#7 Ottawa Senators vs. #1 Pittsburgh Penguins (Penguins lead series 3-1)
This series has been a seesaw battle. Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson has not played at the level I expected. He is a better player than he has shown.
Pittsburgh's success is based on their offensive depth. Additionally, Tomas Vokoun in net affords the Pens stability by not allowing the weak goal that can swing the momentum of a game.
Prediction: No surprise here. Penguins close out the series.
#6 New York Rangers vs. #4 Boston Bruins (Bruins lead series 3-1)
The case has been made: Whatever "the King" is being paid in New York, the Rangers should double it. The Blueshirts would not have reached this point in the postseason if it was not for Henrik Lundqvist.
Boston's fourth line of Thornton, Paille, and Campbell has been incredible. They add a huge boost to the team and the guys on the bench love it.
It is tough to see a coach call out a player and not give that player a chance to redeem themselves.
I had the chance in my career to play for the great Pat Burns. Pat was a guy who would call a player out, either publically or privately, but then play the same guy 25 minutes the next night.
Brad Richards may or may not be on his way out in New York. Either way it's tough to see a guy not get his redemption.
Prediction: This series is over. Boston finishes off New York.
#6 San Jose Sharks vs. #5 Los Angeles Kings (Kings lead series 3-2)
The Raffi Torres hit on Jarret Stoll was a huge turning point in this series. I believe the contact here was shoulder first; Torres should not have been suspended.
This year we're seeing the evolution of Joe Thornton. He's one of the best passers in the game, but this season he's leading and bringing a lot of intangibles to his team, which we have not seen before.
The Kings simply have too many weapons. Even with Anze Kopitar just starting to score now in the postseason, the Kings have still been successful. That speaks volumes about their team.
Prediction: Can't see L.A. losing at home. L.A. closes this out.
#7 Detroit Red Wings vs. #1 Chicago Blackhawks (Red Wings lead series 3-1)
Mike Babcock is a genius and is outcoaching Joel Quenneville. Babcock's line combinations and his use of Datsyuk and Zetterberg on the ice are major reasons why the Red Wings have the lead in this series.
Jonathan Toews is the head of the snake, and Detroit is going right for it. Despite Patrick Kane's great year, this Chicago team only goes as far as Jonathan Toews takes them.
Prediction: Chicago will fight back, and bring this series back to the Madhouse on Madison.
Speaking of Spartans...
Torey Krug is a young player who came out of nowhere and is playing at a level no one expected.
He reminds me a little bit of Brian Rafalski, in that he's an undersized defenseman, a great skater, and has a good hockey sense. He also is a product of Hockey Factory, Michigan State University.
I had the chance to catch up with Snoop Dogg and get his thoughts on the Battle of California. Snoop's a big hockey fan and has been following this series from overseas in Africa.
Snoop's pick? L.A. in seven.
"Jeff carter's on a hot streak right now, and I don't think San Jose can hold him back," Snoop said. "I'm looking forward to LA - Detroit in the Conference Final."
Snoop coaches a Pop Warner football team in California, we need to get him coaching youth hockey.
Follow Snoop on twitter @SnoopDogg.
Norris Trophy candidates (top all-around defensemen): Kris Letang, P.K. Subban, Ryan Suter
P.K. Subban will take home the hardware. Nobody in his right mind picked Montreal to make the Playoffs this year, or had them competing for the Northeast Division title, or battling at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Subban plays a big part in Montreal's success. He is a force on the power play, and is going up against the opponents' top forwards every night. He's a superstar in this league, and showed it in the first round series against Ottawa.
That's all for this week... Sleep is for the Off Season!
