Unfortunately they can't play any divisional rivals in the playoffs...
Right because I remember the Nucks in the 11 playoffs beating the Flames in the first round, the Oilers in the 2nd round and the Wild in conference finals before finally losing to the mighty Bruins. oh wait...
Btw, for the last 3 straight playoffs, the Nucks have only lost to the Cup champs.
I am not convinced the Pens are good enough throughout to really make a challenge.
From what I have seen so far...
I think these are the top teams in their Conferences right now.
I think LA and SJ will drop off but the Ducks are another strong team in the West, imho. I think Vancouver is way overrated. STL is way too inconsistent but if they straighten out the goalie problems, they might callenge the other teams. The Wings could be a dark horse. But, can their star players come through in the playoffs this time?
In the East, the Devils seem to be the most consistent. The NYR are streaky and the Bruins may have question marks in goal. I don't see the Canadiens or Leafs doing much. The Penguins are also up and down and I don't think they have enough secondary firepower at forward although Malkin and Crosby will have a shorter season, at least. Also, Fleury is a big question mark. Tampa has been hot and cold but I think they're a bit overrated, too. If the checking is good enough, I don't see them going all the way.
Hard to say for the east. I want to say the rangers, but their system is garbage in the playoffs. I could also say the pens, but how will fleury play this time around? The bruins dont have Thomas to steal the show. Its hard for the devils to make the finals 2 straight years.
I'm just going to pick the senators for the hell of it. Anderson's play could take them to the finals.
For the west, I cant decide between the Hawks or Nucks.
Now that Karlsson is (unfortunately) out for the season I'll just pick the rangers to just eke by to the finals