Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sens Town Playoff Prediction Pannel

The other day I set you up with the media playoff preview links, so you could have all of them in one spot. Makes it easier for you guys to compile it all in one post. Today I bring you the predictions of media members and hockey people for the Sens/Rangers opening round, who made these just for the good readers of Sens Town. So give it a read and see if you agree or disagree after the jump.

Sarah McLellan, the beat writer of the Phoenix Coyotes for The Arizona Republic:

After orchestrating an overall solid season that overwhelmingly exceeded expectations, it almost seems unfair that the Senators have to encounter the Rangers in the first round. But this matchup isn't as lopsided as the standings would hint. Both teams slide into the postseason on losing skids, and that makes Game 1 even more telling. Momentum can very easily dictate the outcome for the first two games, and that would make for an exciting finish.

The Rangers are obviously led by goalie Henrik Lundqvist, and he could easily steal this series. What's more, the Rangers' offensive punch up front with Brad Richards and Marion Gaborik shouldn't be taken lightly. But Ottawa's core has a fair share of playoff experience, and this team is used to overcoming adversity. Ultimately, though, defense sets the tone. While Erik Karlsson could be a huge factor in this season, it takes an entire team and that's where the Rangers have the edge. But don't expect the Senators to roll over; the Rangers will have to fight to win this one.

Prediction: Rangers in 6

Follow her on twitter @azc_mclellan

James Gordon, Sports Editor at The Ottawa Citizen:

I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the Senators pulled off an upset here, considering how tough they’ve played the Rangers this season. At the end of the day, however, Tortorella and Richards are battle-tested and Lundqvist should have his name on the Vezina Trophy this summer. That should be enough.

Prediction: Rangers take it in 6. 

Follow him on twitter @SensReporter

Jen Traplin, Live 88.5fm DJ:

Clearly, the Sens are the underdogs here. But it says a lot that the team and its fans openly embraced the Rangers match-up while, in New York, the feeling definitely isn't mutual.

The Senators have played well against the Rangers this year. They also haven't lost a game at Madison Square Garden in years and, at this point, all of the big guns are healthy. That has to make the Rangers a bit nervous. A Game One win for Ottawa at Madison Square would give the Sens a huge boost moving forward. 

Given where they are in the standings, New York obviously shouldn't be counted out. The Rangers will put up a reasonable fight but Ottawa will take this round.

Prediction: Ottawa in 6

Follow her on twitter @JenTraplin

Stuntman Stu, Sens PA Announcer and Majic 100 Radio Host:

Sens in 6 over NYR and a Cup win over Detroit :) if Sens win the Cup, I'll treat u and 2 of your winners to lunch! 

Prediction: Ottawa in 6. Can't beat a potential free lunch either lol

Follow him on twitter @StuntmanStu

Jeff Marek, host of Hockey Central on SportsNet and co-host of Marek vs Wyshynski Podcast:

For me this series comes down to who can score goals.  I know that sounds, well kinda' obvious but it's true. This should and I suspect will be a stifling series (If you came to this one expecting goals you may leave disappointed) with both sides grinding out every area of the ice looking to create a scoring chance.

Considering this may just come down to a goaltending duel between Craig Anderson and Henrik Lundqvist I suspect the magic number in this series is three. If Ottawa can pump that many past Lundqvist they have a chance but if the Rangers get to three first it will be tough sledding for the Sens to make up that gap.

Prediction: Rangers in 5.

Follow him on twitter @JeffMarek

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