WESTERN

1) Vancouver Canucks v 8) LA Kings

The President Cup winners match up well against a Kings team that just didn't look amazing at any point in the season. I like the Canucks in five games.

CANUCKS

2) St. Louis Blues v 7) San Jose Sharks


The Blues really might be one of the top two teams in the tournament, and it is their defensive ability to stop the puck that makes me think that they can beat these Sharks. Blues in six.

BLUES

3) Phoenix Coyotes v 6) Chicago Blackhawks


The Coyotes are technically the 3 seed here, but the Blackhawks have more wins (and points) and are about as impressive as the Coyotes are on the road. Gotta like the Hawks here in six.

BLACKHAWKS

4) Nashville Predators v 5) Detroit Red Wings


Does anyone really think that the Red Wings are going to falter in the first round when the playoffs start? The Wings offense is top notch with a solid defense, and they are automatic at home. I like them in seven because they are iffy on the road.

Red Wings
 
*******
 
1) Vancouver Canucks v 6) Chicago Blackhawks

Vancouver is a team that has been pulling hard this season while trying to get back to the finals, and I just don't think that the Hawks will be able to steal this one away from them. Canucks in six games.

CANUCKS

2) St. Louis Blues v 5) Detroit Red Wings 


I'm not sure what to think of any of these two teams. They are both half limping into the playoffs without great records, they are both iffy on the road, and they both score a lot more goals than they allow. I will take the Wings here though because of playoff experience, and because the Wings can score in a hurry. Wings in five.

WINGS
 
***

1) Vancouver Canucks v 5) Detroit Red Wings

What a great conference final match up. You have a team that has tried hard to win it all the last few seasons taking on a team that just has that feeling of gold each season in the Red Wings. The Canucks are almost as fierce at home as the Red Wings are, but the Canucks are also some of the best on the road. Vancouver also pack a defense to slow the Wings while having the ability to score on anyone. I'll take the Canucks here in seven.

CANUCKS

EASTERN CONFERENCE


1) New York Rangers v 8) Ottawa Senators

As a Rangers fan I'll be the first to say that the Rangers are prone to an early upset in the playoffs, but I don't think it will come close in the first round against the Sens. Ottawa can score like the best of them, but they also can't stop the pucks from scoring either. I'll take the Rangers in five.

RANGERS

2) Boston Bruins v 7) Washington Capitals


I have picking each year early on in the Eastern Conference because there are so many powerful teams that have a real chance of making a run. The Caps can beat anyone and the star power is there, but they are going to have a tough time on the road against a Bruins team that actually won more games on the road. I'm taking the Bruins in six, but with little faith.

BRUINS

3) Florida Panthers v 6) New Jersey Devils


Everyone and their grandma is taking the upset here, and I tend to agree. The Panthers have only won two of their last eight games, and they just aren't going to fare well against one of the best goalies in the game. Gotta go Jersey in five.

DEVILS

4) Pittsburgh Penguins v 5) Philadelphia Flyers


Another match that could go either way. I really like the Penguins this year with a healthy front, and I like the Guins to take it in seven.

PENGUINS

1) New York Rangers v 6) New Jersey Devils


I don't think NBC would mind having this match up in the second round. This actually would be more of a defensive series than an offensive one, and it could be a classic. I'm taking the overall skill of the Rangers here, but it really is a coinfilp that could go down to seven.

RANGERS

2) Boston Bruins v 4) Pittsburgh Penguins


Boston is a team that nobody wants to take on, but I really think that the Penguins are too good to beat this year. Their offense is filthy, and they actually aren't too bad on the road. The Penguins have what it takes to win it here in five.

PENGUINS

1) New York Rangers v 4) Pittsburgh Penguins


This could be another classic. You have the 2nd best goalstopping team in the league in the Rangers taking on the best goal scoring team. I REALLY like the Penguins here (despite being a Rangers fan), and I think the Guins will take it all in six.

PENGUINS

FINALS


1) Vancouver Canucks v 4) Pittsburgh Penguins

You can't complain about this match. The Penguins can score on the fly, while the Canucks are the best team in the league on paper. I hate to go against a team like the Canucks who are seeking revenge from last year, but I've got the Penguins to take it all.

Pittsburgh wins it all