Sunday, 8 April 2012

2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs

The 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs for the NHL was set last night, and the schedule was released today. In the first round, and in the Western Conference it will be (1) Vancouver vs. (8) Los Angeles, (2) St. Louis vs. (7) San Jose, (3) Phoenix vs. (6) Chicago, and (4) Nashville vs. (5) Detroit. The Eastern Conference will see (1) New York Rangers vs. (8) Ottawa, (2) Boston vs. (7) Washington,  (3) Florida vs. (6) New Jersey, and (4) Pittsburgh vs. (5) Philadelphia.
These match ups should be quite exciting and close. The one that I think will be the most intense is the battle of Pennsylvania series. Both teams have had a bitter rivalry for the past few years, and in a game one week ago, there was a huge line brawl and many cheap shots. The coaches on both teams almost fought, and then afterwords both team engaged in a war of  through the media. There is also potential for a lot of upsets, or lower seeds eliminating the higher seeds. The Florida Panthers won the the Southeast Division title and made the playoffs for the first time since 2000, but will probably lose in the first round. The Devils play them, and had more points in the season, so it might not be considered an upset. I also think the Senators can push the Rangers and the Capitals can test the Bruins. Washington has been playing well lately, and it looks like Alex Ovechkin is back to his old self. Can the Vancouver Canucks, who won the President's trophy as the top team in the league for the second year in a row, return to the Stanley Cup Final? There are a lot of good story lines, and I cannot wait for them to unfold. Enjoy the playoffs!

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