PHT predicts the 2010-2011 Stanley Cup playoffs

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Earlier we told you about how we thought the regular season was going to play out and now it’s time to look at how we think the playoffs will go.

Joe says:

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Washington over Tampa Bay
New Jersey over Montreal
Philadelphia over Buffalo
Pittsburgh over Boston

Eastern Conference semifinals

Washington over Philadelphia
New Jersey over Pittsburgh

Eastern Conference finals

New Jersey over Washington

 

James says:

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Washington over Carolina
New Jersey over Tampa Bay
Philadelphia over Boston
Pittsburgh over Buffalo

Eastern Conference semifinals

Washington over Philadelphia
New Jersey over Pittsburgh

Eastern Conference finals

Washington over New Jersey

In the Western Conference, things shake out a bit differently for your two favorite writers at PHT. Never mind that we’re the only ones here, that’s besides the point.

Joe says:

Western Conference quarterfinals

Vancouver over St. Louis
Nashville over San Jose
Detroit over Los Angeles
Chicago over Phoenix

Western Conference semifinals

Vancouver over Nashville
Detroit over Chicago

Western Conference finals

Vancouver over Detroit

 

James says:

Western Conference quarterfinals

Vancouver over St. Louis
Chicago over Phoenix
San Jose over Nashville
Detroit over Los Angeles

Western Conference semifinals

Detroit over Vancouver
Chicago over San Jose

Western Conference finals

Detroit over Chicago

Finally, for the Stanley Cup finals, we shake things down and get our love out for all things Western Conference.

Joe says:  Vancouver over New Jersey

I fully admit, I’m drinking a lot of blue and green Kool-Aid this year. I like too much what they’ve added on defense, the Sedins are the real deal and just getting better and with a more competent defense playing in front of Luongo, he’ll get the monkey off his back. Also note I had Vancouver avoiding Chicago in the playoffs. That would help out.

As for New Jersey, I can’t shake the feeling that the mix of home-grown players and old-school throwbacks will put it all together with John MacLean coaching them over the first round playoff hump once again. Running into an old school mirror image team like Vancouver in the finals will be too much to overcome after getting run around by the wild Capitals in the East final. Vancouver will celebrate their 40th year in the NHL by finally getting to have that parade they so sloppily and publicly plan each year.

James says: Detroit over Washington

Detroit’s goalies might be a tad bit better than Washington’s (certainly from an experience stand point in Chris Osgood, who won a Cup in relief of Dominik Hasek). Mike Green is no Lidstrom. Zetterberg or Datsyuk might not be able to shut down Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin completely, but I think they can match or maybe even out-play the two elite forwards. Johan Franzen and Alex Semin would probably be the X-factors in this series and I have much more confidence throwing my imaginary vote to Franzen.

I feel weird choosing Detroit because I feel like they’re an aging team with questionable forward depth, but I’m going with my bulbous gut on this one. Feel free to mock me as an old and decrepit Red Wings team doesn’t even make the playoffs this season…

Devils unveil ‘The Salute’ statue in honor of Martin Brodeur

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The New Jersey Devils on Monday unveiled ‘The Salute’ — a statue paying homage to one of the greatest goalies in NHL history, Martin Brodeur, who will have his No. 30 uniform retired Tuesday at Prudential Center.

“Looking at the pictures of my career and some of the events that meant a lot to me, I always saluted the fans,” Brodeur, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Devils, told the Fire and Ice blog.

“That picture, at different times, in different jerseys, actually, like with Team Canada, it all came to that same pose.”

More on the statue from the Devils:

The 900-pound bronze statue was created by renowned sculpture and artist Jon Krawczyk, who worked with Brodeur on the design. Krawczyk, a Boonton Township, N.J. native and lifelong Devils fan, who also created the hockey statue on Championship Plaza outside of Prudential Center, personally drove “The Salute” from his Malibu, Cali. studio to the arena late last week.

Video: Panthers furious after Abdelkader ‘cheap shot’ hit on Barkov

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The Florida Panthers are fuming after their skilled 20-year-old forward Aleksander Barkov left Monday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings following a hit from Justin Abdelkader.

Abdelkader caught Barkov with a hard hit near the goal line as the Panthers player tried to move the puck up ice early in the second period.

The only call on the play was to Panthers’ blue liner Alex Petrovic for the retaliatory cross check on Abdelkader. Barkov left the game and didn’t return with an upper-body injury.

Members of the Panthers irate with the hit, and the fact there was no call.

“It was a cheap hit, I don’t know how the ref didn’t call it,” Nick Bjugstad told the Miami Herald. “It was frustrating, the whole bench felt that way. We’re not happy with it. It turned the game around. Barkov has tough shoes to fill. It looked pretty serious. We’ll see how the league handles it and I think they will. I just don’t know how it wasn’t handled on the ice.”

“You hate to lose your top player, but that’s part of the game,” added Panthers’ head coach Gerard Gallant.

“We’re disappointed to lose him. I thought it was a cheap shot but the referees didn’t see it that way and explained to me it was a clean check. It’s tough. It happens quick and we get to see the replay. I think it’ll be looked at. [Abdelkader] left his feet a little and got him in the jaw.”

The Panthers gave up three goals in the third period in a 3-0 loss to the Red Wings.

Penguins thump the Ducks as Crosby’s hot streak continues

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In a meeting between two clubs enjoying hot streaks and their own subsequent climbs through the standings, the Pittsburgh Penguins bested the Anaheim Ducks courtesy another dominant Sidney Crosby performance on Monday.

After that slow start, Crosby has put together a growing number of dominant performances of late.

The latest, a four-point night, helped the Penguins to a 6-2 final over the Ducks, stopping Anaheim’s winning streak at six games.

— He extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games, and did so with two beauty goals versus the Ducks.

— From Dec. 18 to Feb. 8, he’s appeared in 21 games. In that span, he’s recorded 34 points.

— Crosby is now into the top five among NHL players in points, with 53 in 51 games this season.

He wasn’t the only Pittsburgh player to have a big night. Keep in mind, Evgeni Malkin wasn’t even in the lineup due to a lower-body injury.

Ten different Penguins players recorded points. In addition to Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang had multi-point efforts, and four players — Kunitz, Crosby, Olli Maatta and Patric Hornqvist — were plus-four.

The Penguins now move into third in the Metropolitan Division, while the New York Islanders slip into the first Wild Card spot in the East. Pittsburgh’s lead over the Islanders, however, is only one point.

The Islanders also have a game in hand.

Panthers’ Barkov (upper-body injury) leaves game versus Red Wings

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The Florida Panthers will be without Aleksander Barkov for the remainder of their game versus the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.

As per multiple reports, Barkov will not return due to an upper-body injury suffered after a hit from Justin Abdelkader early in the second period.

Abdelkader wasn’t given a penalty on the play. Barkov didn’t play another shift after that hit.

In 42 games this season, the 20-year-old Barkov has 16 goals and 35 points.