If we’re being honest about the whole process, there are few worse activities than previewing a playoff series. There’s a lot of groundwork that needs to be done, especially if it’s an unfamiliar opponent, and no matter how much of a feel you develop for both sides, a string of good or bad can derail any prediction.

After all, it’s a four-win race to the finish line. Just about any team can steal four of seven from a team better than them in the right circumstances. The 25-42-5 Buffalo Sabres, who were the NHL’s worst team this year, had two separate stretches where they went on 4-of-7 or better runs this year. With that in mind, it’s not inconceivable that the Texas Stars could be skating away in the next week or two with a huge Calder Cup upset over the Toronto Marlies.

But if you were to make an educated guess, Toronto enters this series as the favourites to take the AHL’s top prize for the first time in their history.

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