Now that tonight's Boston-Ottawa game is wrapped up, all first round playoff matchups for the 2012-13 season are set! We might have had a shortened season this year, but we're not short on some mouth-watering series in the quarterfinals.
Matchups are as follows:
1. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 8. New York Islanders
2. Montreal Canadiens vs. 7. Ottawa Senators
3. Washington Capitals vs. 6. New York Rangers
4. Boston Bruins vs 5. Toronto Maple Leafs
1. Chicago Blackhawks vs. 8. Minnesota Wild
2. Anaheim Ducks vs. 7. Detroit Red Wings
3. Vancouver Canucks vs. 6. San Jose Sharks
4. St. Louis Blues vs. 5. Los Angeles Kings
The Blackhawks start off the season with a record 24-game point streak and finish with the Presidents' Trophy, Detroit rallies at the end of the season to secure their 22nd straight playoff berth, the Toronto Maple Leafs finally return to the playoff picture, and the Penguins' Sidney Crosby is once again dealing with injury trouble; among other storylines this season.
As for a Stanley Cup prediction, I see the Blackhawks and Capitals squaring off in the finals, with the Blackhawks taking home their second trophy in four years.
I know, I'm a little rascal, aren't I?
Good luck to all teams that have made it this far, may every game be hard-fought and entertaining, and most importantly of all, go Blackhawks!