Playoff Bracket Set

(4/8/12) And then there were 16... With the final whistle in the final game, the 2012 playoff picture came into focus on Saturday night, with some very interesting match-ups being finalized for Round 1.

First in the East, the final two series were solidified with Ottawa's loss to New Jersey and Washington's win over the Rangers.  Ottawa dropped to the 8th spot, and Washington moved into the #7 position. This switch means the Capitals will now face the defending Stanley Cup champs, while Ottawa has the enormous task of playing the Rangers.  However, some intriguing season series stats: both the Capitals and Senators won their season series against their first round opponents 3-1.

 

Rank Team v Rank Team Season Series Prediction
1 Rangers v 8 Senators 3-1 Senators Rangers
2 Bruins v 7 Capitals 3-1 Capitals Bruins
3 Panthers v 6 Devils 2-2 split Devils
4 Penguins v 5 Flyers 4-2 Flyers yikes!

 

In the West, the number three spot was the Coyotes' to lose after an impressive win on Friday over the Blues.  And, they did not disappoint, thumping the Wild 4-1 to lock up the Pacific Division title.  It's a big win for Phoenix, which now gets a more favorable matchup against Chicago, as opposed to facing one of the top 4 teams in the West.  Suddenly Phoenix looks good to make the second round.  This win then left the Kings and Sharks to battle it out over the final two positions, and the Sharks prevailed in a 3-2 OT win, on a goal by Dan Boyle, assisted by Martin Havlat.  And, congratulations to the Canucks who, with their win over Edmonton - coupled with the Rangers' loss to the Caps - locked up their second straight President's Trophy.

 

Rank Team v Rank Team Season Series Prediction
1 Canucks v 8 Kings 2-2 split Canucks
2 Blues v 7 Sharks 4-0 Blues Blues
3 Coyotes v 6 Blackhawks 3-1 Coyotes Coyotes
4 Predators v 5 Red Wings 3-3 split Predators

 

For a full breakdown of all the finalized playoff matchups, download the updated 2012 Playoff Pool Draft Guide on Monday, April 9th​, which will contain player rankings based on these new first round series.