Puck Playoffs by Kevin Stott for Sat., April 26,2008

April 26, 2008 8:23 PM


Colorado Avalanche at Detroit Red Wings (-190, 5o -135) (NBC): Colorado did everything possible to get all the key pieces in place for the 2008 postseason and by the looks of it, the Avs did a pretty darn good job. Goalie Jose Theodore (1.88 GAA playoffs) has been solid between the pipes for Colorado and scorers Stastny, Smyth, Sakic, Foote and Forsberg (Injured, check status) provide an array of scorers as experienced as any team in the NHL.

These teams have met six times in the last 12 years with five of the six series going six games, a distinct possibility in this matchup considering the way Nashville hung with the President’s Cup trophy winners in the West quarterfinals.

With Thursday’s opener going to Detroit (4-3), the lean is toward the AVALANCHE and the plus in this one. Goals should be few and far between with Osgood (2-0, 0.39 GAA playoffs) and Theodore showing off despite the pure number of goal scorers on the ice due to the sheer importance of this Game 2. AVALANCHE +, UNDER 5+.

Philadelphia Flyers at Montreal Canadiens (-165, 5˝u -120) (Versus TV): The Canadiens survived their first round seven-game series against No. 8-seed Boston, while Philly stifled Caps’ star Ovechkin (3 goals) to advance. Montreal dominated the Flyers (4-0, 15-6 goals) in the regular season but that was then and this is now and the black and orange are simply finding ways to win even with star Knuble injured.

In the crease, Philly’s Biron (2.67 GAA playoffs) has proven his worth and Canadiens’ rookie Price (2.09) is as good as advertised despite a nervous moment or two against the Bruins. This series could go seven games, but after the way the Broad Street Bullies failed to close out Game 1, expect Les Habs to play with less pressure than their opponents. Montreal’s beaten Philly five straight times now so let’s not rock the boat. And are the Canadiens going to lose on "Hockey Night in Canada"? CANADIENS.