Koke (Van) vs Token Toma (Wpg)
#1 @koke_45 (Van) - 1000
#8 @TokenToma (Wpg) +1000
Season Series: Van 3-1
Koke showed a new dimension to his game this season as he was able to add a stout defense to his high flying offense punctuated by a sub 4.00 GAA and allowing fewer than 10 shots a game. Always a tough out in the playoffs, this may be Koke’s best opportunity at a breakout playoff run as he seems to have the pair of Bure and Linden flying high on both sides of the ice.
TokenToma put together a clutch 9-1 streak to squeak into the playoffs as he held the tiebreaker over Kof94III’s champion Fed’s Flames. Not just any old 8 seed, Token possesses a +12 goal differential and played some very competitive games with Koke during the regular season despite losing the season series.
Bottom Line: This is a pretty even matchup team wise and it comes down to who plays the better and more consistent game. I like Vancouver here as Koke really seems to be putting things together and has two main scoring options whereas Winnipeg only has one.
Prediction: VAN in 5
Dethrox (Mtl) vs Mikeyv04 (Pit)
#2 @dethrox (Mtl) -600
#7 @Mikeyv04 (Pit) +600
Season Series: Montreal 3-2
Montreal certainly took a unique path to success this season as they rode Patrick Roy, premium playmaking, and a contain defense en route to winning their division. Some red flags concern me considering a matchup with Pittsburgh on the docket. First of all Montreal was outshot this season by their opponent. Second, Montreal also spent more time in their own zone defending than they did on the attack and lastly they don’t have a gamebreaking talent on their roster. Despite these things, Dethrox plays a disciplined style that allows him to flourish by taking advantage of the other teams mistakes.
Pittsburgh’s season was the antithesis of Montreal, the Pens outshot their opponents, outzoned them and had some of the worst goaltending this season. Pittsburgh’s roster is miles ahead of Montreal’s but the utilization makes me skeptical as Mario and Ulf Samuelsson carried a lot of the scoring burden while Stevens and Jagr seemed to be scuffling for the most part. A confounding yet dangerous team.
Bottom Line: This series holds the biggest upset potential and I squirm at the idea of having to play Pittsburgh with Montreal. Montreal’s contain defense will have to be on point and if they can take advantage of Pittsburgh’s puck rushing defenseman, I see a clear path to victory despite all of the other stats.
Montreal in 6
Jammerko94II (Bos) vs Stheds2000 (Wsh)
#3 @Jammer - KO94IIsnes (Bos) -300
#6 @stheds2000 (Wsh) +300
Season Series: Boston 3-2
I get the sense from Jammer that Boston is not his favorite team but you would not be able to tell by the success they had this season. Leading the league in GAA and shots for seems to be a delicious recipe for success. The only thing really slowing down Boston is a relative inexperience to their opponent in online play. Even with that in mind, I wouldn’t be so quick to bury the Kof94II champ as his numbers speak for themself.
In the other corner of this heavyweight battle is online veteran stheds2000, who used a low event, puck possessing style to his benefit. This roster is perfectly constructed to compete with Boston as the Caps blueline can handle Boston’s talented roster while Bondra will do his best to put the B’s on their heels during counter attacks.
Bottom Line: This has the makings of a 7 gamer and could be a very frustrating series on both sides of the ice. These teams are perfectly situated to punch each other in the mouth with viscous body checks and stifling defense. Whoever loses their cool in this matchup will likely see their playoff run stop well short of expectation.
Prediction: Boston in 7
Stantonator (LA) vs Angryjay93 (NYR)
#4 Stantonator (LA) -100
#5 Angryjay93 (NYR) +100
Season Series: LA 2-0
Stantonator, hot off an impressive showing at Kof94IV continues to ride the wave in LA as he used a swarming offensive attack and excellent manual goaltending to great success this season. Using a balanced scoring attack, LA cobbled together the 2nd highest scoring offense despite only having one individual in the top 10 scoring (#8 Sandstrom). Pair this with a couple of big heavies on the backline and you have to like Stantonator’s chances at a long playoff run.
You let one GENS guy win a SNES championship and it seems everyone answers the bell to take him down as this season was so stacked with competition we had to have TWO A Leagues. We all know what we get with the Angryjay style, tons of puck possession, lots of passing, and stifling contain defense. NYR led the league in fewest shots allowed, that paired with their league leading attack zone time and special teams may be their best defense against LA’s balanced attack.
Bottom Line: A true pick em as LA seems to have a slight roster edge in this matchup and Stantonator has been on absolute fire since Toronto. Still, it is my odds and if I go down, I’m going down believing in myself! To the prediction!
Prediction: NYR in 7
Odds to win Cup:
Jammer (Bos): +400
Dethrox (Mtl): +500
Angryjay93 (NYR): +600
Stantonator (LA): +600
Koke (Van): +800
Stheds2000 (Wsh): +1300
MikeyV04 (Pit): +2500
TokenToma (Wpg): +5000