The NHL playoffs start tonight and there are going to be great series. Will there be any upsets? Will certain teams continue their dominance in the post-season? What players will show up for their teams? You could make an argument that the NHL play-offs are the best playoffs in all major sports. Some other sports have a seven game series, but its just something different about playoff hockey. Hockey is one of the few sports where any team can win on any given day. Sure you could make the argument about other sports but those sports are usually dominated by a few teams, but practically ever team in the playoffs this year has a shot to win it all.
Florida vs Washington
Like I said in my predictions after the trade deadline. I believe this is Florida’s year. Yeah its easy to say, “well of course you are going to pick them”, but I’ve been on them all year and its not changing. their offense is insane and defense can struggle at times, but if they continue their offensive dominance, you will see them bring home the cup. The Capitals also had a very solid year. Battled through injuries and still finished well, but I think the Panthers stop their run for a 2nd cup for Ovi.
Prediction- Panthers in 5
Tampa Bay vs Toronto
This series is going to be electric. Auston Mathews has had an unbelievable year scoring 60 goals this year and the Lightning still looking great as they continue their quest for a 3-peat. As much as I think the Leafs are solid, just don’t know if they can get past the experience and studs that Tampa Bay has. I will say if Toronto wins this series, I think they make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but I have the Lightning.
Prediction- Lightning in 6
Boston vs Carolina
This is an interesting series here. Anderson is banged up for the Hurricanes, which gives a good advantage to the Bruins, but they have also had some goalie struggles of their own. Both teams are very similar here, but I just think the Bruins don’t have enough firepower to keep up with Carolina. They have been dominated by them all year and I think that continues. The series will go a little bit longer than it should for the health reasons of Anderson.
Prediction- Hurricanes in 7
Pittsburgh vs New York
Another great series here. There was a ton of fun games between these squads during the season and their beef will continue here. New York is an upcoming team ready to take over, while the Penguins are on their back nine looking to snag one more cup for their core group, but I believe the Rangers will be too much for them to handle.
Prediction- Rangers in 6
Dallas vs Calgary
Dallas snuck into the playoff playing for the lives for the last month of season while the Flames cruised the whole year and they will continue by dominating the Stars. I believe the Flames make a run to the cup this year.
Prediction- Flames in 5
Los Angeles vs Edmonton
This will be a toss up. The Kings overperformed this year and the Oilers look like this may be the year to make a run. I wanted to give the upset here, but I just can’t do it. McDavid and Leon will be too much and will the the Oilers into the second round.
Prediction- Oilers in 6
Nashville vs Colorado
It looks like Nashville will be without Saros for at least this series. Just based off that alone, Colorado should take care of business here. Nashville is gritty team and will battle, but without Saros, it will be a tough hill cliff to climb.
Prediction- Avalanche in 6
Minnesota vs St. Louis
This is where I have the first and only upset in the 1st round. The Wild have had an incredible season, but the Blues have as well. The Blues did have some bumps in the road, but every team does. Both teams are deep, but I believe the Blues sneak out of this series.
Prediction- Blues in 7
-Ryan Veal(@TheVealMobile on Twitter)
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