Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

Predicting the Stanley Cup Playoffs: Part 1

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are upon us. There really is no equal in sports to the passion and intensity found in the NHL’s rite of spring. 16 teams start their arduous journey this Wednesday, culminating sometime in June with a team hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup above their heads.
Here are my predictions for the first round matchups in the Eastern Conference.

#1 New York Rangers vs. #8 Ottawa Senators

Rangers in 5. It’s hard to imagine that Craig Anderson can steal this series. The Senator’s modus operandi has been a opportunistic top-six and scrappy D. The Sens trot out high octane scorers in Spezza, Alfredsson, Michalek, as well as Erik Karlsson that the Rangers’ offense can’t compare with. However, their team defense is stout and their goaltending advantage is so great that they have to win this series, and it should come fairly easily.

#2 Boston Bruins vs. #7 Washington Capitals

Bruins in 6. After a trying year, the Capitals got hot at the right time, while finally getting stars Backstrom and Green back in the lineup to round out a dangerous team. The Bruins have lost three of four against the Caps this year, and Tim Thomas doesn’t look the same as last year. The Capitals have wilted under the pressure of being favorites the last few years, but as underdogs this year, they may play a little looser. In the end, the Bruins six 20 goal scorers and stellar defensive system will let them eke out a victory in a tight series.

#3 Florida Panthers vs. #6 New Jersey Devils

Devils in 5. The Devils are underdogs in name only. Although the Panthers won their first division title in history, they also allowed 24 more goals than they scored, and got 18 free points by losing in overtime or the shootout. The Devils had 102 points, same as the #2 seed Bruins, had a +19 goal differential, and were eighth in the league in goals allowed. The Panthers, making their first postseason in 11 years makes for a good story, but this ragtag bunch is just that. New Jersey should win this rather easily with their high-end offensive players and talented blue line.

#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Penguins in 7. The Flyers have owned the Penguins of late. After a tumultuous offseason, the Flyers find themselves in the playoffs with their familiar offensive depth and improved goaltending. After a tumultuous season, the Penguins have finally recovered from extended injuries to Crosby, Staal, and Letang to become what may be the NHL’s best team. Both teams genuinely hate each other, and are equally deep up front and in back. Ilya Bryzgalov may flake again, like he did in last year’s playoffs, while Marc-Andre Fleury and Pittsburgh’s stars makes the difference in what should be the best first round series in either conference.

Mark Bruso can be reached for comment at mbruso@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment