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Monday, April 9, 2012

It Is Time for the Stanley Cup Playoffs!

Posted by on Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Regulation season is over. The Stanley Cup Playoffs start this week. Hooray!

Here are the Conference Quarterfinal matches: Los Angeles Kings vs. the Vancouver Canucks; Ottawa Senators vs. New York Rangers; San Jose Sharks vs. St. Louis Blues; Washington Capitals vs. Boston Bruins; Chicago Blackhawks vs. Phoenix Coyotes; New Jersey Devils vs. Florida Panthers; Detroit Redwings vs. Nashville Predators (with home ice advantage—whoo!); and Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins.

Personally (and obviously), I'm stoked for the Preds series, though their record with Detroit is 3-3-0 this year, so I'm quite nervous. The Flyers and Penguins will be crazy, too. I'll also be keeping my eye on the Canucks vs. the Kings (keep people's fingers out of your mouth this year, Burrows).

So now I want to know three things: Which series are you most looking forward to watching? What do you predict will happen in that series? And, the ultimate question: Who's taking home the Stanley Cup this year?

Games start Wednesday—see the full playoff schedule here.


Comments (39) RSS

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biffp 1
I love the enthusiasm. Vancouver will be the one and only Stanley Cup winner. We're not sharing with the Rangers or Penguins.
Posted by biffp on April 9, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
tdalec 2
I don't see "Who Cares?" in the poll options. "Who Cares?" would win going away.
Posted by tdalec on April 9, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
I think there needs to be a "BASEBALL SEASON" option.
Posted by Cappelletti on April 9, 2012 at 10:05 AM · Report this
tdalec needs to go away. Quit raining on our parade. Nobody twisted you arm to read or comment on this thread. So there. Yes, I'm sticking my tongue out.

I can hardly wait for they playoffs to start. I am a Sharks fan, and nothing would be sweeter than to see them take home the Cup. Alas, I don't think this is their year, but I can dream. If the Sharks don't make it, I'll be rooting for the Canucks all the way.
Posted by SeattleKim on April 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 5
Definitely hoping for a repeat by Beantown, though the odds of that happening aren't great. They should cruise through the first round, though.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on April 9, 2012 at 10:08 AM · Report this
Keister Button 6
I posted my first through fourth round predictions at
It's important for me to distinguish who I would like to see win from who would actually win. I see some atypical predictions in first round, where the team that earned a berth last in its conference sweeps a 105+ point team in four games, and I think, hmm maybe some wishful thinking going on there.

I think the Penguins will win the Cup, but I would express some joy if the Vancouver Canucks got it.
Posted by Keister Button on April 9, 2012 at 10:08 AM · Report this
Puty 7
Pittsburgh is an unstoppable juggernaut. Unless they get wrecked by injuries. Then who knows. Go Vancouver I suppose. Can I root for the Seattle Coyotes yet?
Posted by Puty on April 9, 2012 at 10:19 AM · Report this
What, no option to vote for the Predators?
Posted by Big Adventure Steve on April 9, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
Argh never mind I'm an idiot.
Posted by Big Adventure Steve on April 9, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
@7, as a Penguins fan I am going to have to dispute your "unstoppable juggernaut" comment. The Flyers have had our number pretty much all season. This past Saturday was the first time we beat them in Consol ever. Two full seasons with just one win - this first round is going to be a bitch. And we may pull it out but we'll most likely be very black and blue by the time it ends. Hartnell claims it's going to be a "bloodbath" and he's probably not far from wrong. So, as much as I hope for a Penguins Cup win, it's in no way a certainty.
Posted by moosefan on April 9, 2012 at 10:28 AM · Report this
Keister Button 11
I am not surprised there is no mention of the President's Cup, the trophy awarded to the team with the highest number of points in regulation series, in this post. Thanks to the Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars for making it possible for Vancouver to reprise its win.
Posted by Keister Button on April 9, 2012 at 10:30 AM · Report this
Go Wings :)
Posted by kersy on April 9, 2012 at 10:33 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 13
It won't be Vancouver.
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 9, 2012 at 10:36 AM · Report this
Not possible this year, but I look forward to a Sharks/Jets final.
Posted by remarkablyadept on April 9, 2012 at 10:36 AM · Report this
Michael of the Green 15
And... what sport are we talking about? Is it a NASCAR thing?
Posted by Michael of the Green on April 9, 2012 at 10:39 AM · Report this
Lets go Rangers! Bring the Cup to Broadway!
Posted by bitethemailman on April 9, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
@7,@10, I picked the Pens with the caviat that they can get out of the series with the Flyers without any major injuries, plus enough gas in the tank to take on the Western Champs. If Hitchcock continues to press the right buttons with his players and Halak steals games like he did in the Cup playoffs a few years ago, the Blues might find their way to a final.
Posted by neo-realist on April 9, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
Flyers = rented mule

