Eastern Match ups & Predictions

New York Rangers VS Pittsburgh Penguins

Every season now for the past 6 years the Penguins have been picked as a favorite to make a run for the Stanley Cup.

But this year for the 1st time since 2009 they are the underdog. Especially going up against the New York Rangers.

The Rangers are ranked 3rd overall this season with 3.02 goals a game while the Pens sit in 19th. The Rangers are

also 3rd in goals against at 2.28 a game while the Penguins sit in 10th with 2.49. The Penguins are also going into

this series without all star defensman Kris Letang and a young rookie D-Core. This series may be the most cut in dry

in the 1st round. My prediction Rangers in 4.New York Islanders VS Washington Capitals

This may be the most exciting series in the 1st round. Alexander Ovechkin is back as the best goal scorer in the league,

leading a mix of strong veteran and rookie players. John Tavares has established himself as one of the best playmakers in

the league and is leading a now, very experienced Islanders team. This series has the potential to be a high scoring,

offensive showdown that you wont want to miss a second of. The Islanders have been knocking at the door for awhile

now and greatly missed Tavares in last years playoffs. But this year he is back and the Islanders finally have the

experience and depth necessary to make a run for Lord Stanley. Conversely Washington is also making a comeback after

a few disappointing seasons. With Ovechkin at the top of his game and talented rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov, The

Capitals are as dangerous as ever. This series could go to anyone, but I think it's the Islanders time to shine.

Islanders in 7.

Montreal Canadians VS Ottawa Senators

Montreal is another team that now has the playoff experience necessary to make a legitimate run at the cup. And with the best goalie in the league they could steal any series, including the Stanley Cup Final. But don't inscribe their names on the

cup just yet. They go up against the hottest team in the NHL, the Ottawa Senators. The Senators went on an impressive

23-4-3 run to get themselves into a playoff spot. lead by rookie goaltending sensation Andrew Hammond a.k.a.

"The Hamburglar", they look frighteningly familiar to a 2012 LA Kings. This team looks like it is on a path that can't be stopped.

This is another series that could go either way, but given the fact that the Canadians pretty much live and die on Carey Price's shoulders, My money is on the Sens in 6.

Tampa Bay Lightning VS Detroit Redwings

Offensively The Lightning may be the deepest team in the NHL, and even though their powerplay struggled, they were the highest-scoring team in the league. they do have some injuries on the back end, but this year they have something they

didn't have last post season. A healthy Ben Bishop. The Redwings are the team that just never seems to die. They have made the post season a record setting 24 consecutive times. And although the past few seasons they have struggled to get in, they are a team that nobody wants to play in the post season. That said it would be hard to bet against Tampa Bay in

this round. They are just so deep and offensively talented, and have a goalie that can back up all that tough talk. Also I think

it's about time we start to talk about Steven Stamkos winning a cup. Lightning in 5.