1. New York Rangers (53-22-7) - The Rangers won the President’s Trophy for the most points in the NHL (113). Also, they set a record for the most regular season wins in franchise history. They are many people’s pick to win the Stanley Cup and it’s hard to argue since they are loaded. Odds: 2-1

2. Anaheim Ducks (51-24-7) - On paper, the Ducks should be the class of the Western Conference. However, with a shaky goaltending situation of their own, it’s tough to picture them lasting through a bunch of rounds. Facing the Jets in the first round is no joke either, those could be some very tough games in Winnipeg. Odds: 3-1

3. Montreal Canadiens (50-22-10) There are five Canadian teams in this postseason but as usual, Montreal will feel by far the most pressure of any of them. In case you forgot, a Canadian club last won a Cup in 1993 (Montreal). High-scoring left wing Max Pacioretty (37 goals, 30 assists) skated over the weekend but his status is unknown while he deals with an upper-body injury. Odds: 4 to 1

4. Tampa Bay Lightning (50-24-8) - The Lightning could certainly get to the Stanley Cup Finals and even win it but goaltender Ben Bishop (40-13-5, 2.32 goals against average, .916 save percentage, 4 shutouts) has never appeared in a playoff game which is a little worrisome. Tampa Bay opens with Detroit and that looks like a good matchup for them to advance. Nobody can put the puck in the net like the Lightning who scored an NHL-best 262 goals during the regular season. Odds: 5 to 1

5. Chicago Blackhawks (48-28-6) - Chicago bids for its third Cup in six years as superstar right wing Patrick Kane (broken clavicle) is set to return in time for the playoffs. This is usually the time when the Blackhawks take it to another gear. If they can survive against Nashville, their bitter rival St. Louis or Minnesota looms in that second round. Odds: 6-1

6. Washington Capitals (45-26-11) - Washington seems to be a trendy choice to go far in the East, potentially winning the conference. Goaltender Braden Holtby (41-20-10, 2.22 goals against average, .923 save percentage, 9 shutouts) had a career year while Alex Ovechkin (53 goals, 28 assists) led the league in goals and should win the Hart Memorial Trophy (NHL MVP). Odds: 8 to 1

7. St. Louis Blues (53-22-7) - St. Louis was tied with Anaheim for the most points in the West (109) so clearly they’ve had an outstanding season. Blues fans have learned more than most that the playoffs are a different speed and their recent history says that they’ll probably lose before getting too close to the Cup thanks to some poor goaltending. Odds: 10-1

8. Nashville Predators (47-22-5) - After being the top team in the NHL for most of the season, the Predators really stumbled into the postseason. In fact, they have lost their last three games which is not exactly how you want to go into the playoffs. I’m looking forward to their first-round matchup against Chicago more than any others. Odds: 15-1

9. New York Islanders (47-28-7) After such a great first half of the season, the Islanders faltered down the stretch and weren’t able to earn home ice for their last playoff run at Nassau Coliseum. Don’t blame center John Tavares (38 goals, 48 assists) who was great all season and finished second in points behind Dallas’ Jamie Benn. They were a great story but I don’t think that the Islanders will make it out of the first round vs. Washington. Odds: 20 to 1

10. Minnesota Wild (46-28-8) - Can goaltender Devan Dubnyk (36-14-4, 2.07 goals against average, .929 save percentage, 6 shutouts) possibly keep up his ridiculous numbers? Like Ottawa, this is a team that nobody wanted to see in the first-round. The Wild-Blues series should be incredible. Odds: 25-1

11. Vancouver Canucks (48-29-5) - No good team in the league flew under the radar more than the Canucks. That will probably change in postseason as they take on Calgary in the first round. Those teams are so even that it is a true toss-up. Odds: 30-1

12. Detroit Red Wings (43-25-14) - Another team that limped into the postseason was the Red Wings. Granted, Detroit continued their truly remarkable run of 24 straight playoff appearances. It is tough to have much faith in them when they don’t have confidence in either goaltender-Jimmy Howard or Petr Mrazek. Odds: 50-1

13. Winnipeg Jets (43-26-13) - Even if it’s a short stay, Jets fans have been waiting for the playoffs since the franchise returned to Winnipeg. I’m not predicting that they’ll beat Anaheim but I expect the Jets to give the Ducks much more of a competitive series than most believe. Odds: 75-1

14. Ottawa Senators (43-26-13) Conversely, nobody wanted to see the Senators in the first round after they made up a 14-point deficit to reach the playoffs while the Bruins missed out for the first time since 2007. Rookie right wing Mark Stone (26 goals, 38 assists) has four goals and two assists in his last five games. Ottawa is not intimidated by Montreal and I bet it shows in what could be a great first-round series. Odds: 14-1

15. Pittsburgh Penguins (42-27-12) - More than any other team in either conference, the Penguins are just lucky to be here. It is the only club that was under .500 in their last 10 games (3-5-2) to close out the regular season. Just beating New York more than once in that series would be a big accomplishment with Kris Letang out of action for the rest of the season. Odds: 100 to 1

16. Calgary Flames (45-30-7) - The best feel-good story of the season in the NHL, I think that the Flames will be more than just happy to be here. They have a really good chance to knock off Vancouver. After all, they kept the defending champs-the Kings-out of the playoffs entirely. Odds: 100 to 1