(I hope. The first round may be the Pens biggest hurdle in the Cup playoffs.)
Posted by N in Seattle on April 9, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
orange&black 19
Flyers over pens in a looooong seven games. The problem is that first round match up is really going to take its toll on whoever wins. It will be an epic match up, and I don't think Hartnells take on it is very far off. My favorite time of year!
Posted by orange&black on April 9, 2012 at 11:03 AM · Report this
Megan, does the rest of the staff at the Stranger get any of this? Or do they just look at you oddly, as if you are a complete anomaly? They have no idea what they are missing.
Posted by SeattleKim on April 9, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
biffp 21
I'm hoping for the Seattle Panthers. I know that would be a successful franchise, although the Seattle Coyotes could make it too. A new expansion team, not so sure.
Posted by biffp on April 9, 2012 at 11:20 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 22
Canucks, but only after an overtime puck shootout they will win with the Penguins.
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 9, 2012 at 11:29 AM · Report this
@22, Well that would certainly be special since it would require the NHL abandon its playoff OT rules. I wouldn't mind seeing that series, though. With the Penguins coming out on top, of course.
Posted by moosefan on April 9, 2012 at 11:44 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 24
Will as moosefan points out, there's no shootout in the playoffs.

Is there any topic you aren't so ignorant of, that you don't fuck up when you talk about it?
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 9, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
biffp 25
I thought it was funny. Would have been crummy to decide who the Canucks play in a shootout on Saturday. It almost came to that, but the Sharks scored in OT.
Posted by biffp on April 9, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this
Xenos 26
Rangers fan here, I think that PIT-PHL is a tossup- even if it somehow became a blowout, it's definitely going to be the meanest match-up this round, which has consequences for the eventual victor. Aside from that, I don't think the East is going to have any upsets.

In the West, I think Chicago and Detroit have solid upset chances, and I'll second @17 in saying that the Blues are not to be underestimated.

As for Vancouver, I have to say I went from actively cheering them in last year's finals to tacit support for Boston. I don't watch the West that often but the Canucks were the whiniest, cheapest hacks you could ask for. Burrows and Lapierre were a disgrace, and Daniel Sedin was lackluster. You could have been forgiven for thinking the Penguins had switched jerseys in an attempt to stay in the tournament.

I enjoy hating on Boston (along with all things Massachusetts-related) but I can't deny that they played the game with an admirable combination of muscle and skill. The better team won.

Go Rangers.
Posted by Xenos on April 9, 2012 at 12:18 PM · Report this
@26, I know it wouldn't really be an upset but do you really think that the Devils can't beat the Panthers? Because I can easily see that happening.

Also, I know the Caps were pretty lackluster all season but the Bruins only beat them once. So there's definitely a possibility of the Caps pulling off an upset.

And, while I really don't think the Rangers are going to lose to the Senators, the Sens won 3 of 4 match-ups against the Rangers this year.

Upsets happen every year and to look at the match-ups in the East and think that there aren't going to be any in the first round is just silly. It's possible that there won't be any but I'd say it's unlikely.
Posted by moosefan on April 9, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 28
@23 @24 I know, but it's the only way the Canucks could win.

