Eastern Conference Though he sides with the chalk, McGuire sees the NHL's hottest rivalry going seven games and the defending champs ousted

April 11, 2004

(46-22-8-6) LIGHTNING 1 VS. 8 ISLANDERS (38-29-11-4)

SEASON SERIES: Islanders, 3-1-0
UPSETOMETER: [3 UNITS]

Tampa's superb checking line of Dave Andreychuk, Tim Taylor and
Ben Clymer can shut down Isles sniper Alexei Yashin. New York
will need outstanding play from goalie Rick DiPietro as well as
from core defensemen Adrian Aucoin and Janne Niinimaa. The
Lightning has an amazing quick-strike offense (Vincent
Lecavalier, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis), and its defensemen
move the puck well enough to beat the Islanders' forechecking.
Tampa also makes excellent in-game adjustments. Lightning in six.

OUR PICK [Tampa Bay Lightning]

(41-19-15-7) BRUINS 2 VS. 7 CANADIENS (41-30-7-4)

SEASON SERIES: Bruins, 3-2-1
UPSETOMETER: [2 UNITS]

Montreal has skill at forward, but those players--Saku Koivu,
Mike Ribeiro, Richard Zednik--are small. Boston's monstrous
defense, led by 6'7", 240-pound Hal Gill and 6'2", 210-pound Nick
Boynton, will swallow them whole. The Bruins also have size up
front in Glen Murray, Mike Knuble and, if healthy, Joe Thornton.
If Montreal takes penalties trying to slow the big men, Boston's
power play, stoked by the addition of Sergei Gonchar, will expose
Montreal's poor penalty killing (22nd in the NHL). Bruins in
five.

OUR PICK [Boston Bruins]

(40-21-15-6) FLYERS 3 VS. 6 DEVILS (43-25-12-2)

SEASON SERIES: Flyers, 3-2-1
UPSETOMETER:[2 UNITS]

The clear edge in goal belongs to New Jersey and Martin Brodeur.
The clear edge in size belongs to Philly and forwards Keith
Primeau, John LeClair and Michal Handzus. The Devils, who have
only one pure offensive line (Scott Gomez, Patrik Elias, Brian
Gionta), need to keep the games close-checking or they could be
blown out of the series. Matchups will play a crucial role, and
Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock is one of the few coaches who can
outmaneuver New Jersey's Pat Burns. Flyers in six.

OUR PICK [Philadelphia Flyers]

(45-24-10-3) MAPLE LEAFS 4 VS. 5 SENATORS (43-23-10-6)

SEASON SERIES: Maple Leafs, 4-1-1
UPSETOMETER: [3 UNITS]

This is the series everyone in Toronto wanted and everyone in
Ottawa dreaded. The Leafs, who've never lost in three playoff
matchups with the Senators, improved themselves at the trade
deadline by landing slick defenseman Brian Leetch and face-off
king Ron Francis. Toronto is a mature, savvy team but prone to
bad penalties, and those could be costly. Ottawa's top-ranked
power play, with Marian Hossa and Martin Havlat, can crush the
Maple Leafs' 19th-rated penalty kill. Home ice is key. Leafs in
seven.

OUR PICK (Toronto Maple Leafs)

[UPSETOMETER KEY]
1 UNIT -- No shot
2 UNITS -- Not impossible
3 UNITS -- There's hope
4 UNITS -- Just a bounce away
5 UNITS -- Upset special!

COLOR PHOTO: BOB ROSATO (ST. LOUIS) ST. LOUIS COLOR PHOTO: LOU CAPOZZOLA (BOYNTON, LEETCH) BOYNTON COLOR PHOTO: DAVE SANDFORD/GETTY IMAGES (PRIMEAU) PRIMEAU COLOR PHOTO: LOU CAPOZZOLA (BOYNTON, LEETCH) LEETCH FOUR COLOR PHOTOS: COURTESY OF NHL (LOGOS)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)