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NHL Realignment: Playoff Predictions If the New Conferences Were in Place

Magnus JohnsonCorrespondent IDecember 18, 2011

NHL Realignment: Playoff Predictions If the New Conferences Were in Place

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    The new conference realignment plan, which was approved by the NHL about a month ago, has drawn mixed reactions. But, whether you love it or hate it, big changes are coming.

    The new plan calls for four conferences, tentatively named A, B, C and D—two of which have eight teams and two of which have seven.

    The Top 4 teams from each conference make the playoffs each year and play within those four teams until a "Final Four" of sorts is reached.

    These changes got me wondering how the playoffs would look if this plan, which may be implemented as soon as next season, was in place this year. Here's how they would finish if the season ended today.

Conference A

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    Rank (Rank in Current Conferences) Team Name

    1. (3) San Jose Sharks

    2. (6) Vancouver Canucks

    3. (9) Phoenix Coyotes

    4. (10) Calgary Flames

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    5. (11) Los Angeles Kings

    6. (12) Edmonton Oilers

    7. (13) Colorado Avalanche

    8. (14) Anaheim Ducks

Conference B

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    Rank (Rank in Current Conferences) Team Name

    1. (1) Minnesota Wild

    2. (2) Chicago Blackhawks

    3. (4) Detroit Red Wings

    4. (5) St. Louis Blues

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    5. (7) Nashville Predators

    6. (8) Dallas Stars

    7. (9) Winnipeg Jets

    8. (15) Columbus Blue Jackets

Conference C

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    Rank (Rank in Current Conferences) Team Name

    1. (2) Boston Bruins

    2. (3) Florida Panthers

    3. (7) Buffalo Sabres

    4. (8) Toronto Maple Leafs

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    5. (10) Ottawa Senators

    6. (12) Montreal Canadiens

    7. (13) Tampa Bay Lightning 

Conference D

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    Rank (Rank in Current Conferences) Team Name

    1. (1) Philadelphia Flyers

    2. (4) New York Rangers

    3. (5) Pittsburgh Penguins

    4. (6) New Jersey Devils

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    5. (11) Washington Capitals

    6. (14) New York Islanders

    7. (15) Carolina Hurricanes

Playoffs Within Conference

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    Conference A 

    1. San Jose vs. 4. Calgary, Predicted Winner: Sharks in 4

    2. Vancouver vs. 3. Phoenix, Predicted Winner: Canucks in 6

     

    1. San Jose vs. 2. Vancouver, Predicted Winner: Canucks in 7

     

    Conference B

    1. Minnesota vs. 4. St. Louis, Predicted Winner: Wild in 6

    2. Chicago vs. 3. Detroit, Predicted Winner: Blackhawks in 7

     

    1. Minnesota vs. 2. Chicago, Predicted Winner: Blackhawks in 6

     

    Conference C

    1. Boston vs. 4. Toronto, Predicted Winner: Bruins in 5

    2. Florida vs. 3. Buffalo, Predicted Winner: Sabres in 7

     

    1. Boston vs. 3. Buffalo, Predicted Winner: Bruins in 6

     

    Conference D

    1. Philadelphia vs. 4. New Jersey, Predicted Winner: Flyers in 5

    2. New York R vs. 3. Pittsburgh, Predicted Winner: Penguins in 6

     

    1. Philadelphia vs. 3. Pittsburgh, Predicted Winner: Penguins in 7 

Final Four

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    2A. Vancouver Canucks vs. 2B. Chicago Blackhawks, Predicted Winner: Blackhawks in 7

    1C. Boston Bruins vs. 3D. Pittsburgh Penguins, Predicted Winner: Penguins in 7

     

    2B. Chicago Blackhawks vs. 3D. Pittsburgh Penguins, Predicted Winner: Penguins in 7

     

    Stanley Cup Champions: Pittsburgh Penguins

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