Here are my predictions, and the reasons why I believe the Bruins will be beaten in the finals, and the Canucks will be hoisting the Stanley Cup come this June. (I wrote this a week ago, but wanted to post it after my playoff pool draft, so no one would know who I was taking, and could then prepare or steal my picks).
The Western Conference:
This series is too hard to predict. The Sharks have all the tools to win a cup, and though they have never shown they can be a really playoff team, this year they have a real shot. Then there are the Ducks, a team who is a playoff type of team, but they are coming in as an eighth seed.
I had the Ducks going far last year, and they ruined me. I still say the Sharks come out of this series after a tough battle, and hopefully they find themselves in this one. I don't know if Jonas Hiller can really be ready for his first playoffs as well.
San Jose in Seven.
Welcome to the NHL playoffs Columbus.
Thanks for showing up.
Detroit in four.
(Sorry, did I need to go into detail here? If yes, ask and I shall tell).
How in hell did the Blues even make the playoffs, and they even got in as high as sixth seed. Well, congrats Blues for making it to the playoffs, they've overcome so much this year.
Though the core of this team is just too young to do much in their first NHL playoffs in years, they should be a great team next year. Luongo himself will be too much for the Blues. Expect the Sedins to really show up to this years playoffs, watch out everyone.
Vancouver in five.
This is a tough one, but I think people will be a bit shocked. The Flames have many tools that a playoff team needs: great goaltending, physicality, strong defense, and great top offense. Thanks to Cammalleri, the Flames have a strong one-two punch.
The Blackhawks have too much top line young talent to not be taken lightly. Havlat has been looked over, thanks to Kane, and Toews, not to mention Versteeg, and the rest. Then goaltending, Khabibulin is just too great of a goaltender and even if somehow he falters, which I can't see happening, Huet is a strong goaltender, with playoff experience as well.
Chicago in six.
Again, I'll go more into predictions when the second round begins, but this is how I can see it going, if it goes as I believe.
No. 1 SJ vs. No. 4 CHI - San Jose in six. If the Sharks can finally realize what they have, they'll have too much depth to be beaten by a younger Hawk team.
No. 2 DET vs. No. 3 VAN - Vancouver in seven. This will be a great series to watch. The Canucks depth will help them win this series. They'll win a few in OT, and with the Red Wings not being able to get pucks by Luongo, it will be Vancouver in the end.
No. 1 SJ vs. No. 3 VAN - Vancouver in six. If San Jose can get this far, which I think they might be able to, this next round will be their demise. The Canucks will be able to physically beat the Sharks.
No. 1 BOS vs. No. 3 VAN - Vancouver in 7. Canucks will have stronger leadership and goaltending to beat the younger core of the Bruins.