#3 Florida Panthers vs #6 New Jersey Devils
The Florida Panthers have finally made the NHL playoffs, after a 10 year absence and no one predicted this to happen. Then again, no body predicted the Washington Capitals to choke all season long, we are used to the playoff choke job from them.
So in reality the Florida Panthers should be thanking the Capitals and the Lightning for pulling one of the biggest choke jobs this season. Without that, the Panthers are not in the playoffs.
Now with that said, I took a lot of heat calling these Panthers overrated. Reality is, they are. Of the 16 teams in the playoffs, they are one of the two teams with a minus in goals differential (-24). Can you guess the other team? You guessed right, the Washington Capitals, ironically both teams from the Southeast division. (-8)
The Panthers won’t get the goaltending they will need in the playoffs, but will most likely get the offense they will most definitely need. Especially from Stephen Weiss, and Stanley Cup winner Kris Vertseeg.
As for the New Jersey Devils, they are doing everything in their power to prove to Captain Zach Parise that this team can win. In my opinion, I expect the Devils to have a deep playoff run, which will potentially land Parise a big contract in the offseason.
Problem though is, will Martin Brodeur stand on his head? The Devils acquired Marek Zidlicky before the trade deadline, and he has been nothing but excellent for the Devils. A big piece to the puzzle the Devils needed to fill, and that they did.
With Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrick Elias up front, these guys alone can carry their team deep in the playoffs, especially over the Florida Panthers.
With how the Panthers have struggled the last two weeks, and the Devils winning 7 in a row to end the season, you have no choice but to expect the Devils to come out of this series victorious. I will though give the Panthers two wins, one at home, one in NJ.
SERIES PREDICTION: New Jersey Devils to win the series in 6 games.
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