Simply put, the Hawks are nearly unstoppable. I don’t think a lot of analysis is required to surmise that, barring a huge upset, Chicago is a lock to advance to the second round. If not for the fact that we all know strange things happen in the NHL playoffs, I’d call the Hawks a lock for the Cup. But there’s a reason they play the games… I’ve got Chicago in five instead of a sweep because I have a feeling the Wild are going to surprise Chicago and steal at least one game.

The Red Wings just barely made the playoffs, while the Ducks have been very strong all year. The Wings being the Wings, I’m sure it’ll be a good series, but it’s hard to imagine Anaheim not making it through based off what we saw in the regular season.

I chose the Canucks in seven because I feel like this one’s probably a wash, but the Canucks have a slight edge due to past playoff success. The Sharks constantly poop the tank, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s a great series until they get blown away by Vancouver somehow in Game 7.

Finally, I’ve got the Kings in six over the Blues because they’re the defending Stanley Cup Champions and you don’t win a Cup without learning a thing or two about playoff hockey.