NHL Playoffs 2011: First Round X-Factors and Predictions, Pt. 1

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NHL Playoffs 2011: First Round X-Factors and Predictions, Pt. 1
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Who will be the nest Captain to hoist the Cup?

The 2010-11 NHL regular season has come to an end, and once again, we are left with excellent match-ups to begin the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In case you've been living and/or trapped under a rock for the past couple of weeks, here are the first round match-ups:

Eastern Conference

#1 Washington Capitals v. # 8 New York Rangers

#2 Philadelphia Flyers v. #7 Buffalo Sabres

#3 Boston Bruins v. #6 Montreal Canadiens

#4 Pittsburgh Penguins v. #5 Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference

 #1 Vancouver Canucks v. #8 Chicago Blackhawks

#2 San Jose Sharks v. #7 Los Angeles Kings

#3 Detroit Redwings v. #6 Phoenix Coyotes

#4 Anaheim Ducks v. #5 Nashville Predators 

These pairings are absolutely incredible. There are tons of things to speculate as to how these series' will unfold, but I believe the subject of most importance are the 'tide-turners'. Yes, a tide-turner as in the X-factors for each squad.

Note, that these predictions are for only the series beginning on Wednesday. Along with my predictions, I will reveal what I believe to be the most important players and tactics for each team trying to battle their way to Lord Stanley's glorious Cup.

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