I did better than I usually do with my 1st round predictions last year (5-3). I normally stink at this, so take my predictions with a huge grain of rock salt.
Detroit over Nashville in 5 - I know the Preds are the hip choice around the net for a first round upset, but I just don't see it. I think Detroit wins easily.
San Jose over Calgary in 6 - I don't think San Jose is going to be quite the juggernaut in the postseason that they've been in the last two months or so of the regular season. That said, I despise the Flames and have a hard time picturing Mike Keenan running a successful lemonade stand, let alone another playoff run.
Colorado over Minnesota in 6 - I'm predicting that the Avalanche get a big series from Joe Sakic and have a fairly easy time against the Wild.
Dallas over Anaheim in 7 - I think this will be the fun series to watch. I dislike both teams, but I love Marty Turco so I'll give the slight edge to the Stars. Blech.
Boston over Montreal in 7 - The Habs have surprised a lot of people this year. The fact that the Canadiens have overachieved and have a rookie goalie are both warning signs for me. Somewhere, Admiral Ackbar is shouting...
Pit over Ott in 6 - This was a fun series last year, and I expect the rematch to be equally explosive. Both have high-octane offenses. For all the Crosby and Malkin talk, though, Pittsburgh has been surprisingly good at keeping pucks out of the net - 3rd best in the East in goals allowed.
Washington over Philadelphia in 6 - In Manchester, Bruce Boudreau was fired after a good Monarchs team lost in the 1st round of the playoffs 4 years in a row. Since then, though, he has two Calder Cup finals appearances and one championship. And that was without Alex Ovechkin.
New York Rangers over New Jersey in 6 - I'm not really sure why, but I feel the winner of this series will be the eventual finalist (aka, the team that will lose to San Jose). I've gone back and forth a few times, but now I'm settling on the Rangers, mostly because of Lundqvist.