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2011 NHL Conference Finals Predictions from the On The Forecheck staff

The Predators might be out of the playoffs, but that doesn't mean we are! I was victorious the second round, but Dirk is leading the way after two, with a few others within striking distance in OddManRush's prediction tracker.

So without further ado, your Conference Finals predictions....

Tampa Bay vs. Boston

Dirk: I like Boston's overall game, but the X-factor here could be Tampa's power play, which is pretty good, compared to the Bruins' near-Nashville like PP group. In the end I think the Bruins keep this series low-scoring and triumph in 6 games.

Chris: This is a tough one at first glance because it seems like the Bruins have the better depth, especially defensively, and of course Tim Thomas is a major weapon, but I'm not sure that'll matter. The Bolts have developed three potent scoring lines, and the Bruins only have one pairing capable of handling tough assignments. If Chara gets assigned to Stamkos and St. Louis, Lecavalier/Gagne and Downie/Bergenheim will go off, etc. Additionally, Dwayne Roloson has played well over his head, while Guy Boucher has thoroughly outcoached both a Jack Adams winner and a Stanley Cup winner over the first two rounds. Bolts in 5.

Marc: Both teams enter this series following game 7 wins in the first-round with surprising 4 game sweeps in the second. The key to this series could end up being off the ice and not on the ice, and who deals with the extra time off better. But doesn't it just "feel" like this is Tampa's year? It certainly doesn't "feel" that way for Boston. Tampa in 6.

Vancouver vs. San Jose

Dirk: This should be a fun series to watch, as both teams have loads of talented forwards, but the Canucks are just better in almost every aspect of the game. These two will skate up and down the ice and create lots of chances both ways, but Vancouver should win this series handily, call it in 5 games.

Chris: As good a series as Sharks/Wings was, this one has the potential to be even better. It'll be Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler against Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, and Joe Pavelski; Antti Niemi against Roberto Luongo, along with some superb personnel patrolling the blueline. Both teams carry somewhat of a choking label, so I'll be interested to see which one does a better job of closing the deal at the end of games and the series. If Manny Malhotra plays, then I reserve the right to change my prediction, but San Jose's depth is scary good. Sharks in 6.

Marc: Wow. This one certainly looks like it could be one of the better Conference Finals series we've seen in a long time. Both teams are big and physical, but also have the speed to burn to you on the rush. Luongo and Kesler are on fire, and it would be ignorant to think that the Sedins will stay as cold as they were against the Predators. In the end, the Canucks will be moving on to the Stanley Cup Finals. Canucks in 6.


Leave your predictions in the comments below!