NHL 2008 1st Round Playoff Matchup Predictions

April 7th, 2008 | Posted by admin in NHL

The 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs begin this Wednesday with 3 matchups. I will offer my 1st round hockey playoff predictions. Here are my 2nd round predictions and my 3rd round predictions.   I will do it for each round and see how well my predictions fare. Stay tuned to updates for the NHL Playoffs as well as NHL draft news by subscribing to the NHL Apparel Blog:

Western Conference NHL Playoff First Round MatchUps

1. Detroit Red Wings (54-21-7)
8. Nashville Predators (41-32-9)

In this series, I expect the Predators to keep the Red Wings close as long as the goaltending for Nashville shines. In the end, the Red Wings will prove to be too skilled and battle tested to lose the series. Detroit wins the playoffs series 4-2

2. San Jose Sharks (49-23-10)
7. Calgary Flames (42-30-10)

The San Jose Sharks are the most dangerous team in the NHL right now coming in to the playoffs. The Flames aren’t deep enough to handle the well-balanced San Jose attack. San Jose wins the playoffs series 4-1

3. Minnesota Wild (44-28-10)
6. Colorado Avalanche (44-31-7)

The Minnesota Wild are a very deep team led by Marian Gaborik who is playing the best hockey of his career. The Avalanche have a lot of offensive weapons, but the Wild play such a disciplined defensive system that the Avs won’t make much of a dent in the Minnesota’s armor. Minnesota wins the playoffs series 4-2

4. Anaheim Ducks (47-27-8)
5. Dallas Stars (45-30-7)

The Anaheim Ducks are the reigning Stanley Cup Champions. While Corey Perry is still out with the severe leg injury, the Ducks have Getzlaf back and are ready to take on the Stars. The Ducks are many people’s favorite to win the Stanley Cup, and I don’t think the Stars are going to have enough fight to stop the Ducks in this playoff series. Anaheim wins the playoffs series 4-1

NHL Interactive

Eastern Conference Hockey Playoff First Round MatchUps

1. Montreal Canadiens (47-25-10)
8. Boston Bruins (41-29-12)

The Montreal Canadiens are a surprise #1 seed. Coming into the season everyone figured Ottawa would easily win the Eastern Conference. The speedy Canadiens are playing a gritty Bruin’s team. The Bruins will fight, but they will fall short in this series. Montreal wins the playoffs series 4-2

2. Pittsburgh Penguins (47-27*8)
7. Ottawa Senators (43-31-8)

Pittsburgh has a tough draw for the 1st round. Even with Daniel Alfredsson out with an “upper body injury”, the Senators are still a talented and deep team. Don’t be surprised if the Senators pull this one out. Ottawa wins the playoffs series 4-3

3. Washington Capitals (43-31-8)
6. Philadelphia Flyers (42-29-11)

The Capitals are the little engine that could, led by Alexander Ovechkin, points and goals leader this year in the NHL. The Capitals played incredible down the stretch to make the playoffs and win the Southeast Division and wrapping up the #3 seed. The Flyers have been inconsistent all year long and have a goalie who has never started an NHL playoff game. Washington wins the playoffs series 4-3

4. New Jersey Devils (46-29-7)
5. New York Rangers (42-27-13)

The Rangers dominated the season series with the Devils by playing a disciplined defensive game backstopped by the phenomenal Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers have a complete team, offensively and defensively and could go deep into the playoffs if they remain healthy. Rangers wins the playoffs series 4-3

Stay tuned to updates for the NHL Playoffs as well as NHL draft news by subscribing to the NHL Apparel Blog and also check out my 2008 Stanley Cup Playoff 2nd Round Predictions!

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36 comments on “NHL 2008 1st Round Playoff Matchup Predictions

  1. Dr. Charles T. Yu on said:

    Sweet. I actually agree with you on 7 out of 8 series results. I am not, however, “feeling Minnesota” as it were. I think the Avalanche will pull it out – not that I like the Avalanche – but I think they’ll get it together in time.

  2. Wicked on said:

    I think the Avs defense and goalie are too shaky. Minnesota is solid all the way around … we’ll see though

  3. Pierre on said:

    Of all the upsets, you pick Ottawa? The Pens will be in the cup.
    Remember that guy….Peter the great? He’s back…and the AVS will meet Pittsburgh in the cup.

