St. Louis over LA Phoenix over Nashville (probably won't happen, but I have to go with my 2nd favorite team) Philly over the Devils Washington over NYR (again, probably won't happen, but I hate the Rangers)
Phoenix in 6. Nashville is going to face a goaltender as hot as their own and a team that sticks to its system with the same discipline as the Preds do for Trotz. This is a battle of two balanced teams with Nashville having a slight edge on defense and Phoenix on offense.
St. Louis in 6. They play a more wide open game in the offensive zone than the Canucks do, the side-to-side movement and the attack at the net, plus some better shooters, will be too much for the Kings. Plus Hitch is a much more savvy coach than Vigneault and will make adjustments as necessary.
Philly in 5. Bryzgalov only needs to play above average in the crease for the Flyers to take this. The Devils barely got by Florida, and Philly is faster, more aggressive, and has more scoring threats.
New York in 7. It's a battle of the invisible bluelines, Holtby and Ludqvist are going to battle this one out, but the Rangers have quicker, smarter, and faster, players than the Bruins do. Ultimately Washington is just outmatched in this one.
Late to post but copying predictions I sent to my friend (though maybe I should rethink that "Preds in 6" prediction!).
I was a whopping 2/8 in the first round. Damn Devils and Rangers prevented me from going 0/8!
STL in 6
STL/LA is definitely a tough one considering they play such a similar style. I'll go with St. Louis in 6 though because I don't think that Carter/Richards line will come through. Richards perhaps, but Carter looked disinterested in the Canucks series after his one brilliant setup for the winner in game 1. Could be the foot injury or simply a lack of resolve for this type of hockey.
Nas in 6
Nas/Phx - A whole lot of me! I'll take NSH in 6 as well. They clearly have the best depth of the teams still standing.
NYR in 6
NYR/WAS - I actually think this is a tough call. Lundqvist may have won that series for them but I think it revealed that it's only a matter of time before the other shoe drops. The Rangers simply need to work too hard to score goals. It's too bad the Pens are done because I think they'd drop the Rangers in 5. Thing is I don't know who's really good enough in the East to take them down. I would say Philly but 'ole Bryz is a glaring weakness.
I half expect Holtby to unravel. I'll take NYR in 6 but I kind of having a creeping suspicion that the Capitals will take them out.
Philly in 4
Philly/NJ - Agree 100%. Not sure a Brodeur in his prime could stop the onslaught with the team he has stuck in front of him right now. You'd think the Devils would be a lot stronger but they're simply a team that looks like a shadow of their former selves. I'l take Philly in 4. Hey, there has to be at least 1 sweep these playoffs!