The first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins this Wednesday. The top 16 teams in the whole league have been chosen and the official lineups were announced yesterday afternoon. Now all hockey fans are waiting for the next two days to be over, so that the playoffs can officially start.
Here is the lineups for the East. Top seed New York Rangers will take on bottom seed Ottawa Senators. #2 Boston Bruins are back to return as champions as they take on #7 Washington Capitals. 3rd seed, Florida Panthers will take on the New Jersey Devils who sit as the 6th. The most interesting match-up in the East is going to be between 4th & 5th seeds, The Pittsburgh Penguins and The Philadelphia Flyers. The two teams are sure to draw blood, as the rivalry between the state teams has escalated in the last week. Be prepared for some more brawls on the ice.
So what about the Western Conference? The Vancouver Canucks, who are on top again this season, will take on the LA Kings, who just managed to squeak into the quarter final rounds. #2 in the form of the St. Louis Blues will take on the San Jose Sharks who sit as the 7th seed. The Phoenix Coyotes, who are surprisingly third this year will battle against 6th seeded Chicago Blackhawks. Lastly the Nashville Predators and the Detroit Red Wings will battle it out.
Lineups and seeds don’t really mean anything as the playoffs begin. What is really going to matter is how these teams actually play once they get on the ice. Sometimes the teams that manage to just get into the playoffs can do a lot more damage than their opponents realize.