The Eastern Conference has skewered me. My overall prediction record is a respectable 9-3 but both of my picks to make the Eastern Conference final have been eliminated. In order to make my decisions on picks at the start I looked at the Falconer's data on how teams had done against other playoff teams in the regular season. These are the numbers for Pittsburgh and Carolina before the playoffs started (record, goal differential, PDO number):
So these numbers imply that the teams are pretty even. Carolina's goal differential is worse but Pittsburgh was probably a little bit lucky during the regular season. Javageek's numbers also show how close these teams are. As with his odds, I'm inclined to think that Pittsburgh is a slight favourite in this series. They have home ice, they have the best individual player in the series and they have the better goal differential, both in the regular season and in the playoffs so far. So, Pittsburgh it is!
As for the West, I picked Detroit from the outset to win the Cup and even predicted that they would beat Chicago in the Conference finals. That's not about to change now. And besides, what Oiler fan wouldn't want to see Ty Conklin lift the Stanley Cup. Go Pens.