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Habs-Leafs has a 59.1% chance of happening (and other likely first-round match-ups)

Apr 25, 2013, 12:19 PM EDT

Subban and Kadri Getty Images

Even though it’s possible all 16 playoff teams will be decided before the weekend, there’s still much to be determined when it comes to first-round match-ups.

Following are the five most likely series, according to Sports Club Stats.

Montreal versus Toronto (59.1%) — During which eastern Canada might implode. There are any number of ways the Habs and Leafs could meet. Most probable is Montreal earning the No. 4 seed and Toronto getting No. 5. Neither of these teams would mind this match-up, since neither of these teams is playing very well at the moment.

Anaheim versus Minnesota (55.5%) — Featuring two more teams that haven’t played particularly good hockey down the stretch. The Ducks are 7-8-2 in their last 17; the Wild are 5-8-1 in their last 14. Yet one of them would advance to the second round.

Chicago versus Detroit (55.3%) — Which would be fantastic. The Red Wings-Blackhawks rivalry is historically one of the best in the NHL. The two teams last faced each other in the playoffs in 2009, when Detroit beat Chicago to advance to the Stanley Cup finals. Obviously, the ‘Hawks would go in this year as big favorites. But would anyone be surprised if the Wings put up a good fight?

Los Angeles versus St. Louis (51.8%) — A great match-up for, well, everyone except the Kings and Blues. Both these teams have legitimate Stanley Cup aspirations. St. Louis would also have revenge on its mind after being swept by L.A. in the second round of last year’s playoffs.

Vancouver versus San Jose (40.7%) — A rematch of the 2011 Western Conference finals, which the Canucks won in five. And if you ask most hockey fans in Vancouver, a far batter matchup for the Canucks than either the Kings or Blues. Worth noting that the Sharks have the worst road record of any team currently in the playoffs (8-13-2). Vancouver, meanwhile, has won eight straight at Rogers Arena.

Other potential first-round series include Capitals-Islanders (38.4%) and Penguins-Rangers (34.8%).

  1. sjsharks66 - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    I really hope the habs and leafs play. That would be epic.

    • packerswin96 - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      It would be much more epic if it happened in the 3rd round than the first.

  2. innout10 - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Dumb headline… 59.1%? Come on… Let the games play out and we will see who plays who on Sunday.

    • jcmeyer10 - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      Whoahhh did you hear that? That was the point of this article flying right over “innout10″‘s head!

      • timsabourin - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:45 PM


  3. capsrockva - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    good luck Chicago. The President’s trophy is a curse

    • govtminion - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      Didn’t seem to bother Colorado in 2001, or the Red Wings the year after. The whole ‘curse’ thing is bunk.

      • packerswin96 - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        And that is the last time the Presidents Trophy winner won the Cup, 11 years is damn close to a curse if not already.

      • timsabourin - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:46 PM

        govtminion probably still waiting for the official recount in Florida

  4. 8man - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    I can see a possible scenario where the Bruins beat Ottawa Sunday night and then have to play them a few days later in round 1. Of course, its also possible the Bs could slip to fourth and open against Toronto.

    I think the Kings proved that it doesn’t matter where you finish, as long as you get in. And they dropped 3 of their last 4 before the playoffs last year.

  5. blackhawksdynasty - Apr 25, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Packers: last team to win the president’s trophy and the Cup was the 2008 Red Wings. Not sure they teach math in cheese-land Wisconsin, so I’ll help…that’s only 5 years. Not too worried about it, considering I’m a Cubs fan (1908 was their last world series) now THAT’S a curse!

  6. thebadguyswon - Apr 25, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Habs are done in 6.

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