East has a lot of familiar names back in the playoffs. Just like the east there were a couple teams that turned things around. Looking at teams like Columbus and Ottawa, who just last year were not competing at this high a level. In the East we start with a familiar match up.
Last year, New Jersey was the underdog to Philadelphia. While they didn’t get the result they wanted, the last time these two teams met, the winner ended up being the Stanley Cup Champion. Does that trend continue?
New Jersey was dominate all year, from the above comparison, they are dominate statistically as well. Philadelphia has a monumental task ahead of them, can toslick and the gang be up for the challenge? The season series saw an advantage to NJ at 2 wins to 1. However, the last game of the season was a 15-2 blowout win for New Jersey.
New Jersey is led by xTarasenk91_, and his league leading 249 points. He added 201 hits and a plus 154. Pad our stats much? Honestly, he deserves it, to go out there and put up those numbers doesn’t matter who the competition is. Rounding out the top three you have HyperDeezNutz with 117 points, averaging 4.18 ppg. ChobanLacot with 102 points, 2.43 points per game and 345 hits. Can’t forget about the owner Aali-21 with 97 points, Nick_x_98 with 81 points and T_n_T91 with 74 points. Solid numbers from all of the forwards.
Defensively, New Jersey is the only team I can recall that has two defense-men averaging 1.4 points per game. Pretty solid numbers all-around from this team. At the blue-line, you have xIBrokeTheDam with 97 points and 138 hits. Followed by a familiar name in NJ, FranchiseMatty with 65 points and 182 hits.
In net, you have a trio of goalies, but my money is on TheDoooooogstar as the start with his .846 save percentage.
For Philadelphia, they are led by their owner toslick with his 142 points, averaging 2.68 points per game and a plus 64. Production starts to drop after that and drop rapidly. EPICxSKILLZY with 100 points, about 3 points per game and you_mecca_me_sik with 51 points, 68 hits and a minus 37. On defense they are not as physical as NJ, ThreeT38 had 49 points this season and a plus 57. Fumancheezy_ had 39 points and was a plus 38. Names like u_1_2_B_me with 30 points and Capitalsfan_08 with 21 points round out the defensive unit.
Finally, they are backstopped by a familiar name in Jade_Dragoon_. This year he has a .828 save percentage, guy is going to have to stand on his head to win this for Philadelphia.
Hard to go against New Jersey. I don’t think Philadelphia has the firepower to match them. New Jersey in 5.
These two teams met three time this year and each time the score line was 3-2. These games were tight, 1 goal games, I expect more of the same from this series. At first glance, the pendulum appears to swing in the Rangers favor, at least statistically. However, these two teams are really evenly matched, just like the Calgary/Vegas match up, this is going to be a good one.
Columbus was led in points this year by their owner premierplayer, with 163, 114 being assists. Throw in 242 hits and I’d say he had a solid year. From there you look at Too-Rough-2008 with 125 points and 110 hits. Finally, MyNamesMino with 110 points and 121 hits. Yesse__ and Moception round out the rest of the forwards with the highest games played with 52 points and 37 points respectively. I pointed out hits for a reason, both these teams hit, they hit a lot.
On Defense, you have Mayor_35 who put up 58 points and had a plus 74. Moception had 39 points, while PhistMyace had 30 points and 154 hits. In net, they are another team with a trio of goalies, Marts79 leads the way with .854 save percentage. Right behind him are Brad0703 and last year’s hot AHL playoff goaltender jordanbrown1891.
For the Rangers, Ethxxn_- leads the way with 209 points averaging 3.60 points per game and totaled 271 hits. Soul2Cold77 had 147 points and added 243 hits. Not to be forgotten, Rivnasty had 110 points, 3.24 per game, with 151 hits.
On Defense, Eastern_trooper led all Ranger Dmen with 43 points adding 158 hits. Dueceinthedirt was just behind him at 42 points adding 153 hits. Mike813499 with 25 points and shepard-88- with 18 points round out the second defensive pair.
In net, the start appears to be Rancher12345, but his .770 save percentage has me worried. oRecki played 7 games and had a .874 save percentage. Not sure who he played, but potentially a better option in net.
