We still need a bunch of more voters!
I thought I matched up well againts the Blues
"I Choose U" - Timeflies
BOSTON YOU'RE MY HOME
The first round was pretty easy IMO. I only had two upsets in mine but they weren't major
You thought this was a Democracy?
The Goaltending Matchup:
Mikka Kipprusoff vs Cam Ward
Ward: 68 GP, .915 save %
Kipper: 71 GP, 921 save %
I'd just like to point out the fact that Kipper played in front of a more talented defense in terms of guys like Bouwmeester, Giordano, Butler who are much better and more talented then the **** hole Cam Ward played for out in Raleigh (no offense to Canes fans, all 4 of them).
I'd also like to point out that Ward faced the 2nd most shots in the entire league, and also made the 2nd most saves in the entire league, so throughout the season he clearly had a larger workload then Kipper did. All in all, both goaltenders have proven playoff experience, Ward has a cup, Kipper almost did, I think it's fair to say the goaltending matchup is even.
Fleischmann - Weiss - Versteeg
Lupul - E. Staal - Kessel
Literally every single player on my 1st line is superior to his. Lupul has proven he has chemistry with Kessel and Staal will only provide more stabillity and vision. Kessel and Versteeg play similar roles on their teams except Kessel is a superior sniper to that of Steeger. I like Weiss, but he's one tier below Staal, and Lupul is clearly more dynamic and offensively gifted over Fleischmann. We have the better 1st line here.
Vrbata - Ribeiro - Jagr
Hornqvist - Grabovski - Hartnell
This is where things start to get interesting. In terms of centres, I really do feel Ribeiro is HIGHLY overrated. He's gifted but he always disappears and the numbers show he is one of the WORST faceoff men in the LEAGUE. Vrbata is a very crafty winger no doubt, but I think I have a very similar type of player in Hornqvist who was fantastic for Nashville in the playoffs this year. Then I have Scott Hartnell who many say is a product of Giroux, well Grabovski plays a lot like Giroux. I think this line fits very well, and I'm not sure Jagr can stick with it anymore in the playoffs. Literally every single player on this line is a 30 goal scorer and threat, whereas Vrbata is the only 30+ goal scorer on their 2nd line.
3rd Line Matchups:
Bergenheim - Fisher - Hecht
Kulemin - Bolland - Smith
Mike Fisher is an elite 3rd line centre without a doubt, and this is a fascinating matchup because Dave Bolland is the same. I have Fisher rated higher then Bolland (you'd be crazy not to), but I think in the faceoff dot, and defensively, Bolland can more then hold his own. Bergenheim on the other hand has blown up #s because he plays with Weiss. I really don't see him being a huge threat, and Hect only played 22 games last year lol. Kulemin is expected to have a bounce back year, this is my shut down line and it is a very elite shutdown line with offensive potential. Craig Smith is a speedster and he notched 16 goals, Bolland had 19, and Kulie has the potential to reach 20 again atleast. I personally think this is advantage Maple Leafs also.
Boyle - Madden - Jackman
Brown - Brent - Crabb
Boyle is a great 4th line centre, but he's playing the wing here..Madden only played 30 games last year, Jackman had 1 goal in like 80 games lol, but it is the 4th line we're not expecting goal scorers here. I like that Brown is a thorn in your ***, Brent is fantastic defensively, and Crabb plays a great 2-way game. Whether this is advantage Leafs or Panthers it doesn't make a difference IMO.
Dion Phaneuf - Mark Giordano
Nicklas Hjalmarsson - Carl Gunarsson
Keith Aulie - David Schlemko
Brian Campbell - Dan Girardi
Mark Streit - Brooks Orpik
Matt Greene - Kurtis Foster
Phaneuf and Campbell, the battle of overpaid, fake #1s lol. Neither guy is a true #1 IMO, but Phaneuf is much closer to being a stud #1 d-man then Campbell. Brian had a nice year offensively in terms of moving the puck, but then again Dion had a good year too offensively. This was the Dion laying out players too, he was back this year, and too pair him up with a stud like Giordano will just help. I think Brian Campbell - Dan Girardi vs Dion Phaneuf - Mark Giordano is a wash of a 1st pairing or advantage me, that pairing is definetly not better then mine. Streit was finally healthy this year, and the #s are there, but ask any Islanders fan out there, he was god AWFUL defensively. What I have in my 2nd pairing is 2 very solid defenseman who will never make mistakes. They both move the puck very well and they both do not **** up defensively. In terms of name value, I guess you can give a bit of an edge to them, but I really don't think my 2nd pairing will cost me a single bit. The 3rd pairing, I have an aggresive Aulie with a good all around defensemen in Schlemko, this is a young pair sure, but I have vets throughout my lineup to facilitate the youth. I also have Holzer for PP duties and puck moving abilities. I think both defenses are strong throughout and shouldn't be an issue for either side, I call it a wash.
Obviously these vs matchups won't be what determines the series. I'd just like to point out that my team IMO is more complete. We have the size: Hartnell, Kulemin, Staal, Lupul, Crabb, Brown, Bolland, etc. We have the speed: Kessel, Hornqvist, Grabovski, Smith, Brent, Lupul, Staal. We have the skill also throughout our lineup. We also have the experience, I truly feel that this is a GREAT matchup for my Leafs and we pull away with this.
We need about 7 more voters.
Okay my votes are in
Next round will be posted sometime tomorrow night.
Actually I have time for it now. I'll get it up.