The 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs are under way, which means media types and hockey fans from across the globe are presented with the opportunity to predict which teams will move on in the opening round.
At NHL.com, fans have the chance to participate in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge. For those who are playing, the consensus is the Pittsburgh Penguins will win the Stanley Cup for the fourth time.
More than 30 percent (31.3 to be exact) believe Dan Bylsma’s club will win it all; 28.4 percent believe the Chicago Blackhawks will win the Cup for the second time in four seasons.
Rounding out the top five are the New York Rangers (5.1 percent), Washington Capitals (4.9 percent) and Boston Bruins (4.4 percent).
In the quarterfinals, 95.5 percent believe the Penguins will defeat the New York Islanders, and 96.6 percent think the Blackhawks will oust the Minnesota Wild. Chicago took a 1-0 series lead with a 2-1 overtime victory Tuesday at United Center.
The closest first-round matchup features the Rangers and Capitals. Washington is favored by roughly 7 percent (53.6–46.4).
Bracket Challenge participants are competing for the grand prize, a two-night getaway for two to the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, scheduled for Jan. 1, 2014 at The Big House on the campus of the University of Michigan.
Five first-prize winners will receive a gift certificate worth $250 for Shop.NHL.com or Shop.Canada.NHL.com. Five second-prize winners will receive a $50 gift certificate for Shop.NHL.com or Shop.Canada.NHL.com.
To participate in the Bracket Challenge, visit: http://playoffschallenge.nhl.com/playoff_challenge