As the Hockey History Blogger I like to say I do not have to make a fool of myself by making predictions, because I deal with the past and not with the future.
Regardless, I will do so and jinx my own team in the process. The 2010 Stanley Cup finals will be contested by the Washington Capitals and Vancouver Canucks.
I am even less confident of my Vancouver proclamation since TSN's "expert" Keith Jones was the only one picking Vancouver in the TSN Fantasy Draft special.
But I will stick with it. For the first time in the Canucks 40 years I actually enter these playoffs believing they can win the Stanley Cup. I've never felt this before. In 1994 I gained this feeling as the playoffs went on, but every other year, most notably through the Naslund/Bertuzzi era, I never really felt they could pull it off. For the first time ever, I believe in my own team, and it is a wonderful feeling.
Here's my first round predictions:
Washington over Montreal
New Jersey over Philadelphia
Buffalo over Boston
Pittsburgh over Ottawa
San Jose over Colorado
Chicago over Nashville
Vancouver over Los Angeles
Detroit over Phoenix
And I predict New Jersey's Travis Zajac will win my John Druce Award for an unexpected breakout playoff performance.