2013 NHL Playoff Predictions

The 2013 NHL playoffs are about to begin. In about 60 days, a new Stanley Cup champion will be crowned. Let’s take a look at the first round match-ups as well as which teams have what it takes to make it all the way to the end.

Eastern Conference

(1) Pittsburgh vs (8) New York Islanders

Prediction For Series:

Pittsburgh In Five

How Far Can Pittsburgh Go?

The Penguins have a lot of talent on their team. It is almost unfair to have players like Jarome Iginla and Brenden Marrow on the same line. Once Sidney Crosby comes back, they will have what it takes to win the Stanley Cup.

(2) Montreal vs. (7) Ottawa

Prediction For Series:

Montreal In Six

How Far Can Montreal Go?

Montreal has struggled down the stretch. Don’t be shocked if this is the only series that they win as Boston and Toronto look like strong teams heading into the playoffs.

(3) Washington vs. (6) New York Rangers

Prediction For Series:

Capitals In Seven

How Far Can Washington Go?

Look for the Capitals to be completely gassed after playing seven games against the Rangers. After a tough first series, they will be hard pressed to advance much farther. The Capitals played in a weak division and only have a chance of advancing to the conference finals if Alex Ovechkin scores at least a goal a game.

(4) Boston vs. (5) Toronto

Prediction For Series:

Boston In Six

How Far Can Boston Go?

The Bruins have the best chance to play the Penguins for the right to advance to the Stanley Cup finals. While the Pens have the edge in offensive talent, the Bruins have one of the best goalies in the game in Tuukka Rask.

 

Western Conference

(1) Chicago vs. (8) Minnesota

Prediction For Series:

Chicago In Four

How Far Will Chicago Go?

They will be playing at least into the third round. However, it is uncertain if they can beat Anaheim to get to the Stanley Cup finals.

(2) Anaheim vs. (7) Detroit

Prediction For Series:

Anaheim In Six

How Far Will Anaheim Go?

The Ducks will face a Red Wings team that is hungry after barely extending its 22 year playoff streak. However, once they get past the Red Wings, it will be easy sailing until the conference finals.

(3) Vancouver vs. (6) San Jose

Prediction For Series:

Canucks In Seven

How Far Will Vancouver Go?

To be fair, neither of these teams would be advancing if they weren’t playing each other. Both teams are too inconsistent to be considered serious contenders. Therefore, Vancouver will be exiting in the second round.

(4) St. Louis vs. (5) Los Angeles

Prediction For Series:

Los Angeles In Five

How Far Will Los Angeles Go?

They will be a sleeper team this year. While they could be bounced in the second round by Chicago, they could also play like they did last season when they were practically undefeated in the playoffs.

Projected Stanley Cup Finals:

Pittsburgh vs. Chicago

Prediction For Stanley Cup Finals:

Chicago In Six

What Decides The Series?

The Blackhawks have too much premium talent on their team. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are two of the best players in the league and the play of Ray Emery has been a revelation. Although it will not be a cakewalk, the Blackhawks will benefit from playing as many as four games at home. If the series does go past six games, that will be the deciding factor.

 

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