they added Higgins and Lapierre to the fourth line. The only question marks now are Louongo and their discipline that fell away last year. Even if those two things are fixed, all a team has to do is shut down the Sedins to shut down the Canucks. Its hard, but its possible.

Detriot: This is an aging, experienced team with a sprinkling of youth and good coaching. It would be more scary if they had a good goalie. Add in the possibility of playing very physical every other night against teams like San Jose, that could cause injuries, and I don't think this team will make a run. They can, though.

San Jose: Even with a better performance last year, I still consider them annual chokers due to the performance against Chicago. Add in the fact that Niemi is worse than Nabokov, and don't see them breaking the habit.

That's the playoff performers IMO this year, but I don't have a clue who will win.

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