  4. You actually believe ottawa has a chance against pittsburgh? I really dont see Gerber or emery for that matter stopping that offence. No Alfredsson, fisher, or kelly they have no chance.

  5. Wicked on said:

    Yeah, Ottawa is still a solid team and as long as they still have Heatley and Spezza they have a chance. Gerber and Emery are both capable of being good goaltenders, and if Gerber runs into a hot streak he could carry the Sens past the Penguins.

    The Avalanche are certainly stronger now that they have Forsberg. My prediction is that Forsberg will be physically worn down by the 5th game and the Wild will finish off the series.

  6. Jim Marsh on said:

    I agree with all predictions except 1.. Boston in 7

  7. 8spokesontheB on said:

    Esteemed Sir,

    You seem to be sports-savvy, though obviously not too hockey-savvy. They are the CanadiEns, not canadians. Please, in the future, don´t commit such an insulting error.

  8. Wicked on said:

    I do apologize for my mis-spelling, although I am quite hockey savvy though. I hope you have enjoyed your time on the site with the exception of my spelling error

  9. Seriously?? Ottawa over pittsburgh? Ottawa can’t even buy a game in the last half of the season. NOW they are without alfredssion, fisher, and kelly. What makes you think they are going to win now with 2/5 players out for first round.

  10. NHLCommissioner on said:

    I dont see Calgary having no chance of pulling few from San Jose. I think there will be lots of upsets and CUP is wide open to grab. Dallas is gonna beat up Ducks and Aves and gonna do same with Wilds…Thanks for your time.

  11. Matt on said:

    I agree with most of the predictions but the Pens might slip by Ottawa if Emery and Gerber play their usual game. But the Pens will not get by the second round and the Avs will be put out by Minnesota is 6 or less. Pierre, don’t quit your day job because you’re no NHL analyst. NYR and San Jose in the final as long as NY gets past NJ, but that ones all up to the goalies.

  12. Wicked on said:

    I think the Rangers have one of the best chances to go deep in this year’s playoffs. If they can put up enough goals and their youngsters perform then the Rangers could be the last team standing from the East.

  13. Spencer on said:

    Ottawa ain’t looking so hot now eh?

    Pen’s in 4, 5 tops.

    Bring on Ovenchicken!

  14. The only predictions i don’t agree with are the San Jose/Calgary series and the Pittsburgh/Ottawa series. San Jose’s winning streak has to come to an end soon, and i just think that Pittsburgh wants it more. My final prediction; Detroit VS. Pittsburgh in the finals. Detroit in 5.

  15. Bartinis on said:

    MOST of the predictions are true but pens will beat ottowa and i dont think its going to be rangers in 7 i think rangers in 5 , 6 tops. It is going to come down to rangers in the east and detroit in the west.

  16. Alex Ronky on said:

    Flyers could make it. All they have to do is hold Ovechkin to at least one goal a game, and they’ll have it fine. Flyers in 6

  17. How are the 2nd round games matched up? Which series plays which series?

  18. Wicked on said:

    Once the 1st round is finished, then in each conference the top team plays the bottom team and the two middle teams play each other.

  19. i agree. the bruins have it in them. The senators will get destroyed and the sharks will go to the finals

  20. flyers in 6. they have been putting forth an effort like no other.the heart and the passion.bottom line is the wings will always choke. no stanley cup finals for them. respect that

  21. RoBeSkY on said:

    I know everyones saying this haha but ya Pens over Sens forsure. in 4, maybe 5 if Ottawa gets a break.
    Montreal in 6.
    Calgary in 5.
    Minnesota in 7.
    Rangers in 6.
    Caps in 7.
    Stars in 6.
    Detroit in 5.

    Calgary and Pittsburgh in the finals….Flames take it.

  22. NHL Zach on said:

    Pens in 4… get it together Wicked.

    Stanley Cup – Pens v. Detroit , Pens in 6

  23. Wicked on said:

    I know, I’m now 0-1. Oh well, plenty of time to redeem myself.

  24. Orange Crush on said:

    Poor Crapitals. Looks like Ovechkin took a few courses at the Crosby School Of Diving. I’m not one for conspiracy theories but it seems the NHL really wants the Caps to win the series so they can see Ovie and Sid battle it out. I know it would boost ratings but I mean the amount of non-calls or miss-calls is ridiculous. It seems to be happening in other series as well. The Devils being called for icing while shorthanded? Come on.

