I think a lot of people are realizing just how strong the West division was this year. All of the teams from that division who made the playoffs passed onto the 2nd round.
Baie-Comeau and Rimouski are up there for sure, I like Halifax too, but the fact that they played in a terrible division buffed their regular season stats.
I think Val-D'or could do some damage. It's not all Mantha over there. The kid line (St-Amant - Richard - Aubé-Kubel) is very dangerous and good on both sides of the ice.
Bibeau has been terrific as well after a rough start. I wouldn't sell Val d'Or short. Like you said, it's not just Mantha. They have one of the best PK in the league, good offensive depth as well. In the first series, the depth lines were more noticeable than the big line and it's not that the big line did nothing. Graves has helped the backend a lot as well. They play a strong puck posession game. Nothing against Habs prospects playing for Gatineau and just the Olympiques in general and how good they always are in the playoffs. An Halifax vs. Val d'Or series would be so much fun to watch. As you pointed out, the western division was so strong this year. Even if they finished 3rd, they had to go though tougher competition.