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Poll: Which team will win the 2011 Stanley Cup?

Before the first round of the 2011 playoffs, we polled readers for their Stanley Cup champion choices. You can check out the results for all 16 first round teams here, but here’s how the top five choices ended up looking.

1. Detroit Red Wings: 1,818 votes
2. Vancouver Canucks: 1,560 votes
3. Philadelphia Flyers: 1,423 votes
4. Washington Capitals: 1,197 votes
5. Pittsburgh Penguins: 1,169 votes

And just for fun:
16. Los Angeles Kings: 74 votes
Total reader votes: 11,304

(Sorry Kings fans.)

Four of the five teams who received the most votes remain, but with another round in the books, we couldn’t help but wonder how your opinions have changed.

Did the Red Wings’ sweep make you even more confident about their Cup chances? Are you on board after the Capitals showed they could actually play defense? Will the Canucks and Flyers’ reputations sag a bit after they needed seven games to advance? Do you feel differently about the Sharks, Bruins, Predators or Lightning?

Feel free to peruse the 2011 semifinals matchups if you must and then let us know who you think will win it all after gathering one extra round of evidence. We won’t judge you if you change your vote, either.

WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Red Wings

Henrik Zetterberg, Steven Stamkos
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Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.

While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.


After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”