What if the NHL Playoffs Started Today? The Eastern Conference Edition

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What if the NHL Playoffs Started Today? The Eastern Conference Edition
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Now that the NHL is halfway through its 82-game schedule, with all 30 teams playing at least 41 games, the Stanley Cup playoffs don't seem so far away anymore.

In a little over three months from now, 16 teams will take to the ice for the start of a new season. Each team will have an equal shot at lifting the Stanley Cup in June.

I decided this would be a good time to predict what would happen if the 2011 NHL playoffs were getting underway at this moment. In this slideshow, I will break down the Eastern Conference round, starting with the top eight seeds and predicting who would represent the East in the Stanley Cup Final.

All statistics presented in this slideshow, including current playoff seeds, are as of the end of games played on Sunday, Jan. 9.

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