2010 1st Round Playoff Skinny - Eastern Conference

With the Leafs out of the playoffs again, I thought that I would give some insight from the timezone in North America that can watch any games they choose. Being in Victoria you might think that I'd be cheering for the Canadian team closest to my home town....you would be wrong. Below are the big stories this playoff season for the Eastern Conference(okay, I didn't feel like doing them all today):

Montreal (8) vs Washington (1)

Washington may just have finally realized, after two goals on two shots, that they should have buried Theodore in the minors and got a proven goaltender months ago. Symeon Varlamov may not be able to pull of the heroics he did last playoffs. Having to score their way out of 3 goal deficits will eventually take it's toll. But if anyone can save this team, it's Nicklas Backstrom. Eschewing his usual role of puck-disher, he has 4 goals and an assist in 2 games so far. Playing at a point-per-game clip last playoffs, expect more of the same this season from Backstrom. Washington in 7

New Jersey (2) VS Philladelphia (7)

I think the only things going on here is Ilya Kovulchuk finally showing up for the playoffs and Brian Boucher having to stop him. The only true weapon that the Flyers have is Mike Richards. This kid can carry a nation on his back, why not an NHL Team? I give this one to New Jersey on the goaltender showdown alone(have you seen? Brodeur is growing a BEARD!!!1!) New Jersey in 6

Boston (6) VS Buffalo (3)

I couldn't figure out who to cheer for here. I think I'll have to wait til the next round for the winner of this abomination of a playoff round out for good. Miller is looking human, but so is Tuuka Rask. The offense advantage goes to Buffalo. Chara can't score every goal. Buffalo in 6

Pittsburgh (4) VS Ottawa (5)

This is a true goaltending duel. As in, who will let in the worst goal from the furthest distance from the net. Both teams can score while neither team is playing defense. Look to this series to be one of the highest scoring in the first round. I will give Pittsburgh the advantage here, but the Penguins will need Crosby to basically run the show; including saving goals from in the crease. Pittsburgh in 6