NHL Playoff Preview 2010

NHL PLAYOFF PREVIEW 2010

Whatifsports.com presents its 2010 NHL Playoff Preview. Below is the main bracket and round-by-round series breakdown. To the right of the bracket is our stats table explaining each NHL playoff team's chances of winning each round including the Stanley Cup.

We simulated the entire playoff 2,001 times using the current season rosters and statistics. Home ice advantage is taken into account. Average wins and losses per series are indicated in the bracket. Team-by-team breakdowns are below the bracket. To toggle between rounds, click the appropriate link

You can simulate any game in the playoffs yourself using our "NHL Sim Matchup" feature. In addition, create your own
"NHL Dream Team" of past and present players. It's all free!

1
8
Capitals
Canadiens
4
0
4
5
Penguins
Senators
4
2
3
6
Sabres
Bruins
4
1
2
7
Devils
Flyers
4
1
1
8
Sharks
Avs
4
2
4
5
Coyotes
Red Wings
4
3
3
6
Canucks
Kings
4
3
2
7
Blackhawks
Predators
4
2
1
4
Capitals
Penguins
4
1
3
2
Sabres
Devils
3
4
1
4
Sharks
Coyotes
4
2
3
2
Canucks
Blackhawks
3
4
1
2
Capitals
Devils
4
2
1
2
Sharks
Blackhawks
3
4
1
2
Capitals
Blackhawks
4
2

WINNING PERCENTAGES

Eastern Conference
Seed/Team 1st Round Conf. Semifinals Conf.Finals Cup Winner
1 Washington
96.78% 93.25% 70.55% 50.92%
2 New Jersey
91.10% 54.60% 16.41% 8.44%
3 Buffalo
79.60% 39.26% 11.50% 5.21%
4 Pittsburgh
81.28% 10.90% 1.53% 0.15%
6 Boston
20.39% 1.53% 0.00% 0.00%
5 Ottawa
18.71% 0.15% 0.00% 0.00%
7 Philadelphia
8.90% 0.15% 0.00% 0.00%
8 Montreal
3.22% 0.15% 0.00% 0.00%
Western Conference
Seed/Team 1st Round Conf. Semifinals Conf.Finals Cup Winner
2 Chicago
87.88% 58.28% 31.90% 12.12%
1 San Jose
76.07% 51.84% 28.37% 10.49%
3 Vancouver
69.02% 36.20% 20.86% 6.60%
4 Phoenix
73.01% 28.07% 10.74% 2.45%
6 Los Angeles
30.98% 11.35% 5.06% 0.92%
8 Colorado
23.92% 5.06% 1.53% 0.46%
7 Nashville
12.12% 3.53% 0.46% 0.00%
5 Detroit
26.99% 5.67% 1.1% 0.00%
Washington Capitals
New Jersey Devils
1
2
Capitals
Devils
4
2
Capitals
Record: 54-15-13
Analysis: With two players tallying more than 100 points and two more with at least 75, Washington seems to be the prohibitive favorite after its most prolific season in franchise history. Alex Ovechkin eclipsed the 50-goal mark for the fourth time and Nicklas Backstrom followed him to 100 points as the Capitals scored more than 3.8 goals per game. That''s about half a goal more than anyone else in the league. The only question at this point is who will be between the pipes. The Capitals haven''t announced whether they''ll go with Jose Theodore or Semyon Varlamov in net to start the playoffs. However, with their offense, it may not matter.

Devils
Record: 48-27-7
Analysis: There''s no goalie question in Jersey. If a Stanley Cup is in the cards for the Devils this time around, Martin Brodeur will take them there for a fourth time. The all-time leader in wins and shutouts, amongst plenty of other marks, simply kept adding to those totals all season, leading the league in both categories. And no team gave up fewer goals per game than New Jersey, which bodes well for left wings Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise, who each scored more than 80 points. But all eyes will be on Brodeur, who beat Washington three times in four meetings this season.

Player of the series: Capitals - Alex Ovechkin (5 goals, 2 assists)

Chances of Winning Conference Finals: Capitals 70.55% - Devils 16.41%
San Jose Sharks
Chicago Blackhawks
1
2
Sharks
Blackhawks
3
4
Sharks
Record: 51-20-11
Analysis: Keep the "Big Line" together or split them up? That seems to be the question. Veteran Joe Thornton appears to be healthy and ready for the playoffs and with Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley on either side of him, the San Jose Sharks have perhaps the best line in the NHL. All three have eclipsed the 80-point mark this season and Marleau and Heatley are amongst the top 10 goal-scorers in the league. But some have questioned whether the Sharks should split the three up to even out the talent level amongst all lines with the Sharks looking to erase the memory of last year''s early-round exit.

Blackhawks
Record: 52-22-8
Analysis: Chicago ended a decade-long span of NHL obscurity by reaching the Western Conference Finals a year ago. One year later, it parlayed that success into a record-breaking season. The Blackhawks notched franchise marks in both points and victories this season and won a division crown for the first time in nearly 20 years. With youngster Patrick Kane propelling the offense, they have the firepower to make a run to their first Stanley Cup in almost half a century, but it could come down to goaltending. Antti Niemi has the hot glove after wrestling the starting gig from Cristobal Huet.

Player of the series: Sharks - Dany Heatley (2 goals, 6 assists)

Chances of Winning Conference Finals: Blackhawks 31.90% - Sharks 28.37%

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