I feel the need to give my predictions of who will make it past the first round of the NHL playoffs, but I’m kind of resigned to the fact that I will have Very Good Reasons to just pick the top seeds. At the same time, I don’t think I am knowledgeable enough to guess how many games each series will go to. Then, it’s not really a prediction is it? Oh well, here they are anyways:

Washington (1) vs New York (8)
Rangers are injured and Washington look to recover from last year’s shocking playoff defeat. I don’t think Lundqvist will steal the series so Washington will win.

Philadelphia (2) vs Buffalo (7)
Miller may still be injured, and Philadelphia has a great team (they would be my favorite to make it out of the East).

Boston (3) vs Montreal (6)
I would like to see Boston make it to the Stanley Cup finals so that we can get the 2nd round draft pick from the Kaberle trade, but they seem to have some consistency issues. They are better than Montreal though, because although Montreal plays a very good defensive system, I don’t think Price will duplicate Halak’s performance and their forwards are struggling right now.

Pittsburgh (4) vs Tampa (5)
I think this series has the best likelihood of an upset, although I don’t think it will happen. MAF is having a good season in net and Pittsburgh has a lot of playoff experience.

Vancouver (1) vs Chicago (8)
Vancouver has lost against Chicago two years in a row, but this year’s Chicago team is a shadow of its Stanley Cup winning self. Plus there is no Dustin Byfuglien to stand in front of Luongo. Vancouver should win this (although it may go to the length)

San Jose (2) vs Los Angeles (7)
I would have picked this as an upset series, just because San Jose is so unlucky, but LA just has too many injuries to their top scorers to provide a challenge.

Detroit (3) vs Phoenix (6)
No one takes Phoenix seriously, while Detroit has a lot of seasoned veterans. They may be old, but they should last at least one round!

Anaheim (4) vs Nashville (5)
Surprise! I think Nashville will win this series. They have better goaltending and well I’m not sure how Anaheim got into fourth place when they were fighting for a playoff spot last week…