It’s finally here! After five different series kicked off last night, the Calgary Flames get their turn at beginning the postseason as they face the Anaheim Ducks tonight in Game 1. Given the momentous occasion, we’ve rounded up the usual suspects and asked them a very simple question:
Who wins the Western Conference quarterfinal series between the Calgary Flames and the Anaheim Ducks? (And in how many games?)
Mike Fail: Six games at most and I think the Ducks win. It’s hard to beat that blueline, even with the injuries and Carlyle potentially Carlyling it. I remain optimistic that I can be proven wrong and the Flames can rise above that. Really if this team pushes Anaheim to six or even seven games I’ll be happy. This was a year meant for positive steps forward. They made the playoffs, we saw individual growth from key players, and they made the playoffs. I was also wrong about them making the playoffs so if they beat Anaheim I’ll stay humble and admit I was wrong, again.
Kent Wilson: Ducks in six, unless the Flames rediscover the magic of the 10-game winning streak. The Flames are a couple of pieces away from really pushing into the next echelon in the NHL, so a first round exit against a good opponent isn’t unexpected at this point.
Ryan Pike: I’m leaning towards the Ducks in seven. The Flames have been bad in the same ways so often, particularly against the Ducks, that I’m afraid they fall into bad habits and get stung by those tendencies. That said, if they steal a game in Anaheim all bets are off.
Christian Tiberi: It’s almost too close to call. It’s definitely going seven games. I’m going to have to give the Ducks the edge right now because of the Flames’ recent form, but that can definitely change. If the Flames are able to avoid turning this into the brawl-fests we’ve seen twice this year against the Ducks, they should be the winners.
Christian Roatis: I think the Ducks will come out on top, albeit in seven games. I don’t think the Flames will be too keen to give in to the antics after what has happened of late, and as a result will be able to split the first two games in Anaheim, making it a series. The two games in Calgary will likely see a similar split, with the Ducks realizing what it is the Flames are doing and responding. Games 5 and 6 are tight but go to the home sides, leaving home ice advantage for the Ducks in Game 7. The Flames, having already snuck one by the Curse of the Pond, fail to do it again. The Ducks advance but do so without Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, Nick Ritchie and Chris Wagner who all suffer two broken femurs, each. How sad.
Agree? Disagree? Give us your take in the comments!