Of course, the focus of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be the rematch of Washington and Pittsburgh, the two best teams in the regular season, already meeting in this ridiculous postseason format.
However, there are three other series and one, in particular, has caught my attention, Nashville and St. Louis. These clubs upset the two best teams by points in the Western Conference, Chicago, and Minnesota, and now the winner is guaranteed a spot in the West Finals.
This series will really hone in on the goalies, Jake Allen for St. Louis and Pekka Rinne for the Predators. Allen and his defensive mates were dominated in shots, with a -7.6 differential in the series against Minnesota, yet they held the Wild to eight total goals.
Rinne and his defensemen limited Chicago's potent offense to three goals and shutout the Blackhawks twice.
For NHL picks, my preference is with the underdog, since Nashville can dominate the puck and frequently a smoking hot goaltender will cool some after a fantastic series. Don't be shocked if this series goes all seven games and the Predators advance.