I threw these out there on Twitter yesterday afternoon and didn't get much feedback, but I figured I would also post them here just to give more people a chance to read them. Here they are for round 1, very short and to the point:
Vancouver vs. LA - Canucks in 5. Canucks are just too deep and too balanced. Quick needs to steal atleast a few if the Kings have any hope. Offensive struggles could show their ugly head again during the playoffs for the Kings, too.
St. Louis vs. San Jose - Blues in 6. I love the Blues size, depth and versatility. I think we'll see them make it to atleast the West Finals, even with Brian Elliott apparently suffering a minor injury currently.
Phoenix vs. Chicago - Hawks in 7. Goaltending is the big question mark here. Not sold on either team's starter so team experience wins out and Chicago takes this series.
Nashville vs. Detroit - Wings in 7. Nashville seems to be the popular choice, but I'm not sold. Still lack that extra gear on offense and the Wings have the experience. With that being said, goaltending is risky for the Wings.
New York vs. Ottawa - Rangers in 6. Ottawa has the offense to stay in it, but the Rangers have the better goalie, the grit and the size.
Boston vs. Washington - Bruins in 6. I like the Bruins to atleast make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but I think Washington wins a couple of games. The Caps goaltending problems are exactly that, at the most important time of the year.
Florida vs. New Jersey - Devils in 6. Happy to see the Panthers back in, but I don't think they have the experience or talent to stay long. NJ's big horses up front have no trouble finding the back of the net.
Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia - Penguins in 7. Easily the best series as these teams will beat the snot out of each other. Malkin/Crosby the difference as the Penguins skill and grit combination wins out. Also think Flyers inconsistent goaltending will show up from time to time.