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I have been waiting a year for this. The NHL playoffs are finally here! If you are wanting to get a friend interested in hockey, the playoffs are most definitely the time to do it. As always, there are a few times this year that have a really good chance at winning the cup.
The Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators:
I am going to give this matchup to the Blackhawks. They are the top-seeded team in the Western conference, and looking to win their 4th Stanley Cup in eight seasons. That's an impressive record. An important note in this matchup is that 2/3 times the Hawks have won the cup recently, they have played the Predators in the first round. It would be pretty stunning if the Predators took them out this year.
The Washington Capitols vs. Toronto Maple Leafs:
I am giving this matchup to the Capitols. They are favorite for the cup this year, even though they have a record of burning out in the postseason. And I'm not only saying that because they are favored, I genuinely cannot see the Leafs taking them out. The Caps have more heavy hitters and much more speed than the Leafs.
I would normally have more top matchups for the playoffs, but this year is looking scarce for teams that will be both entertaining and can make the cut. So I'm going to stick with the 3 that I actually see having both of those qualities.
My 3rd top matchup (and to me, least likely to win the cup):
The Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets:
I am giving this matchup to the Penguins. Both teams have similar qualities, but the penguins have veteran Marc-Andre Fleury. That is the determining factor for me. The Jackets won't be able to penetrate the pucks to the net.