Well, here we are, and The Peerless is poised to present the positively preeminent prognostications for your perusal. Let’s get right to the picks in the East . . .
Buffalo Sabres (1) –
Series Theme: “Slugs versus Pugs”
Fun Fact: Daniel Briere has no goals against the Islanders this year.
The Islanders snuck in on the last day of the regular season by virtue of having cashed their Bettman token – a shootout win over the Devils. The Sabres sleepwalked through their finale against the Flyers with Ty Conklin in goal and Daniel Briere checking the Philly restaurant guide for some good skewered cuisine. Speaking of sleep-walking, Alexei Yashin had one point in four games against the Sabres this year.
In a perfect world, Chris Simon deposits Daniel Briere in Long Island Sound at some point in this series. Well, Simon was asked to take a vacation, and in the meantime, the Islanders are being backstopped by a goaltender named, “Dubie.” The Peerless wouldn’t bet your money on the Islanders, let alone his own…
Series Theme: “Good Marty versus Evil Marty”
Fun Fact: No Devil has more than two points against the Lightning this year
OK, so “good” and “evil” depend on your point of view. On the one hand, we have Martin Brodeur, iron-man goaltender, the rock upon which the Devils edifice is built, a sure-fire hall of famer, likely to be the winningest goalie (without an asterisk) in the history of the game when he retires. On the other hand, we have a midget.
This is the “irresistible force meets immovable object series,” one with Stanley Cup pedigrees all over the place. It says here that goaltending and defense win at this time of year – the Devils have that, the Lightning don’t.