2011 NHL Hockey Playoff Predictions

As a fan of the LA Kings, this has been a really entertaining season to watch. The Western Conference has basically been in ‘playoff mode' for the past few months. For a while there were something like 8 teams separated by less than 10 points. Completely nerve-wracking as a fan. But also, completely awesome!

With the playoffs starting tomorrow, I wanted to put together a quick post about my predictions for this year's playoffs.

Round 1: Western Conference

Vancouver Canucks (1) Vs Chicago Blackhawks (8)
It's great that the defending champs squeaked in to the playoffs… The bad part is, they get to face the top team in the league. Sadly, the first round is all the Blackhawks are going to see.

Winner: Canucks in 5 games

San Jose Sharks (2) Vs Los Angeles Kings (7)
For the first time in history, 2 teams from California are playing each other in the playoffs. As much as I love the Kings, with their recent injuries and their recent lack of ability to score goals, I just can't see them getting past San Jose. (I hope I'm wrong on this one!)

Winner: Sharks in 6 games

Detroit Red Wings (3) Vs Phoenix Coyotes (6)
The Coyotes are one of the most impressive teams this season. Finishing 6th in the West is a HUGE accomplishment considering they have only one player who scored 20 goals this season. Unfortunately for them, the Wings are a playoff hockey machine.

Winner: Red Wings in 6 games

Anaheim Ducks (4) Vs Nashville Predators (5)
With the Ducks in the playoffs, this marks the first time that all 3 California teams have made the playoffs in the same year. Both of these teams are tough, tough teams. I think these guys are going to beat each other up in a grueling series that I expect to see multiple overtime games.

Winner: Predators in 7 games

Round 1: Eastern Conference

Washington Capitals (1) Vs New York Rangers (8)
I think the Caps are a much better team this year than they were last year. They cut back on the run-and-gun style and play a much better brand of defensive hockey that should take them far… Unfortunately for them, I think they are going to have a difficult time scoring against the Rangers who's goalie is an absolute monster. Upset time!

Winner: Rangers in 6 games

Philadelphia Flyers (2) Vs Buffalo Sabres (7)
This is a toughy. Philly is really strong, but in the goalie department, it's hart to bet against Ryan Miller in Buffalo. If this was strictly a goalie game, I'd go with another upset here. But, I think Philly's overall team is going to be too much for Buffalo to overcome.

Winner: Flyers in 6 games

Boston Bruins (3) Vs Montreal Canadiens (6)
How lucky are we that these two teams that hate each other SO MUCH [remember this hit?] get to play each other in the first round? Man I love playoff hockey! I think this is going to be the most entertaining series. Unfortunately, I don't think it's going to be a very long one.

Winner: Bruins in 5 games

Pittsburgh Penguins (4) Vs Tampa Bay Lightning (5)
Sidney Crosby missed 41 games (half the season) and still lead the Penguins in scoring. Makes you wonder where this team would have finished had be been healthy all season. Unfortunately for the Penguins, I think the're going to get the opportunity to go hang out with Crosby pretty soon.

Winner: Lightning in 6 games

Western Conference: Round 2

Vancouver Canucks (1) Vs Nashville Predators (5)
I'm predicting a few lopsided victories in this one.

Winner: Canucks in 5 games

San Jose Sharks (2) Vs Detroit Red Wings (3)
I think this is going to be the best series of the 2nd round. And, I think this series is going to send the Sharks faithful in to a deep depression. Once again, their regular season greatness is going to come up short.

Winner: Wings in 6 games

Eastern Conference: Round 2

Philadelphia Flyers (2) Vs New York Rangers (8)
This should be another entertaining series, but I think the Flyers are going to prove to be too much for the Rangers and their goalie just isn't going to be able to save their bacon this time.

Winner: Flyers in 6 games

Boston Bruins (3) Vs Tampa Bay Lightning (5)
I've been rooting for both of these teams all year (I had both goalies on my fantasy team), so this is going to be a fun series to watch (for me, anyway). I think Tim Thomas is going to steal the show this time around.

Winner: Bruins in 5 games

Western Conference Semifinals

Vancouver Canucks (1) Vs Detroit Red Wings (3)
I think this is a series that could easily see some games with scores like 5-4, 6-3, etc…

Winner: Canucks in 6 games

Eastern Conference Semifinals

Philadelphia Flyers (2) Vs Boston Bruins (3)
This is another series I'm really looking forward to. I think this may be a really physical series with a lot of bumps and bruises. I'll go out on a limb and say the home team wins every game in this series… except the last one.

Winner: Boston Bruins in 6 games

Stanley Cup Finals

Vancouver Canucks (1) Vs Boston Bruins (3)
This isn't about playing it safe. This isn't about just riding the top team in the league all the way through the playoffs. But, Vancouver is a pretty amazing team. This season they scored the most goals (262) and allowed the fewest goals (185) of any team in the league. Curse of the president's trophy be damned!

Skating with the Cup: Vancouver Canucks in 5 games.

So that's my predictions. Agree with me? Think I'm crazy. Leave a comment and tell me who YOU think is going to win.

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8 Comments

  1. james on April 12, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    first round: canucks, kings, wings, preds, rangers, sabres, bruins, lightning.

    • John on April 12, 2011 at 8:38 pm

      Any predictions that have my beloved Kings winning the first round are OK by me! 🙂

  2. Carl on April 13, 2011 at 9:14 am

    First Round: Canucks, Sharks, Yotes, Ducks, Rangers, Flyers, Bruins, Lightening

    While the Wings are normally a playoff machine, I believe Phoenix to be this year's dark horse. In the East, I think the Pens still have some fight in them even without Sid the Kid (Will he make a comeback?!) or Malkin so that series could go either way.

    Not going to comment on second round until it happens. This is the NHL after all.

  3. kyle on April 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    the caps prediction i say ur insane but most i agree with i say caps,pens,montreal,flyers,west,vancouver,redwings,ducks,and sharks and canucks personaly im a die hard caps fan so i hope them vs coyotes sharks or canucks i want those last two they have ben great this last and the year before that but i think caps can win it and will but i will die if bruins flyers rangers pens redwings or predators make it any farther or stanely cup so rock the red and lets go CAPS!

  4. Chris on April 26, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Buffalo and detroit in the cup…. or…… boston and san jose

  5. Ok on June 12, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Most of it is messed but the end looks like its gonna be right (pro prediction)

    • John on June 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm

      I went 7-1 in the first round, so I’m pretty happy with that.

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