2011 NHL Playoff Predictions from Whatifsports.com From WhatIfSports.com image

Stanley Cup: 2011 NHL Playoffs Predictions

Simulation predicts the Boston Bruins to win 2011 Stanley Cup

By Ryan Fowler - Whatifsports.com
April 12, 2011

The Washington Capitals made our NHL simulation engine look like a fool last postseason. Alex Ovechkin and company were landslide favorites (50.92 percent) to win the 2010 Stanley Cup. They then fell to the Montreal Canadiens in the first round.

Sigh.

Well, Washington is back as the number one seed in the Eastern Conference and perhaps our NHL simulation engine has a score to settle. Of the 1,001 bracket simulations, the computer predicts the Capitals possess a meager 40 percent chance of beating the New York Rangers in the first round. Who says simulation engines can't hold grudges in the "what-if" world?

Using our NHL simulation engine we played the entire 2011 NHL Playoff bracket 1,001 times. Home ice advantage and re-seeding have been taken into account. The simulation engine generated each teams' chances of advancing to the next round and overall chances of raising Lord Stanley's Cup.

Go directly to our 2011 NHL Playoffs Interactive Bracket.

Favorites to Win 2011 Stanley Cup - Win Percentages
Seed/Team1st RoundSemifinalsFinalsCup Finals
(3) Boston Bruins 96.3078.1258.7435.96
(1) Vancouver Canucks80.9269.0355.6435.86
(2) Philadelphia Flyers82.9245.2524.4811.29
(5) Nashville Predators74.4244.6617.985.99
(6) Phoenix Coyotes76.3225.777.592.31

The top five favorites to win the Stanley Cup are a nice mix of the Eastern and Western Conferences' best.

The six seed out of the West, Phoenix Coyotes, finished the simulation with a 2.3 percent chance of winning it all.

<a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?vid=6eea2608-3d3c-4842-9885-0c244c1b732e" target="_new" title="">Whatifsports.com: NHL Predictions</a>

The Nashville Predators have one of the best goaltenders in the business in Pekka Rinne and a solid defense around him. Thus, the Predators buck the trend of never reaching the second round and have a 5.99 percent chance of sipping sweet champagne from Stanley.

The Philadelphia Flyers struggled down the stretch with a 7-7-6 record, but the depth of their offensive attack is second to none with eight forwards owning at least 19 goals during the season. The Flyers have over an 11 percent chance winning it all.

The Vancouver Canucks led the NHL with 54 wins and unlike their fellow number one seed, Washington, they actually competed in the 1,001 simulations.

The brothers Sedin and Robert Luongo in net will need to be at their best for the Canucks to live up to the 35.8 percent chance of taking the cup.

The Boston Bruins defense will be the reason they win the Cup. Our simulation engine must be love with their 2.3 goals allowed per game average. Out of the 1,001 simulations, the Bruins won the Stanley Cup 35.9 percent of the time just ahead of Vancouver.

Remember with so many players pending for the playoffs, like Sidney Crosby for Pittsburgh, these results could vary.

In the meantime you can simulate any NHL playoff series for FREE!

Go directly to our 2011 NHL Playoffs Interactive Bracket.

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Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at rfowler@whatifsports.com.

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