NHL playoff predictions: 2011 edition

NHL Playoffs 2011It’s that time of year again. The NHL playoffs are about to begin and I must give you my predictions. Hopefully these ones actually stick this year. The match-ups look like they are going to be great and given how close the teams in the Western Conference were I think it may be a toss up.

Let me know what you think of my picks and share your own!

Western Conference

Vancouver vs. ChicagoThe Vancouver Canucks are my pick in this match-up but I wouldn’t count out the Blackhawks in this one either. Throughout the season the two have been relatively equal, with the Canucks taking an overtime victory and therefore the extra point. In the west, this is the match-up I’m most looking forward to. Canucks in 7.

San Jose vs. Los AngelesI’m taking the San Jose Sharks over the Kings even though they tend to disappoint me in the playoffs. The Kings, while young and exciting, are not quite in the Sharks territory yet in terms of experience, so I think they will take this as a learning experience and be back next season to compete. Sharks in 6.

Detroit vs. Phoenix As much as I’d like to see the Coyotes take this one, it’s always a tough choice to go against the Detroit Red Wings. This franchise is always a strong contender for the cup and this season is no different. Wings in 5.

Anaheim vs. NashvilleEven though the Ducks have the NHL’s leading goal scorer in Corey Perry, the Nashville Predators are my dark horse choice this season. If they can get by the Ducks this round I see them at least in the Western finals. Predators in 6.

Eastern Conference

Washington vs. New YorkThis first round matchup suits the Washington Capitals just fine. I’m often disappointed by cheering for them in the playoffs but unless the Rangers pull off a shocking upset I’ll take the Capitals in 6.

Philadelphia vs. BuffaloWith the Flyers coasting in to the playoffs I think the Buffalo Sabres can pull off the upset. It won’t be an easy series, especially in Philadelphia, but I think the Sabres have played hard down the stretch and with Ryan Miller between the pipes, anything can happen. Sabres in 7.

Boston vs. MontrealThis series is the most exciting one in the NHL for me. There is so much bad blood between the two teams it’s sure to be a great one. With the exception of one thumping the Montreal Canadiens have handled the Bruins pretty well this season, so I think they’ll continue that in the first round. Canadiens in 6. (note: I am not cheering for the Habs, I just believe they will win.)

Pittsburgh vs. Tampa BayAnother exciting series is shaping up in the middle of the Eastern Conference. It’s a tough one to call but I think the Tampa Bay Lightning have a chance to overtake the Crosby/Malkin-less Pens. Lightning in 6.

(Graphics thanks to NHL.com)

About Sean Bailey
Social media marketer who also happens to be a tech geek that's addicted to reading, movies, music, sports and coffee. Anything said on this blog is my opinion (obviously).

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