Originally posted on PredsOnTheGlass  |  Last updated 4/9/12
The time has come to go out on a limb and expose myself to the world and show how much I don't know by throwing out some mad guesses as to what will happen in the first round of this years NHL playoffs.

Taking a quick look back to preseason predictions, I picked seven out of eight playoff teams in the Western Conference, missing only the Phoenix Coyotes. I had the Anaheim Ducks returning to the playoffs, thinking that Dave Tippett had run out of rabbits in his hat and that the tumultuous situation in the desert would finally wear down the Coyotes.

My picks in the East were a disaster. I did have the top five finishers, but in the wrong order, and like most others, I had Florida and Ottawa relegated to the bottom of the Conference. I also had the Devils just missing in ninth place. My choices that did not make the playoffs were Tampa, Buffalo, and Montreal.

With all that being said, it is time to move on to the first round picks.

Eastern Conference

(1) New York Rangers vs (8) Ottawa Senators  - The Sens were one of two big surprises in the East this year while the Rangers exceeded expectations and barely missed the President's Cup. Ottawa did not have a great finish to the season as the fell to eighth in the seedings while the Rangers were able to hold off the late season surge by Pittsburgh to claim the Atlantic title. The Rangers should cruise through the opening round and clinch at home. - Rangers in five

(2) Boston Bruins vs (7) Washington Capitals - This is a series that has the potential to surprise many folks as I think it will go seven games with plenty of offense along the way. After starting quickly out of the box, changing coaches, and struggling for much of the season, the Caps appeared to be hitting their stride at the end. Boston also had plenty of ups and downs with a slow start and then a hot streak in November. I think that the difference will be Boston's home ice in the final game. - Bruins in seven

(3) Florida Panthers vs (6) New Jersey Devils - This could be a quick series with the Devils extensive playoff experience pitted against a Panthers team that amassed 18 points in overtime losses which is not an option in the postseason. The Panthers have not been in the postseason since they were swept by the Devils in 2000. Marty Brodeur has played well in the seasons second half and I expect that will continue. - Devils in five

(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs (5) Philadelphia Flyers - This is the one match in the East that everyone wants to see. After a wild contest with plenty of bad blood in the next to the last weekend of the season, the most recent game was relatively docile. The teams should be ready to play a tough series once the puck is dropped with elimination for a good team on the line. I see the Pens going deep in the playoffs this year and the Flyers will be the first notch on their gun. - Pens in six

Western Conference

(1) Vancouver Canucks vs (8) Los Angeles Kings - For two seasons I've predicted the Kings to go to the finals in the West and I'm still waiting for them to match my expectation. I don't think they will make it this year but they were playing their best hockey of the year in the at the end of the season. The Canucks won the President's Trophy on the heels of playing in the only division with one playoff team, but could be ripe for the picking without Daniel Sedin. Kings in seven

(2) St. Louis Blues vs (7) San Jose Sharks - The Blues were a surprise team in the west as were the Sharks for a totally different reason. With the lack of recent playoff experience the Blues almost could be considered somewhat of an underdog, but Ken Hitchcock has done a masterful job with his team since taking over and it should continue into the first round. - St. Louis in six

(3) Phoenix Coyotes  vs (6) Chicago Blackhawks - Phoenix continues to surprise folks by making the playoffs for the third year in a row while being owned by the league with healthy contributions from the city of Glendale. Chicago is bitter after backsliding last season in their post Stanley Cup season. The Hawks will show the strength of the Central Division by taking the first round to move on and play another Central Division opponent. - Hawks in six

(4) Nashville Predators vs (5) Detroit Red Wings - This is a series that plenty of folks nationwide are looking forward to seeing. The Predators have built the best team in franchise history with several pickups near the trade deadline and the grand prize coming with the return of Alexander Radulov. The Wings have not played well on the road this year and could have used home ice advantage. I may be one of the few folks expecting a short series but the Predators are ready to roll. Predators in five

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sixers still open to trading Jahlil Okafor

Tickets for 49ers-Rams game at Levi's going for $14

Aaron Rodgers has funny quote on never beating the Bengals

WATCH: Youth football coaches engage in ugly brawl

Richard Sherman critical of NFL injury report: It is for gamblers

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Adidas hooked Giannis Antetokounmpo up with an entire truck full of sneakers

Carmelo Anthony trade rumors suggest he’s headed to the Rockets soon

John Farrell may use David Price as temporary closer

Marvin Lewis threatens Bengals players with major changes

Robert Grays dies from injury stemming from tackle attempt in CFB game

Winter is coming: Best free agents on MLB contenders

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors for the 2018 NBA championship

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

Getaway Day: Time runs short as postseason nears

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House sticks it to sports

The 'Not so elementary, my dear Watson' quiz

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors for the 2018 NBA championship

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

Getaway Day: Time runs short as postseason nears

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker