It’s one of the best times of the year for Scott Ferrall: the NHL playoffs. So Scott had his buddy and NBC Sports Network announcer Eddie Olczyk to talk about who will last the longest in the playoffs.
When it comes to the Islanders playing the Penguins in the first round, Olczyk thinks it’s all about the health of Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby.
“Look the Islanders are major underdogs in this series,” Olczyk said. “Now if Sidney Crosby doesn’t play … certainly they get a leg up. I don’t believe the Penguins can win without Sidney Crosby in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Can they win a round? Sure. Can they win a couple rounds? Yeah, probably. But you need your best player in there. I think for Pittsburgh to win, Sid’s got to be right in the middle of it.”
Ferrall and Olczyk definitely disagree when it comes to the Montreal-Ottawa series. Scott is certain Montreal will dominate. Olczyk, on the other hand, has a different take.
“To me, I like the Ottawa Senators in the series,” Olczyk said. “They’re a team that doesn’t give you a whole heck of a lot. I mean this is a major rivalry between the Senators and Canadians. I think that Ottawa can really defend. Ottawa has gotten healthy and I don’t like the way that Montreal’s played for an extended period of time. I like Ottawa in the series.”
One of Olczyk’s favorite rivalries is the Capitals-Rangers, who go at it this year in the first round. Olczyk thinks the winning answer for the Rangers is their defense, but it won’t be easy.
“To me the wild card in the series is Marc Staal for the New York Rangers,” Olczyk said. “I think he takes that back end, the defensemen and the defensive core for the Rangers to another level. If he can find his way back in, then I like the Rangers in another long, hard fought series … seven games for sure. I think the Rangers with that type of defense come playoff time. I’ll take the Rangers in seven.”