On Thursday, the other four series begin, with Nashville travelling to Detroit, Dallas goes to Anaheim, Philadelphia is in Washington, and, last, but not least, the best of them all, the only one that matters, the beginning of the saga – those dastardly Boston Bruins, right now shaking in their boots, jet to Montreal whether they want to or not.
And although Toe Blake said predictions are for gypsies, I’m going to have my say about who I think will win each series. And this isn’t rocket science.
It’s not going out on a limb to say Pittsburgh will beat Ottawa.
The Devils very possibly could be taken out by the Rangers.
Minnesota should beat Colorado because I don’t trust Jose Theodore.
San Jose should wipe the floor with Calgary.
Detroit will have no problem with Nashville.
I’ve no idea who will win the Dallas-Anaheim series, but probably Anaheim will.
Washington, because they’re on such a roll, should beat Philadelphia.
And Montreal will ice an almost healthy team and spank the Bruins like they’ve never been spanked before.
The best thing’s Boston has going for them is:
Don Cherry doesn’t coach them anymore. They’re in big enough trouble already without having any ‘too many men on the ice’ penalties called against them.
Boston goalie Dave Reese no longer plays, so there probably won’t be any Montreal players getting a ten point night like Darryl Sittler did.
Fans at the Bell Centre won’t be in danger because Mike Milbury, who liked to fight up in the crowd, is only a lousy hockey anaylst now.
Eddie Shore is long gone, so Montreal players are safe from getting clubbed over the head.
And Phil Esposito’s retired, so there’ll be no trails of brylcreem all over the ice.