NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Which Teams Will Advance to the Stanley Cup?

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NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Which Teams Will Advance to the Stanley Cup?
Rich Lam/Getty Images

As I alluded to in an earlier piece, the Eastern and Western Conference mirror each other.

Think about it.

The two non-traditional market teams that always choke in the playoffs are No. 7 seeds.

The two non-traditional market teams that are in cities with lots of (retired) people and are really, really warm and never win their division won their division this year and are No. 3 seeds.

Two division rivals are playing each other in the No. 4-No. 5 seed game (although the Nashville-Detroit rivalry is very one-way).

Also, there are a couple of other interesting trends.

St. Louis and San Jose, two teams that have traditionally always made the playoffs and never won the Cup (St. Louis before the lockout, San Jose after) are paired in the No. 2-No. 7 Western Conference matchup.

In 2000, the last time the Florida Panthers made the playoffs, they were swept by New Jersey in the first round. They’ll look to change that fate.

Oh yeah, and if the top seeds win out in the playoffs the Canucks will face the Rangers—a matchup of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals.

The Stanley Cup playoffs are always great because, like March Madness, they are always unpredictable. (I pity the fool that is dumb enough to make his Stanley Cup pick available for everyone to see and comment on.)

In 2009 the Ducks upset the Presidents' Trophy-winning Sharks…in the first round.

The next year all three Eastern Conference division winners were sent home after one series.

Oh yeah, then last year the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5 seeds all won in the first round of each conference tournament, but the No. 3 and No. 5 seeds would advance in the East and the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds would advance in the West.

This is the best time of the year hockey fans. Enjoy!

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