Hell, I'll break out my old Penguins pennant for that!
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 9, 2012 at 12:45 PM · Report this
Wow, big ass poll. It's as if they just let every hockey team into the playoffs. ...What's that? Oh.
Posted by Moag on April 9, 2012 at 12:47 PM · Report this
Kinison 30
Hockey isnt even a real sport.

When a ref allows two players to fight each other for several minutes, only to penalize them both for fighting (I assume the ref gets bored during the fist fight), whats the point in having a ref in the first place?
Posted by Kinison on April 9, 2012 at 12:53 PM · Report this
Xenos 31
@27 I think Florida's top line is going to really come out of the gate swinging, don't ask me how, but I have a feeling about them.

Caps are not, nor have they ever been (I may be slightly exaggerating), a playoff team. Regular season match-ups aside, I think Boston is the far more disciplined and well-rounded team. I think they know that this first round could be tricky and are prepared to outlast the Caps if necessary.

As for the Rangers, if I'm being objective I would say that there is no guarantee we will see NYR 2.0 out there from the first face-off. Being objective, I would also add that this uncertainty fills me with dread, because the only thing worse than being beaten is looking like you are undeserving of the ignominy of being beaten. But I'm not being objective, because goddamn it, they better win.
Posted by Xenos on April 9, 2012 at 12:54 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 32
@ 30, have you forgotten that you've blown your sports credibilty on Slog? Just register a sockpuppet already.
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 9, 2012 at 12:57 PM · Report this
If the Pens survive the series with the Flyers in less than seven games and with no major injuries, I like their chances.

Given the history between those two teams, and the absolute hatred the current incarnations seem to have for each other though...that is a very big "if."
Posted by Sheryl on April 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this
Lose-Lose 34
Don't care about the Stanley Cup, but let me know when you decide to cover the Sounders.
Posted by Lose-Lose on April 9, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
RatGirl 35
@27, the Bruins are going to beat the pants off the Capitols. Remember, these guys play way differently in post-season vs regular season. In 2011, the Capitols entered the playoffs as the eastern conference champions yet they got eliminated in the semi-finals when they lost to the Lightning. The Bruins entered as third seed and took it all the way to the cup.

And fuck the Canucks. Gotta agree with Xenos; they're a bunch of whiny jerks. And those creepy ginger twins! Eesh.
Posted by RatGirl on April 9, 2012 at 4:34 PM · Report this
@35, I'm not suggesting that the Caps will get past the Bruins. Just that an upset is possible. Not likely but possible.

Also, suggesting that it's somehow impressive that the 3rd seed won the Cup is ridiculous. You mean to tell me that a top-seeded team - a seeding that gave them favorable early round match-ups and home-ice, not to mention says something about their regular season play - won the Cup? Well, color me shocked.
Posted by moosefan on April 9, 2012 at 5:15 PM · Report this

I know for a fact that Goldy is a big Flyers fan. Maybe he and I should make a bet on the outcome of the intra-Pennsylvania rivalry series.

Posted by N in Seattle on April 9, 2012 at 5:26 PM · Report this
Am I the only wings fan in this thread? Where are my fellow Michiganders????!
Posted by kersy on April 9, 2012 at 11:23 PM · Report this
RatGirl 39
@36 Moosefan, not saying it was impressive per se but just making a point that you never really can predict what will happen in the playoffs, regardless of the position a team enters at.

And you bring up an interesting point... Due to the fact that the first, second and third seed in the conference go to the winners of each division, you can have a team in a top slot that would have actually been 7th or 8th if you were to only base their position on points.

You can see perfect examples of this in both conferences this year... In the west, Phoenix is third seed but only has 97 points. Five other teams in the west have more points than them but bc they were division champs, they got third seed. And in the east, Florida has 94 points and are actually in 6th place points-wise but are third seed bc of their division win.

My point being, entering the playoffs as a top seeded team in your conference doesn't guarantee a damn thing nor is even an indicator of how you will perform against the other teams in your conference.
Posted by RatGirl on April 11, 2012 at 11:29 PM · Report this

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