The style that Columbus plays, combined with the questionable goaltending, gives the edge to Columbus. This won’t be easy, it won’t go seven, and Columbus is one of the highest shooting teams in the league. They have an identity, they stick to it, Columbus in 6.
These two teams do not get along. If there was one team I wouldn’t want to face first round it would be Carolina. These guys have won before, they’ve been in some heated playoff match-ups. This will be a good one VGHLers. Similar to the Rangers and Blue Jackets; Ottawa and Carolina faced off 3 times with the final score being 3-2 each time. While the stats above seem to show Ottawa as a heavy favorite, it’s not like Carolina is being blown out in any one category, except hits.
In Ottawa, the top three point getting forwards are VKaybee with 184, 3.41 points per game and a plus 78. SuDzy92_ with 140 points averaging 2.69 per game and 161 hits. CHAMP—514 with 111 points and 116 hits. They really have balance scoring from all forwards, no one guy is heavy in either goals or assists.
The Defense is led by their owner, SmiiRK-_- with 91 points and 498 hits, with an 81 plus to boot. The second highest scoring defense-man is Jwilly_24 with 21 points. In net, they have a solid trio of Tabbs85, iachoku and NHLRICK. Tabbs is the starter with his .800 save percentage.
For Carolina, the guy with the name I hate to type, xDeAdLy_xDaNgLeS had 237 points, over 3 points per game and a plus 88. ImLxziee- had 169 points with a plus 79 and 182 hits. Rounding out the top three is Tidan-16 with 75 points and a respectable 2.78 points per game.
On Defense, you have the consistent LaFleuR11 who put up 80 points and made 226 hits. The next spot is shared amongst three guys, who combined had 39 points. Those three are Kr3w7121, Happy-Gilmore-27 and XSkjei76X. In net, it appears JPerch16 is the goalie this year who had a .787 save percentage.
If any game has upset written all over it, it’s this one. Interesting story line, NHLRICK facing his former team in Carolina. Doubt he will play much but goal-tending for both these clubs has some issues. Probably due to the fact they don’t face a lot of shots. That will change this series. Picking Carolina in 7, just because it’s what I’m feeling at the moment.
Tampa Bay is one of the lower scoring teams in the playoffs, but that didn’t stop them from winning 51 games this year. They are comfortable in close games, which was proven throughout the season against Toronto. Tampa took 3 of 4 meetings with a score of 3-2. The last game of the season between these two saw Toronto bounce back and win 3-1, could that be momentum on their side? Luckily for Tampa, the team they place first round doesn’t score much either. Should be a good match up, while on paper it seems a bit lopsided.
Toronto is led by VegaRidge and his 144 points. He also added 172 hits this year. Next up is BigYanLocks- with 90 points averaging almost 3 points per game. Rounding out the forwards is BARRYS_SNIPIN who had 76 points. Yes this team has Castro but he hasn’t seen much ice time.
Defense is the strength of this team, they turn a lot of defense into offense. Rich2k8 had 58 points this year with 147 hits and defmincex13 threw in 39 points with 164 hits. In net you have the reliable newsy001qc who has a .823 save percentage this year.
On the Tampa side they are lead up front by mtl-cor, who put up 140 points this year, 2.30 points per game and 217 hits. Matthews34 was acquired to replace some of the scoring they lost the previous season, he has come up huge averaging 3.05 points per game, with 125 points total. Rounding out the top three forwards is Bdeez who put up 80 points this year averaging 2.16 per game.
The defense is a core of guys who have been playing together for years. DrWally with 38 points and 399 hits. eXecuti0n80 with 30 points and a plus 34. Grizzlyshields adding 29 points and 137 hits. With these three in front of him, XUltimatomX in net has stopped the rest that might get through. The guy that helped Arizona stun Nashville last year, is backstopping Tampa this year, sporting a .826 save percentage.
I feel the series will go as the season has went. Tampa in 5 but Toronto will put up a fight.
To end these predictions, I’d like to share with you the Tampa Bay Playoff Hype video put together by our goalie, XUltimatomX. Be aware there is a Parental Advisory warning on this video lol