So the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are underway and, in less than 24 hours, we will get a glimpse of the contenders and the pretenders—or, as I like to put it, teams that don't have a chance in hell of going all the way (Florida, I'm looking at you).
Wings vs. Predators
Although the Wings may be considered tired and the Predators on the rise with past experience against Detroit (some players remain from that 2004 series matchup). The Red Wings just don't lose in the 1st round, unless they're heavily favored. As the underdogs, expect the Wings to do a fine job at home and go to Nashville for Game 5, up 3-1.
Many are picking this as the upset special. I, on the other hand, think it will be an upset scare. The Capitals will take Boston to Game 7 but no further.
A textbook five game series in the making, but maybe Ottawa can extend it back home for Game 6.
Nucks vs. Kings
If this was 1993, and Quick had St. Patrick on his shoulder, the Kings might have a shot, but Vancouver just isn't losing this series without some fateful, unforeseen injuries.
People are expecting this to be the premier series and it very well could be, but the tale of the tape indicates Pittsburgh is light-years ahead in talent. Don't let the names Briere and Jagr fool you, this team got by with grit but it ends in Round 1.
Florida will win one game, out of pride, then call it a series.
Yotes vs. Hawks
The saga will continue, and Quebec will have to wait for two to three more weeks.
This is my upset special. The Blues were quietly sailing into the playoffs by wind-power alone. The Sharks may beat them in Game 6 or 7 but they'll beat them.