SB Nation's panel of hockey writers tossed out their NHL playoff predictions in time for the beginning of this week's NHL Playoffs. 2011's NHL playoffs schedule sees the Chicago Blackhawks against the Vancouver Canucks once more, and three out of four on the panel agree that the Canucks will take the series, though Steve Lepore of Puck the Media thinks the Blackhawks will pull the series out in seven. Meanwhile, the Detroit Red Wings only get a push against the No. 6 Phoenix Coyotes, winning just two of the four experts over. Travis Hughes of Broad Street Hockey and Mike Chen aren't quite convinced by the Central Division champs' 47-25-10 record.
Finishing up the action in the Central Division, the Nashville Predators take an upset from the No. 4 Anaheim Ducks per three of the four experts, all of whom think the series will go the full seven games. They think the Predators' defense-first style will carry them through the first first-round win in team history.