Philadelphia Eagles' DeSean Jackson celebrates in the snow after a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Auburn cornerback Chris Davis (11) returns a missed field-goal attempt 109 yards to score the game-winning touchdown as time expired in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against No. 1 Alabama in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. Auburn won 34-28. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the 2-3 goal during the World Cup 2014 qualifying playoff second leg soccer match between Sweden and Portugal at Friends Arena in Stockholm, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. (AP/TT/Pontus Lundahl) SWEDEN OUT
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 02: The World Series trophy and the 'Boston Strong 617' jersey sit on the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street during the World Series victory parade on November 2, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 19: Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles throws a pass as Vic Beasley #3 of the Clemson Tigers tries to stop him during their game at Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 29: Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to someone in the crowd during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on October 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 12: Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after running in a touchdown in the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Candlestick Park on January 12, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Crowds greet Britain's Andy Murray as he celebrates with the trophy on the balcony of Centre Court after winning the Men's singles title on during day thirteen of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon, London, Sunday July 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Dominic Lipinski, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE
CORRECTS ID OF UMPIRE TO JIM JOYCE, INSTEAD OF ADAM WAINWRIGHT - St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina looks back as home plate umpire Jim Joyce calls Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes safe on a three-run double by Shane Victorino during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. At rear from left are Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Horses make their way around turn one during the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 01: Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks stretches for a fourth-quarter fumble during a 33 - 28 victory against the Michigan Wolverines in the Outback Bowl January 1, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers' Roy Hibbert (55) blocks the shot of New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, right, during the second half of Game 6 of an Eastern Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series on Saturday, May 18, 2013, in Indianapolis. The Pacers defeated the Knicks 106-99 to win the series 4-2. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 13: Boston police officer Steve Horgan reacts as Torii Hunter #48 of the Detroit Tigers tries to catch a grand slam hit by David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox in the eighth inning of Game Two of the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park on October 13, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Paris Saint-Germain's Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (C) kicks the ball to score during the French L1 football match Paris Saint Germain (PSG) against Bastia (SCB) on October 19, 2013 at the Parc des Princes in Paris. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)
Connecticut forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (23) goes after a rebound during first half of the national championship game against Louisville at the women's Final Four of the NCAA college basketball tournament, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Jamaica's Usain Bolt (L) wins the100 metres final at the 2013 IAAF World Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow on August 11, 2013 while a lightning strikes in the sky. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN
Manchester United's Dutch striker Robin van Persie (C) scores the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Swansea City and Manchester United at Liberty Stadium in Swansea, south Wales, on August 17, 2013. AFP PHOTO/IAN KINGTON == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO USE WITH UNAUTHORIZED AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA, FIXTURE LISTS, CLUB/LEAGUE LOGOS OR LIVE SERVICES. ONLINE IN-MATCH USE LIMITED TO 45 IMAGES, NO VIDEO EMULATION. NO USE IN BETTING, GAMES OR SINGLE CLUB/LEAGUE/PLAYER PUBLICATIONS. == (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Milwaukee Brewers' Carlos Gomez ducks out of the way as teammate Ryan Braun (8) tries to dunk him with water after a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Milwaukee. The Brewers won 4-3. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
In this Monday, April 15, 2013 photo, former New England Patriots player Joe Andruzzi carries a woman from the scene of two blasts at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Exeter Street in Boston. The bombs that ripped through the crowd at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 170, were fashioned out of pressure cookers and packed with metal shards, nails and ball bearings to inflict maximum carnage, a person briefed on the investigation said Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, Bill Greene) MANDATORY CREDIT, BOSTON HERALD OUT, QUINCY OUT, NO SALES, MAGS OUT
Michigan guard Trey Burke (3) walks off the court as Louisville celebrate their win during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 8, 2013, in Atlanta. Louisville won 82-76. (Charlie Neibergall / AP)
Athletes start the New Zealand Ironman on March 2, 2013 in Taupo, New Zealand. (Phil Walter / Getty Images)
AP10ThingsToSee - U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad, 64, greets her support team before her swim to Florida from Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Endurance athlete Nyad launched another bid Saturday to set an open-water record by swimming from Havana to the Florida Keys without a protective shark cage. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)
Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova casts a shadow while serving to Switzerland's Romina Oprandi during their Portugal Open semifinal tennis match Friday, May 3 2013, in Oeiras, outside Lisbon. Pavlyuchenkova defeated Oprandi 0-6, 6-3, 6-1. (Armando Franca / AP)
Stanford players dump water over head coach Lele Forood's head as she gives an interview to Dave Kozlowski in the NCAA division 1 women's team tennis championship at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex Tuesday, May 21, 2013 on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana, Ill. Stanford defeated Texas A&M 4-3. (Stephen Haas / AP)
