Tuesday, April 10, 2007

2007 Playoff Predictions: Vancouver v. Dallas

Vancouver (3) Vs. Dallas (6)

Last year I was on holidays on the coast of Georgia during the first round of the playoffs and I watched every game of the Colorado - Dallas series on Versus (I've never seen so many mullets in a broadcast studio. Brian Engblom looks like he stole his hair from Snake on the Simpsons. I kept waiting for the theme music to be replaced by the Beastie Boys' Mullet Head. And what's up with Bill Clement? He reminds me of a mildly drunk uncle who talks way too loud with way too much authority about stuff he doesn't really get...it's no wonder no one watches hockey in the states if that's what they have to listen to.)

But back to Colorado v. Dallas - that series reminded me of two things: drinking cold Sweetwater beer on the deck while listening to the Ocean roll-in and the importance of solid goaltending (and as a Leaf fan, I know shoddy goaltending when I see it).

Marty Turco is 8-14 all time in the playoffs and 2-8 over his past two playoff appearances. He even had a losing record (2-3) with Michigan of the IHL.

If Dallas couldn't get by a team backstopped by Jose Theodore (think about that one for a second) there's no way they're beating one backed by Roberto Luongo.

The Canucks may be a one-line, one goalie team but with Turco's history that will be more than enough.

Call it Canucks in 6.

I don't know what to make of Dallas.

Last year they burned me in the playoffs (did I mention that already?) so I am a bit unsure about this team. They don't seem to do anything flashy yet they had another solid year. I was shocked to see that castoffs - Riberio and Nagy are their top two scorers [and to think my hockey pool mocked me mercilessly when I mistakenly drafted Ribeiro for a dime at the auction - Mike.].

It took a few months but the Canuckleheads have finally bought into Vigneault's system and they know Luongo will bail them out when needed (why didn't the Oiler's trade Pronger for him?).

The Canucks remind me of the Devils teams in the 90's that rode balanced scoring and Brodeur(Martin not Richard) to a couple of Cup wins.

This one is pretty easy to call.

Canucks in 5.

I have the same issues with Dallas as I do with Minnesota, in a way - sure they don't look bad, they're solid enough, but there's nothing sparking any real belief in a strong run from them, either. And of course there's Turco's less than beautiful playoff stats (think they'll go with Smith?).

The Canucks, on the other hand, might only have one really strong line and Luongo in net to rely on - but Detroit depended heavily on their top line and a strong goalie for a while too and look at how they finished the season.

They might burn out if that's all they can count on through the whole playoffs, but it should be enough to push them past Dallas.

Canucks in six.

Guys, First, I have to admit, I was, for a long time, a Canucks fan. It's not that I'm NOT anymore, but after 16 years in Ottawa (with at least six of those as a Sens ticket holder) my loyalties...shifted a little.

That said, I think my rooting interest is the only thing that's going to keep me interested in this series. Because, as a pure hockey play, I'm betting this is the least interesting tilt of the first round. Neither team scores. Both teams will sink and swim with the goalies.

Vancouver has the better goal tender.

Canucks in six.

Coffee Cup says: Vancouver in 5

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