Well, alas this will be my first playoff predictions that don't feature Ottawa in it but I think every fan loves to predict even without their favorite team in the playoffs. Here are my predictions, analysis, and Series MVP. Note I predicted Pittsburgh to face Dallas in the SC finals. Dallas didn't make the Playoffs. There goes half of it.

Eastern Conference

(1) Boston Bruins vs. (8) Montreal Canadiens
What a difference a year makes, eh? Last year, the Habs were riding off one of the best years in their franchise history and facing a lowly Bruins team who had barely made it in the playoffs. This year, the Bruins face a Habs team who have done major horrible this season and if it weren't for Matt D'Agostini's impeccable season-saving goal against the Bruins in the last week of play, the Habs would be in the outside looking in. The Bruins will blow past the injured Habs' defense so fast that Hab fans won't have time to blow up Montreal.
Bruins in 5 Games
Series MVP: Zdeno Chara(sniff, sniff)

(2) Washington Capitals vs. (7) New York Rangers
The Capitals have been on fire as of late and maybe on fire since their 2-6 start to the season. Alex Ovechkin is poised yet again to win another Hart Trophy. Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom have improvedm uch as the Caps' secondary scorers. Mike Green is on pace for a Norris Trophy season and Jose Theodore has been just fine in goal this year. The Rangers have been better since Torts took them over, however, they still have questions on offense and I still doubt they can handle the massive ego of Sean Avery. The caps bust 'em open like a pretzel in a barbecue.
Capitals in 4 Games
Series MVP: Nicklas Backstrom

(3) New Jersey Devils vs. (6) Carolina Hurricanes
The Hurricanes have been the NHL's hottest team since the Trade Deadline. By acquiring Erik Cole, the Canes' have spiked up their offense and are also getting help from their defense. joe Corvo has great playoff experience which should be useful to the Canes. The Devils have been sluggish since Marty Brodeur borke the all-time wins record. Role players such as Paul Martin on defense and Johnny Oduya have quietly faded while Zach Parise's stock has plummeted. The question will be whether the Devils can rebound and find a way to beat Paul Maurice's team, unfortunately, the Canes have better depth at all positions on the ice and Cam Ward will find a way to win.
Hurricanes in 6 Games
Series MVP: Cam Ward

(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (5) Philadelphia Flyers
The Battle of Pennsylvania resumes in watch should be a series for the ages. Sidney Crosby and Art Ross winner Evgeni Malkin lead the Penguins against Jeff Carter and Mike Richards and the Flyers. The Penguins get the edge on offense because of their 2 superstars but the Flyers have more depth on offense and defense and even though Fleury will outduel Biron/Nittymaki, the Flyers have the edge this time.
Flyers in 6 Games
Series MVP: Scott Hartnell

Western Conference

(1) San Jose Sharks vs. (8) Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim barely made the playoffs and you can feel the ripple of Brian Burke on this team. San Jose has steamrolled through the regular season and will attempt to do the same in the playoffs. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have something to prove and with coach Todd McLellan, they might as well start now. Marleau got rid of Ron Wilson and Todd has re-energized both of them. There is hatred between these teams and you can feel it in just how phyisical they play. The Sharks prevail in a easy one over Getzlaf and hsi crew.
Sharks in 5 Games
Series MVP: Patrick Marleau
(2) Detroit Red Wings vs. (7) Columbus Blue Jackets
The defending Cup Champs come in as a favorite once again. They've had success in the goal scoring department and have had solid defensive play. The BJ's, one of the best stories in the NHL this season, will play in their first ever playoffs and will give Detroit a run for their money. Chris Osgood will improve as Detroit goes on and unfortunately the combo of Datsyuk, Hossa, Zetterberg, and ex-Sen Hossa will be too much for ex-Sen Mike Commodore and etc. to handle. It will be a good one with an energized crow at Nationwide Arena, but Detroit takes it.
Red Wings in 6 Games
Series MVP: Marian Hossa
(3) Vancouver Canucks vs. (6) St.Louis Blues
The Canucks stole the the Northwest Division right under the Flames' noses. They have solid offense, shutdown defense, and amazing goaltending. When you talk Stanley Cup contenders, they're one of them. The Blues went from 14th at the All-Star Break to 6th, which is outstanding. They have great young players in TJ Oshie, Brad Boyes, David Backes, Patrick Berglund, Erik Johnson, and great goaltending from Chris Mason. If Vancouver doesn't collapse under pressure, they will handle the Blues., who should give the Canucks a good push for the series win.
Canucks in 7 Games
Series MVP: Alexandre Burrows
(4) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (5) Calgary Flames
Chicago and Calgary both have great young teams who have done great this season, and it's a wide open series. Chicago gets the edge on defense and special teams because of their depth but Calgary has superstars such as Iginla and Jokinen. The difference in this series will eventually be goaltending, and even though Kiprusoff has been a bit better this season he's been lacking consistency lately and with a solid duo in Khabibulin and Huet, Chicago gains the advantage against a weak Flames' defense.
Blackhawks in 5 Games
Series MVP: Patrick Kane
Stanley Cup Final
San Jose Sharks def. Washington Capitals in 7 games
Also, here's my CBC playoff pool...
F Pavel Datsyuk
F Patrick Kane
F Alexandre Burrows
F Erik Cole
F Jeff Carter
F Alexander Ovechkin
D Cam Barker
D Dan Boyle
D Zdeno Chara
D Matt Hunwick
G Nikolai Khabibulin
G Cam Ward
What'ya think?


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