    Not sure why everyone counted out the Flyers in this series. They have an extremely similar story as the Caps if not better. They were the worst team in the NHL in 2006. They rebound and find a way to win out to get the 6th seed in the playoffs after battling major injuries to key players. The amount of heart these guys are playing with is astounding while Ovie and the Caps look like a disorganized bunch of individuals. Where’s the team play? Last night was the first full game they actually brought it to the Flyers. But you gotta wonder can they take 3 straight after the Flyers have already exerted this kind of Dominace….I think not.

    Prediction: Flyers come into DC on Sat. and mop up what remains of of the Crapitals and Ovechkin’s disappointing playoff debut.
    Flyers win 4-1

  25. Wicked on said:

    I have to agree with you about Ovechkin looking pretty bad for the most part in the playoffs. Ovechkin only had 1 shot on goal in a 2 overtime game. That is not playing well under pressure. I don’t care if he had 2 assists in the game, he is their leader and he needs to score for this team to win. I have a feeling that the series is over, but you never know. The Capitals did rip off a huge streak at the end of the regular season

  26. Orange Crush on said:

    You’re right, stranger things have happened and we are talking about a Chokadelphia team so there is a chance. I’m a Philly boy born and raised but I’m not blind to my city’s ability to screw up in the end. I just think that this last loss had to have really stuck it to them. The Caps played some great hockey last night and really hussled along the boards. Ovie had two great assists but you’re right he needs to pick up the play. The Craps go the way of Ovechkin. He plays great and the whole team does, he plays poorly and the whole team again follows suit. Kinda sucks to have your entire team’s success rest on the shoulders of one player, even if he is one of the greatest to play the game. I do disagree with one thing you said. Yes the Craps had a great run at the end of the season to get into the playoffs but check the average record of the teams they played and you can see why they dominated in an extremely weak division. Not to mention that Carolina folded up and handed it to them. Craps had a great season and are on their way to becoming a force but they need to build off the 5 or so great players, because the rest of the team is just big bodied forwards with minimal skill.

    At any rate if the Flyers beat the Craps we will more than likely fall to the Canadiens. Oh well, this is a million times better than last year, when the Fly guys made me cry every game!!!! Be ready Canadiens because this isn’t a single game like the regular season. You will be battered and bruised in a 7 game series especially after Boston. Hope you can handle the hits :)

  27. Brendan on said:

    Flyers lossing to the craps, i think NOT. The caps played and amazing game 4 to what LOSE. This Series is over. philly wins today 3-1.Goals from Briere,Richards, and Upshall.

  28. Daniel on said:

    Hmmm… Looks like Dallas will advance and the so called “favorites to win the stanley cup” are headed back to looserville Anaheim! Go Stars

  29. Burgs on said:

    Yeah! Take that ‘Sota! I love the Avs, and while I think that they haven’t been playing consistently enough to win the cup, I am glad they advanced to the next round.

  30. The Caretaker on said:

    If you really think about the way the teams were playing in the first round it all seems like a bit of foreplay to me. Only when they were down the played harder but when they were up they relaxed…… many of these series shouldnt have gone to the amount of games they played. Could this be the nhls’ way of boosting interest?? I mean once a team is out so is the city they play for many of the fans dont care after elimination. Having said that i predict that it will be the old America vs. Canada showdown what better way to regenerate some of that lost interest when you cant cheer for your team cheer for you country. Usually generates more for the nhl in the long run. I can see it being pittsburgh and …………… Calgary I want to say canadiens but after this last series i do believe that they have a bigger road to the cup than even they imagined.

    although i could see the capitals possibly be the american team.

  31. Coolslayer on said:

    This guys predictions s@%k!!!!! Avs will win it ALL,

  32. Wicked on said:

    You are crazy, the Avs have no chance of winning it all. They have one of the softest defenses of any team left in the playoffs.

  33. DJ Wrether on said:

    it’s funny how you guys think you know what your sayin… dont let me hear about any of you insulting Ovechkin again.. he is 20? leave the kid alone. first playoff series and he’s top ten in points

  34. Holzen on said:


  35. good 'ol' alaskan boy on said:

    Rangers are goin to beat pens in 5 canadians take philly in 6 then rangers take canadians in 5 or 6 and detroit will meet the rangers and lose in 4 rangers gonna go all the way!!

  36. Cletus on said:

    i think that the Pens will get to the fiinals but lose to the Red Wings…i think that it will be 6 or 7 games in the finals.


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