This screen image taken from NASA shows the Sochi Olympic torch being held during a spacewalk on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. Video streamed by the US space agency NASA showed Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazanskiy carrying the unlit Olympic torch, bobbing weightlessly at the end of a tether in a darkness dotted by stars. The two gingerly maneuvered to take photos of the torch against the background of the planet, the orbs edge glowing with sunrise. (AP Photo/NASA)
CARSON, CA - MAY 26: Robbie Rogers (L) #14 of Los Angeles Galaxy comes into the game for Juninho #19 in the second half against the Seattle Sounders FC at The Home Depot Center on May 26, 2013 in Carson, California. The Galaxy defeated Sounders FC 4-0. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Belgium's RSC Anderlecht coach John Van Den Brom, center, after winning the final soccer match of the Belgian League against SV Zulte Waregem at the Constant Vanden Stock stadium in Brussels, Sunday, May 19, 2013. (Yves Logghe / AP)
Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a left jab against Robert Guerrero in the fourth round during a WBC welterweight title fight, Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Las Vegas. (Isaac Brekken / AP)
Saudi Al-Hilal club player Nawaf Shaker celebrates after scoring a goal against Qatar's Al-Rayyan club during their AFC Champions League football match in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, April 30, 2013. (Osama Faisal / AP)
Oakland Athletics' Eric Sogard gets a shaving cream pie in the face from Josh Reddick, rear, after Sogard scored the winning run on a sacrifice bunt from Coco Crisp during 10th inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Sunday, April 28, 2013, in Oakland. Calif. Oakland won 9-8. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP)
Fans try to catch a bat that Arizona Diamondbacks' Cody Ross lost on his swing during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Tuesday, April 30, 2013, in Phoenix. (Matt York / AP)
A worker grooms away tracks after an alligator crossed through a sand trap on the 14th hole during the first round of the PGA Tour Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La., Thursday, April 25, 2013. (Gerald Herbert / AP)
Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Ben Revere dives for a fly out by St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, April 20, 2013, in Philadelphia. (Matt Slocum / AP)
In this photo made with a fisheye lens, Kevin Harvick celebrates winning the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race Saturday, April 27, 2013, at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va. (Jared C. Tilton / AP)
Sunderland's manager Paolo Di Canio, celebrates after Stephane Sessegnon scores his goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Newcastle United at St James' Park, Newcastle, England, Sunday, April 14, 2013. (Scott Heppell / AP)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera, left, laughs with former New York Mets closer John Franco after Franco caught Rivera's ceremonial first pitch before an interleague baseball game at Citi Field in New York, Tuesday, May 28, 2013. (Kathy Willens / AP)
San Diego Padres' Carlos Quentin charges into Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke after being hit by a pitch in the sixth inning of baseball game in San Diego, Thursday, April 11, 2013. (Lenny Ignelzi / AP)
Minnesota Twins' Brian Dozier, left, flips over after making a catch of a shallow fly ball off the bat of Los Angeles Angels' Peter Bourjos as right fielder Chris Parmelee watches in the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, in Minneapolis. (Jim Mone / AP)
Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer reacts after a dunk during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Chicago, Sunday, March 31, 2013. The Bulls won 95-94. (Nam Y. Huh / AP)
Baylor's Brittney Griner gestures as she answers a question during a news conference for a regional semifinal in the women's NCAA college basketball tournament in Oklahoma City, Saturday, March 30, 2013. Baylor is scheduled to play Louisville Sunday. (Sue Ogrocki / AP)
Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos loses the ball as New York Yankees' Eduardo Nunez slides safely into home with home plate umpire Adam Hamari looking on at right during the fourth inning of an exhibition baseball game at Nationals Park Friday, March 29, 2013, in Washington. (Alex Brandon / AP)
A young fan with his face painted with the colors of Chile's national flag gestures before the start of a 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Uruguay in Santiago, Chile, Tuesday, March 26, 2013. (Victor R. Caivano / AP)
Serena Williams reacts after winning a point against Dominika Cibulkova, of Slovakia, during the Sony Open tennis tournament, Monday, March 25, 2013, in Key Biscayne, Fla. Williams won 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. (Lynne Sladky / AP)
Austria's Wolfgang Loitzl soars through the air during his competition jump of the third stage of the four hills ski jumping tournament during foggy weather in Innsbruck, Austria, Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. (Matthias Schrader, AP)
Sweden's skip Margaretha Sigfridsson shouts during her gold medal game against Scotland at the 2013 world women's curling championship in Riga, Latvia, Sunday, March 24, 2013. (Roman Koksarov / AP)
Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Ben Revere makes a diving catch of Will Middlebrooks's seventh-inning fly ball in a spring training baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Clearwater, Fla., Sunday, March 24, 2013. (Kathy Willens / AP)
Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, right, celebrates a touchdown by teammate Ben Malena (1) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Rice, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, in College Station, Texas. Manziel has been suspended for the first half of the team's game for what the school said was an "inadvertent" violation of NCAA rules by signing autographs. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
North Carolina coach Roy Williams cheers on his team during the second half of a second-round game against Villanova in the NCAA college basketball tournament Friday, March 22, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. (Charlie Riedel / AP)
North Carolina's Dexter Strickland (1) and Reggie Bullock (35) stretch before practice for a second-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament, Thursday, March 21, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. North Carolina is scheduled to play Villanova Friday. (Charlie Riedel / AP)
Michigan State guard Denzel Valentine (45) grabs a rebound over Valparaiso guard Matt Kenney (23) in the first half of a second-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Auburn Hills, Mich., Thursday March 21, 2013. (Paul Sancya / AP)
Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, left, of Finland, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, center, of Spain and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrate on the podium after the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, March 17, 2013. Raikonen won the race with Alonso second and Vettel third. (Andrew Brownbill / AP)
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