The Stanley Cup Playoffs get it going this week and the favorites to advance to the Finals are the Chicago Blackhawks (Western Conference) and the Washington Capitals, the top team in the Eastern
The Caps have been labeled as "chokers" in recent years after posting big regular seasons before exiting the playoffs short of the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Blackhawks were one of the hottest teams going from early February all the way through the end of March, which catapulted them past the Minnesota Wild to win their division as well as compile the most points in the West.
The question is whether either team can make it to the Finals this year. The Blackhawks bowed out early in last year's playoffs the year after winning their third Stanley Cup in a six year span.
Both conferences have several teams that could get hot and make it to the Finals, so that makes the playoffs look like they will be ultra-competitive, at least on paper.
For a look at the playoff chase for the 2016-17 NHL season, Heftyinfo will attempt to pick the Stanley Cup champion.
Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers - Canadiens in five games.
Ottawa Senators vs. Boston Bruins - Senators in six games.
Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs - Capitals in six games.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets - Blue Jackets in seven games.
Montreal Canadiens over Ottawa Senators in six games.
Washington Capitals over Columbus Blue Jackets in seven games.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators - Blackhawks in six games.
Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues - Wild in six games.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames - Flames in seven games.
Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks - Sharks in six games.
Chicago Blackhawks over Minnesota Wild in five games.
San Jose Sharks over Calgary Flames in six games.
EAST - Montreal Canadiens over Washington Capitals in six games.
WEST - Chicago Blackhawks over San Jose Sharks in five games.
STANLEY CUP FINALS