First Round Matchups (Best of 7)
Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers | Vancouver Canucks vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Buffalo Sabres | San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings
Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens | Detroit Red Wings vs. Phoenix Coyotes
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning | Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators
So that’s your top 8 for the East & West conferences. Very disappointing lineup for me personally as my team Ottawa did not make it and had a very bad year. Same goes for some of the other teams that I like, Calgary Flames & the Edmonton Oilers. Calgary made a valiant effort and fought till the penultimate game, which they won convincingly but were still eliminated from the playoff qualification due to teams above them getting insurmountable points. Ottawa had a very year and is in the middle of a rebuild but I’m sure that they will be back next season. Edmonton, also in the midst of a rebuild, might take another year or so.
So who do I think will win the 2011 Stanley Cup? It seems quite open but I’m going with the Vancouver Canucks. As far as quarterfinal lineups go, Montreal vs Boston looks appetizing with the long history of animosity & rivalry that they two franchises have had. I’m thinking that the Eastern semifinal round will be Washington, Montreal, Philadelphia & Pittsburgh & from the West it will be Vancouver, San Jose, Detroit & Anaheim.