Washington over Minnesota.
That’s my Stanley Cup prediction: The Capitals will beat the Wild in a six-game final series.
It won’t be easy to get there. Washington may breeze past Toronto before facing an incredibly tough series in the subsequent rounds; the Caps will have to eliminate Pittsburgh, the reigning champion, and the impressive New York Rangers before meeting Minnesota.
Minnesota should also have an easy first round-series. But after dumping St. Louis, the Wild faces Chicago, a team that annually wins or challenges for the Stanley Cup. Upsetting Chicago will propel the Wild past Anaheim in the conference final.
This scenario eliminates all five Canadian qualifiers before the semifinals. Last year there were no Canadian teams in the NHL playoffs. Next year Edmonton and Toronto might make the final four, but once again, that’s only a prediction.
If I’m right, remember where you heard it. If I’m wrong, oh well….