2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Daniel Friedman's Semifinal Predictions

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2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Daniel Friedman's Semifinal Predictions
Rich Lam/Getty Images

The 2010-2011 NHL Eastern and Western Conference Quarterfinals were perhaps the most exciting the game has ever seen.

If there was any testament to the salary cap leveling the playing field, the first round was it.

Virtually every series was close, save for Detroit-Phoenix (the Red Wings swept the Coyotes) and Washington-New York (the Capitals would knock out the Rangers in five games), with half of the first round matchups needing a decisive Game 7 and another two ending in six contests.

There were dominating performances, gutsy comebacks, goaltending clinics and entertaining moments of speed and skill.

There were sighs of relief and moments of disbelief. There were heart-warming victories and heart-breaking losses.

In a nutshell, there was just about anything and everything on a hockey fan's wish list. You couldn't have asked for a more action-packed start to the playoffs.

When the dust settled, eight teams earned the right to advance to the Semifinals.

One can only hope that this round produce half as much fireworks as the first.

Here's how I think it will all play out.

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