April 29th, 2013 by

Stanley Cup playoffs predictions

Stanley Cup playoffs predictions

Now that the lockout-shortened season has come and gone, the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs are finally here. The playoffs feature some familiar faces, and a few new ones in what promises to be one entertaining run of playoff hockey.

The usual suspects are back in the playoffs with the likes of the Bruins, Penguins, Red Wings and Canucks all back in the post season again as they look to capture Lord Stanley’s Cup.

The Kings are too back in the playoffs as they look to become the first team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups since the Red Wings won two in a row in 1997 and 1998.

The New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Minnesota Wild will all see postseason hockey for the first time in a few years.

Let’s take a look at the Bruins Daily crew’s Stanley Cup playoffs predictions

1. Chicago Blackhawks vs. 8. Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild were the last team to clinch a playoff spot in the West as the eight seed, their first playoff appearance in five years, that’s the good news. The bad news, they meet the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago took two of the three matchups against the Wild this season. The Wild have the fire power offensively to keep up with the Blackhawks, but the Hawks should have a field day with the Wild’s shaky defense. (Anthony Travalgia- Blackhawks in 5)

Tim: Blackhawks in 6
Chris: Blackhawks in 6
Dan:  Blackhawks in 4

2. Anaheim Ducks vs. 7. Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings were red hot at the end of the regular season. They began scoring at will scoring 15 goals in their final four contests. Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk combined for 18 points in the four-game winning streak that put that team into the playoffs as the number seven seed. The Red Wings are not playing like a seven seed right now so beware. The Ducks come in as the number two seed with Ryan Getzlaf posting 15 goals and 34 assists on the year. Getzlaf has been the player that has haunted the Red Wings in the past. . I have a feeling Pavel Datsyuk is going to play a key role in this series lifting the Red Wings to the next round. (Chris Chirichiello- Red Wings in 7)

Anthony: Ducks in 7
Tim: Ducks in 7
Dan: Ducks in 6

3. Vancouver Canucks vs. 6. San Jose Sharks

The Sharks thoroughly dominated the Canucks this season, sweeping the regular season series 3-0, but that’s hardly a telling sign in any playoff matchup. San Jose finished the season with 57 points, only two points fewer than Vancouver, led by a well rounded forward group and goaltender, Antti Niemi, who’s already captured the Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010. At the other end, the time is now for Vancouver to capture their first Cup title in club history, especially in a shortened season with a less than demanding travel schedule. I believe by the end of this series, you’ll hear a lot of fans comparing Cory Schneider’s performance to Jonathan Quick’s of last season. (Dan St. Pierre- Canucks in 6)

Anthony: Sharks in 6
Tim: Canucks in 6
Chris: Sharks in 7

4. St. Louis Blues vs. 5. LA Kings

In a rematch of last year’s conference semifinals, the Kings and Blues have some interesting storylines. Unlike last year when he split duties with Jaroslav Halak between the pipes, the Blues will rely on Brian Elliot to start the series. Jonathan Quick, meanwhile, will look to repeat his performance from last year’s Cup run. Because of that, at least for this round, I like the Kings to advance. (Tim Rosenthal- Kings in 6)

Anthony: Blues in 7
Chris:  Kings in 6
Dan: Kings in 5

1. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 8. New York Islanders

The Penguins were nearly unbeatable all season winning 36 games and finishing the year with an 8-2 record. They were just as dangerous on the road as they were at home compiling an 18-6 record away from Pittsburgh. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, James Neal and Kris Letang are the names to keep an eye on here. This is just a short list. This team is well-balanced and a wagon. They are the one seed for a reason. Their skill and depth has carried them to the top of the Eastern conference in 2013. The New York Islanders finally have made the playoffs. What a great day for hockey. They finished 24-17-7 and 6-1-3 in their last 10 games. John Tavares and Matt Moulson combined for 91 points in 95 games and almost single-handedly carried this team into the playoffs. They may be the eight seed, but we all saw what the Kings did last year. I still think the Penguins are too tough for the Islanders, but again, that is why they play the game. (CC- Penguins in 5)

Dan: Penguins in 4
Anthony: Penguins in 5
Tim: Penguins in 5

2. Montreal Canadiens vs. 7. Ottawa Senators

Montreal fans, like the Ottawa faithful, point towards their goaltender as the main reason their team will make a deep postseason run. Both teams rely on dynamic offensive defensemen as quarterbacks of their offense, but the team that consistently clears shooting lanes for their goaltender will be the team that advances in this matchup. The Canadiens have been struggling (4-6-0), but there’s no building in the NHL tougher to play four possible road games in than Montreal. In the end, Carey Price finally resurrects himself, Subban averages a point-per-game and the highest goal total in the series is five. (DSP-Canadiens in 6 games)

Chris: Canadiens in 7
Anthony: Canadiens in 6
Tim: Senators in 7

3. Capitals vs. 6. Rangers

The Capitals and Rangers meet in the playoffs for the third time in as many seasons in what looks like the most intriguing matchup in the East. The Caps enter the playoffs as winners of 15 of their last 19. Captain Alexander Ovechkin has been playing arguably the best hockey of his career and will give the Rangers fits. The Rangers who were the preseason favorites by many are lucky to even be in the playoffs as they have underachieved all season.  This series is going the distance. (AT- Caps in 7)

Dan: Capitals in 7
Tim: Capitals in 7
Chris: Rangers in 6

4. Boston Bruins vs. 5. Toronto Maple Leafs

It’s no secret that the Bruins have picked the worst time to play their worst hockey of the season, limping in with only eight points in their final ten games. But in the playoffs it’s all about matchups, and while the Leafs have improved – and Phil Kessel has something to prove – I still like the chances for Patrice Bergeron, Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara and company (TR- Bruins in 6)

Anthony: Bruins in 6
Chris: Bruins in 6
Dan: Bruins in 6

Stanley Cup Predictions

Anthony: Capitals over Ducks
Chris: Penguins over Sharks
Dan: Penguins over Canucks
Tim: Blackhawks over Capitals

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