2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round One

The 2013-2014 NHL regular season has come to an end.  16 of the 30 teams have qualified for the playoffs.

The following match-ups are now set:

The Stanley Cup.

The Stanley Cup.

Eastern Conference

Boston Bruins (117 points) vs. Detroit Red Wings (93 points.)

The Bruins are the Presidents’ Trophy winners with the best regular season record in the NHL this year.  However, Red Wings are 3-1 against the Bruins this season.  However, the Bruins are 4-3 in postseason series against the Red Wings.  The Bruins won the 1941 Stanley Cup by beating the Red Wings in 4 games.  The Red Wings won their Semi-Finals match-up in 1942 and beat the Bruins in 1943 for the Stanley Cup.  The Red Wings won a seven game series in 1945, while the Bruins won their first round match-ups in 1946, 1953, and 1957.

I see the Red Wings winning the series in 7 games.

Pittsburgh Penguins (106 points) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (93 points.)

The Penguins won all 5 games they met up this season.  This is the first time the two teams have met up in the postseason.  Led by Sydney Crosby, expect the Penguins to win in 6 games.

Tampa Bay Lightning (101 points) vs. Montreal Canadiens (100 points.)

The Lightning won the season series 3-1.  The Lightning won the only postseason match-up between the two teams in 2004 during the Conference Semifinals.  Expect the Canadiens, who are the last Canadian team to win the Cup, to win in 6 games.

New York Rangers (96 points) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (94 points.)

The season series was tied at 2-2.  The teams have met 10 times before in the postseason, with the Flyers winning 6 of those series, including the last three series between the teams.  I see the Rangers coming out ahead in 7 games.

Western Conference

Anaheim Ducks (114 points) vs. Dallas Stars (91 points.)

The Ducks are the best team in the Western Conference, finishing 3 points behind the Bruins for the Presidents’ Trophy.  The Stars won the season series 2-1.  The 2 teams have met twice before in the postseason with the Ducks winning 4 games to 2 in the 2003 Western Semifinals, and Stars winning 4 games to 2 in the 2008 Western Conference Quarterfinals.  I would expect the Ducks to prevail in 6 games.

Colorado Avalanche (111 points) vs. Minnesota Wild (98 points.)

The Avalanche won the season series 3-1.  The teams have met twice before, the Wild won a 7 game series in 2003, and the Avalanche won a 6 game series in 2008.  Both those meetings also took place in the first round.  Expect the Avalanche to win in 6 games.

San Jose Sharks (111 points) vs. Los Angeles Kings (100 points.)

The Kings won the season series 3-2.  The teams have won one series each, the Sharks winning a 6 game series in the first round back in 2011 and the Kings in a 7 game series in last year’s Conference Semifinal.  Expect the Sharks to win in 6 games.

St. Louis Blues (111 points) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (107 points.)

The Blackhawks are the defending Stanley Cup champions.  The Blues won the season series 3-2.  The Blackhawks have won 7 postseason series in 10 postseason meetings.  The Blackhawks will likely win in 7 games.

So, in a nutshell, here are the teams I expect to make it to the second round:

Detroit Red Wings
Pittsburgh Penguins
Montreal Canadiens
New York Rangers
Anaheim Ducks
Colorado Avalanche
San Jose Sharks
Chicago Blackhawks

So let’s see what happens.

 

 

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