2015 Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions: Round 1

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Ottawa Senators vs. Montreal Canadiens

One of, if not the most fantastic stories of the year, the Ottawa Senators are in the postseason. The Ottawa Senators (WC-1), led by Andrew Hammond, will take battle with Carey Price and his Montreal Canadiens (A-1).

What can you say about this Ottawa team? Andrew Hammond goes 20-1-2 over the course of the year to get this team into the playoffs. It took the Senators all 82 games before they clinched a playoff berth. Forget Hammond, we have heard about how great he’s been since joining the Senators. How about Mark Stone? The rookie sensation had 64 points in 80 games for the Ottawa Senators, including seven goals in six games in the month of April. Just unbelievable, what a story these Senators have been.

On the flip side, the Montreal Canadiens have been one of the most steady teams in the NHL all year. Led by Carey Price, who for my money is the Vezina winner, has single-handily willed his team to where they are today. If Carey Price wasn’t on the Montreal Canadiens it wouldn’t be foolish to think they wouldn’t be in the playoffs. Carey Price went 44-16-6 with a 0.933 SV%.

During their battles, the Senators won the season series 3-1 scoring fourteen goals in four games. To say that the Senators dominated the Canadiens is no understatement, as Montreal has allowed the least amount of goals all year (189). The Senators are averaging more than three goals per game against the Habs.

In a tightly contested series I see the Montreal Canadiens defeating the Ottawa Senators when it matters the most. I’m not a big believer in this Montreal team but I feel that this may be a very good match-up for them. I’m not writing Hammond off by any regards, but I feel as if the playoff lights and atmosphere in Montreal will be a bit overwhelming for him. I still feel that this series can go either way but I’m going to give the slight edge to the Canadiens. Canadiens in seven.