Poll: Which of the final eight teams will win the 2012 Stanley Cup?


We’re down to the Conference semifinal stage — or the Elite 8, to steal some college basketball parlance — of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. The story of the opening round was upsets, upsets and more upsets:

— Top overall seed Vancouver, the Presidents’ Trophy winner, lost to No. 8 Los Angeles.

— Boston, the defending Stanley Cup champion, lost to Washington.

— Pittsburgh, who finished with the fourth-most points (109) in the NHL, lost to Philadelphia.

As such, we’re left with a pretty interesting Round 2.

Western Conference

No. 2 St. Louis vs. No. 8 Los Angeles

No. 3 Phoenix vs. No. 4 Nashville

Eastern Conference

No. 1 New York Rangers vs. No. 7 Washington

No. 5 Philadelphia vs. No. 6 New Jersey