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Canes Country's 2016 Playoff Pick 'Em Challenge

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It's ba-aack! With some awesome prizes too!

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

As a Carolina Hurricanes fan, there's one thing that you can look forward to every year without fail. No, not your team taking part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Silly fan!)

That thing, now back for its fourth year in a row, is the Canes Country Playoff Pick 'Em Challenge. And boy, do we have a whopper of a prize closet this year for you.

Last year, JustListenin took a razor-thin win with 68 points over datdude323 (67 points) and ms42 (66) in the tightest competition ever. We also came within one pick of a perfect bracket, which has never happened before. (So, make it happen this year! No pressure.)

The rules are easy. In the comments, you pick the winning team for each series and how many games it will take them. In the first round, you get one point for picking the right team and two bonus points for picking both the right team and the right number of games. For each successive round, the points on offer double, so that by the Stanley Cup Final the correct team is worth eight points and also getting the right number of games is worth 16 bonus points.

And if you win, Our Fearless Leader has some fantastic prizes to offer you this year...

lithographs

A pair of lithographs - Eric Staal from 2005-06 and Cam Ward from 2006-07

Puck

An official game puck from Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final signed by Rod Brind'Amour

Framed portrait

A framed licensed portrait of Staal and Justin Williams after the empty net goal in Game 7, along with a custom stamped envelope sold by the post office

Instead of assigning them to first/second/third place this year, we'll offer a choice...first place gets to pick which of the three they want, second place gets the choice of the remaining two, and third will get the one left over.

Picks must be in by puck drop of the first game of the first round, which is this Wednesday, April 13, at 7:00 p.m. Comments will be closed at that time. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post with your winners and in how many games. For my own sanity, please do your picks in the following order (I enter them into a spreadsheet and it is considerably easier if they're all in the same order):

Eastern Conference
Capitals vs. Flyers
Penguins vs. Rangers
Panthers vs. Islanders
Lightning vs. Red Wings

Western Conference
Stars vs. North Stars Wild
Blues vs. Blackhawks
Ducks vs. Predators
Kings vs. Sharks

Below are the Canes Country staff picks for Round 1. Good luck!

Eastern Conference (M1) WSH vs.
(W2) PHI
(M2) PIT vs.
(M3) NYR
(A1) FLA vs.
(W1) NYI
(A2) TBL vs.
(A3) DET
Bob Capitals in 6 Rangers in 7 Panthers in 6 Lightning in 7
Brian Capitals in 5 Penguins in 6 Panthers in 5 Red Wings in 6
Jamie Capitals in 7 Penguins in 7 Panthers in 5 Red Wings in 5
NotOpie Capitals in 4 Rangers in 6 Panthers in 5 Lightning in 6
Matt Capitals in 7 Rangers in 7 Panthers in 6 Red Wings in 6
Kyle Capitals in 6 Penguins in 5 Panthers in 6 Red Wings in 7

Western Conference (C1) DAL vs.
(W2) MIN
(C2) STL vs.
(C3) CHI
(P1) ANA vs.
(W1) NSH
(P2) LAK vs.
(P3) SJS
Bob Stars in 6 Blues in 7 Predators in 7 Sharks in 7
Brian Stars in 5 Blues in 6 Ducks in 7 Sharks in 7
Jamie Stars in 5 Blues in 6 Ducks in 5 Kings in 6
NotOpie Stars in 5 Blues in 6 Predators in 6 Kings in 5
Matt Stars in 6 Blackhawks in 7 Ducks in 6 Kings in 5
Kyle Stars in 5 Blues in 6 Ducks in 4 Sharks in 7