You most likely know Brian Slagel as the CEO and founder of Metal Blade Records. But what you might not know about him is that he’s a diehard hockey fan as well. Slagel has given Metal Insider his NHL Playoff hockey picks before, and also helped explain to us the NHL’s realignment plan. Now with the second round of playoffs under way, Slagel once again gave us his predictions for the remaining playoff rounds and for the Stanley Cup.
Well, round one of the NHL playoffs are over and my brackets are shot! I picked the Penguins and Sharks to go to the finals and clearly I was way off! Anyway, the wonderful people at Metal Insider are going to let me try and redeem myself by picking the rest of the playoffs. So here it goes, this is how I see it might happen:
In the East we have the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers. If you did not see the Flyers and Penguins series, you really missed out! That was one of the best I have ever seen, simply amazing hockey! Especially for the fans. If the Flyers can play close to that level and Bryzgalov stops some shots, I think the Flyers will take this one. The New York Rangers and Washington Capitals series should also be a good one. Both teams are playing well and coming off big Game 7 wins. The Rangers are the favorite and I think they will win, but if Ovechkin somehow finds himself this could be a long series. That would set up a Rangers/Flyers Eastern final and oh how great that would be! If you saw HBO’s 24/7 on these two teams, you know how amazing a playoff between them will be. If it gets that far, I am going with the Rangers to get out of the East.
Now for the West, all 4 teams left have never won a Stanley Cup. That certainly makes for an interesting second round out West. First off, we have the Los Angeles Kings against the St. Louis Blues. I think the over/under for goals scored in this entire series could be 7. These should be close, defensive-fought hockey games. The Kings have only been this far once in the last 20 years and I don’t think they can get past the Blues. However, if Jonathan Quick stands on his head again, the Kings could find themselves in the Western Finals. The Phoenix Coyotes and Nashville Predators should also be a very defensive, low scoring series also. Nashville looked really good in beating the Detroit Red Wings in the first round and I really cannot see this series going any other way than for the Preds. Preds goalie Pekke Rinne is playing better than any goalie at this moment and that should end this series in 6t games. The Blues and Predators then would meet for the West with the Preds coming out on top.
Now that would set up a Rangers/Predators final. That should be a good one. If the Rangers come out of the Caps and Flyers series without being completely beaten up, they have a chance. However, I just think 3 long, hard series will wear them down too much. So I say buy the champagne Nashville, your Predators are going to win the Stanley Cup!!!
This has been a crazy and great playoffs so far, so watch them, as it should only get better!!