Celebs and Power Brokers to Have Best Seats For Cup Finals

Rodd CaytonCorrespondent IApril 14, 2010

DENVER - MARCH 24:  Goalie Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings looks on as he defends the goal against the Colorado Avalanche during NHL action at the Pepsi Center on March 24, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Kings 4-3 in an overtime shootout.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

It's spring, and that can mean several things, but the most pertinent on this day is figuring out who's best at the number-one winter team sport.

The National Hockey league plans to inscribe a new name on the Stanley Cup, and somebody's gotta win it.

But who?

Well, let's look at the playoff bracket and see if I can't determine the champions.

First Round

Western Conference

No. 1 San Jose 4, No. 8 Colorado 2
No. 2 Chicago 4, No. 7 Nashville 0
No. 6 Los Angeles 4, No. 3 Vancouver 2
No. 4 Phoenix 4, No. 5 Detroit 3

The Avalanche will ride home-ice advantage to two wins in Denver, but the Sharks' maturity will make this the year they don't make an early exit.

The Kings' youthful enthusiasm will help them sneak up on the Canucks.

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Washington 4, No. 8 Montreal 0
No. 2 New Jersey 4, No. 7 Philadelphia 0
No 6 Boston 4, No. 3 Buffalo 1.
No. 4 Pittsburgh 4, No. 5 Ottawa 0

The Caps and Devils are surging and will each be trying to get as much rest as possible in anticipation of a meeting later.

The Penguins seem to have been slumbering through the regular season, but they'll get the alarm and put the Senators to sleep.

Second Round

Western Conference

Los Angeles 4, San Jose 2
Chicago 4,  Phoenix 3

The Sharks should know better, but look for Jonathan Quick to put together a few great games to lead the Kings to another upset.

The drama in Phoenix will come to an end, as the Blackhawks eliminate the league-owned team late.

Eastern Conference
Washington 4, Boston 2
Pittsburgh 4, New Jersey 3

Washington has too much offense for the Bruins -- which doesn't mean the Caps are prone to track meets. This'll be a defensive series -- first team to two wins. The Penguins' pride will lift them into the next round, scratched and bruised.
Conference Finals

Los Angeles 4, Chicago 2
Washington 4, Pittsburgh 3

The Kings' youth over the Blackhawks' age. And depth.

The Caps and Penguins will both put on cup-worthy performances, but alas, Washington has Game 7 at home.

Stanley Cup Finals

Washington 4, Los Angeles 0

It all comes to a crashing halt for the Kings here.  They'll catch a case of the "happy-to-be-here's" and Washington will eat them alive.

Alexander Ovechkin is problem enough, but line mates Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Knuble and defenseman Mike Green make the disadvantage insurmountable. Expect Ovechkin to get the Conn Smythe Trophy.



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