#1 Vancouver v. #8 Chicago
Vancouver is the deepest team since the lockout. They are stacked with talent (and as a Minnesota Wild fan I resent them for it).
Chicago is a mere shell of the team that won the cup last year, and backed into the playoff with the help of the Stars losing to the Wild.
If not for Luongo's playoff failures, this series should be a lock for Vancouver, so why am I so nervous about picking....
Vancouver in 6
#2 San Jose v. #7 Los Angeles
A great California battle that should be fun to watch. Los Angeles lead the Pacific most of the first half of the season, but quietly, San Jose ended up rising to the top. Los Angeles is quite dinged up and I think the Sharks are a tough first round draw for them
San Jose in 6
#3 Detroit v. #6 Phoenix
How is Jimmy Howard going to hold up in the Detroit net? Though I have trouble anticipating a lot of success from Phoenix in this rematch from last year. Should be a nailbiter
Detroit in 7
#4 Anaheim v. #5 Nashville
Anaheim has a very good attack, but Nashville has the best defense they've had coming into the playoffs. Is that enough to get them victory A in a playoff series? Is Fisher (of Fisherwood fame) pleased to be in the playoffs instead of Ottawa?
Nashville in 6
#1 Washington v. #8 New York Rangers
Speaking of teams that backed in the playoffs, the New York Rangers needed help from Tampa Bay over Carolina to get in. Washington ended up strong at the end this season despite playing erratic early. Do they avoid the disaster from last year's upset?
Washington in 5
#2 Philadelphia v. #7 Buffalo
Philadelpia played terrible down the stretch, and it gives me great joy to watch that. Buffalo overcame a rough start and Miller is near olympic form.
Buffalo in 6
#3 Boston v. #6 Montreal
Or BEST SERIES EVER. Both teams hit, both teams can score in bunches. But if Montreal doesn't get a win early, they're going to roll over like they did in their last meeting.
Boston in 6
#4 Pittsburgh v. #5 Tampa Bay
I hate both teams. This will be short. Pittsburgh is dinged up, but still pretty deep. Tampa has a lot of veterans as well.
Pittsburgh in 7
The rest of the way (spoiler, some upsets here)
Nashville over Vancouver
San Jose over Detroit
San Jose over Nashville
Buffalo over Washington
Boston over Pittsburgh
Boston over Buffalo
Boston over San Jose