Boston SnowDogs vs New York Demons – The Snowdogs were one of my favorite teams all season to watch. They were getting solid goaltending from Craig Anderson and Cam Ward and had players that were really having great seasons statistically. Recently, however, the team has struggled going 3-6-1 in their last 10. To make matters worse, the Demons are quite possibly the league’s hottest team, and one of the better teams on paper.
Prediction: Demons in 4
Quebec City Corinthians vs Toronto Stallions – Crosby is playing as well as any other player in the league. The Stallions have gone 10-0-0 in their past 10 and the Corinths are banged up. The Corinths have some solid talent but look like they’re running out of steam as the season progresses.
Prediction: Stallions in 5
Detroit Cougars vs Halifax Citadelles – Likely one of the better first round matchupes, both teams have firepower and big names. Goaltending has been the Cougar’s weakness in past seasons but the Toskala-Niittymaki duo looks pretty good heading into the playoffs and the team has some positive chemistry. The Citadels, meanwhile, bulked up for the playoffs and could go deep so long as they beat the Cougars in the first round. I’d like to see the Citadels win, but they’re in for a tough matchup.
Prediction: Cougars in 7
Chicoutimi Sparrows vs Miami Hooligans – The Sparrows are always a tough team come playoff time and they’ve played well all season thanks to a solid team effort. JS Giguere is nursing some injuries which could be the team’s downfall against this high-powered Hooligans offense. It’ll be a good series, but the Hooligans probably have too much firepower to lose, and will upset in the first round.
Prediction: Hooligans in 6
Rocky Mountain Express vs Las Vegas Bulls – The Express slept through the regular season and as a result draw the 8th seed and the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs. Brendan Shanahan’s career is likely over and the rest of the Express club better have their depends ready as the Bulls are going to make them crap their pants with their quickness and depth.
Prediction: Bulls in 4
Anchorage Orcas vs Grand Forks Gorillas – The Gorillas have been the feel good story of the year going from one of the worst teams in the league to one of the best. GM Jason Gudim has done a very good job with this club and Head Coach, Dean Blais should be up for the Jack Adams award at season’s end. The Orcas have some nice scoring in Mike Cammalleri, Dustin Brown and Devin Setoguchi, but don’t have the depth of the Gorillas. They may squeak out a win but not much more – sorry Putz!
Prediction: Gorillas in 5
Portland Timberjacks vs Kelowna Cats – The TJacks have been run by the league all season and have done quite well. It’s hard not to with the scoring threats the team has. Ryan Getzlaf is a supreme talent but the Jacks haven’t been able to get enough out of Alex Ovechkin this season. It’ll probably come down to whoever is the hottest goaltender and my money is on Antti Niemi of the Cats.
Prediction: Cats in 6
Pasadena Patriots vs Saskatchewan Dugouts – The Pats have been quite this season but still have a lot of talent on their roster. The loss of Marty Brodeur for the first 3 games however is going to hurt this club quite a bit as the Dugouts are finding their stride at the right time of the season. The Dugouts have some decent depth on their roster, and Miro Satan will thrive as a hero away from the Bulls in this first series.
Prediction: Dugouts in 5