It has been a wild and crazy playoff ride so far.
The top two teams in the NHL have been brought down by teams lower than a fifth seed.
A sixth seed has made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The first, second, and third seeds have been eliminated in the eastern conference.
And the conference finals consist of a second seed, two fourth seeds, and one sixth seed.
Who will win each series? What will the Stanley Cup Finals look like—and who will prevail?
Well, keep reading to find out.
First match-up: Carolina Hurricanes vs Pittsburgh Penguins.
Why? One reason and one reason only—speed. The Hurricanes, easily the fastest team in the league, can out-skate any one. Yes, that includes Sid the Kid and Evgeni.
The Canes' also have someone by the name of Cam Ward.
This 6' 1" Canadian is a man of steel, not to be confused with Superman—although some Carolina fans seem to think he is superman. He single-handedly held one of the highest-scoring teams, the Boston Bruins, to 17 goals in seven games—about two goals a game—and came up with huge saves in the crucial Game Seven.
The Canes' also scored fifteen goals on Tim Thomas, a nominee for the goalie of the year trophy. All year, Thomas never let up more than 12 goals in a span of seven games. That's a pretty challenging task.
Eric Staal was also a big contributor in these two series wins so far. The Hurricanes are 7-0 when Staal records a point and 1-6 when he doesn't. They did, however, win Game Seven with Staal barely getting any shots off.
It will be a tough series, but I believe the Hurricanes will prevail in yet another Game Seven.
Series: Chicago Blackhawks vs Detroit Red Wings
Winner: Detroit Red Wings
Why? Goal tending and brutality—crucial parts of a teams keys to victory. The Red Wings ex cell in both categories. With Chris Osgood between the pipes with a 2.06 GAA and a .931 save percentage, hes pretty tough to get he puck passed. When Chris is in the zone, he's in the zone.
Brutality. What is it? Just a fancy work for toughness. They finish hits, play till the whistle, and always get into fights. If you have the puck in a corner, look out for the brutal players the Wings have.
The Blackhawks are a tough team, but they aren't a match for the Red Wings' goaltending and the brutality of the players.
Stanley Cup: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Detroit Red Wings
Winner: Detroit Red Wings
Why? Well, pretty much the same reason as the other match-up for the Red Wings—they have too good of a goaltender and are too brutal. Although the Hurricanes counter with Cam Ward and a faster team, the Wings' brutality makes up for the speed.
Will the Wings repeat? Can the Hurricanes upset the Penguins as they did the Bruins and Devils?
We will have to wait and see.