The most wonderful time of year has arrived. The Stanley Cup playoffs are upon us.
Your Eastern Conference Champion Washington Capitals will take on the eighth seeded New York Rangers. Wait...you ask, the Caps won the Eastern Conference? Yes, the team that endured an eight game losing streak in December which was chronicled on HBO's 24/7 and sent head coach Bruce Boudreau into a profanity laced tirade, rebounded by winning the Winter Classic on New Year's Day then posted a record of 27-10-5 in its last 42 games.
The Caps enjoyed a nine game win streak from February 6, 2011 - March 16, 2011.
The club finished the season 8-2-0 in its last 10 games which gave the team the momentum to catch and pass the Philadelphia Flyers and win the conference.
The New York Rangers were a Jekyll and Hyde team for most of the season. Injuries to key members of the team played a role in the club going in and out of contention on almost a daily basis. The club went 21-19-2 in its last 42 games. The Broadway Blueshirts enter the playoffs 5-4-1 in the last 10 tilts.
The best of seven series begins on Wednesday April 13, 2011 at 7:30pm in Washington.
Here are five predictions for the first round series, including which team will advance to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.