Carolina vs. Boston. I’m going to say Boston in five. How can Carolina top their stunning win over New Jersey? By beating Boston, of course, but that will not be easy. The Bruins are tough, hungry, and maybe have the right ingredients to be the finals.
Pittsburgh vs. Washington. Washington in seven. This is Bettman’s dream, two of the best and most well-known players in the world going at each other. It will help promote the game because his TV contract generates less interest than my bank. I think the Caps will play similar to how they did against the Rangers, slowly and carelessly at the start, but figure out things out after the second game.
Anaheim vs. Detroit. Detroit in seven, but this one might be the upset. If Tomas Holmstrom thought he was beat up by Rusty Klesla, he is going to cry like a seventh grader after Pronger is through with him. This one will be bloody, just like the Sharks’ fans are.
Vancouver vs. Chicago. Chicago in six. The Blackhawks are a year ahead of the Blue Jackets (and should be watched, Columbus) and I think their youth and speed, along with their talent, will get them by a slower Canuck team. We in Columbus marvel at the accomplishments of young Steve Mason, but Jonathan Toews is the same age and is in his second year as captain! By the way, look for the the Hawks to buzz all around Roberto Luongo every time the puck is in his zone.