I try to find a theme for the random pictures I use for every matchup. This year, I tried to find common ground between the teams playing each other in the first round. We're not that different, after all.
In the West:
The Canucks and Blackhawks meet early in the playoffs this year. I always love this series, but it'll be particularly tough to root for one team since both Roberto Luongo and Corey Crawford are local-boy goalies.
The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks are both from California. That's all I got.
Detroit and Phoenix are lucky enough to have wonderful, gentlemanly captains with quite a few seasons' worth of wisdom. That's MISTER Nick Lidstrom and Shane Doan to you!
Anaheim-Nashville might just be the battle of Young Guys That Nobody Wanted As Habs Except Me. Sorry, Kyle Chipchura and Sergei Kostitsyn. (Is there a way to sneak Matt D'Agostini or Greg Stewart into this too?)
In the East:
The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers introduced some spiffy new throwback jerseys this year. That's something I know a little bit about.
Why not choose at least one series and focus on the players I don't like? Congratulations, Philly captain Mike Richards and Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller (if you're not still injured). You know what you did.
What do the Canadiens and Bruins have in common? Well, in case you didn't know, they hate each other.
Two teams. Two bloggers. Two beloved coaches. It's my Dan Bylsma against Czechtacular's Guy Boucher.
Click on the picture above to see the bracket full-size and you should be able to print it out quite easily! I keep track of the scores of each game, higher-seeded team on top, lower-seeded on the bottom. (I cleared that up in the MTL-BOS and LA-SJ series.)