JJ Anderes

NHL Predictions: If the Playoffs Started Today

Recommended Posts

What if the NHL playoffs started today?

 

These are my predictions based on the NHL standings after every Tuesday night. Below is my first bracket, 32 days until the end of the season.

 

Now whenever I do my brackets, I always try to make my picks following criteria, based on things that have been consistent over the last several postseasons.

 

1. BACK-TO-BACK: At least one of the teams in the previous final four returns to the final four the following season. (Pittsburgh 16-17, Bolts 15-16, Rangers 14-15, Blackhawks 13-15)

2. THE CURSE: The president trophy winners don't normally win the Cup. (4 in the last 21 years)

3. EARLY EXIT: Not all four division winners make it past the first round. (Chicago in 17, Florida and Anaheim in 16, Blues in 15, Colorado in 14)

 

01d835b9e54fb08aa336130fa6406574d42ca2f5

 

1. BACK-TO-BACK: Nashville has been hot for several months, and after their ninth straight win, it appears they could be the team to beat in the postseason.

2. THE CURSE: It's possible that Tampa Bay could make a return to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in four years, but after missing a season in the playoffs, it's unlikely. They'll sink when they play Boston in the second round, but it'll be no easy series for the Bruins.

3. EARLY EXIT: Dallas has struggled in past playoff years, and if Vegas has the home ice advantage, it'll be hard to stop them. Los Angeles has also lost each of their three games against Nashville this season, giving up four or more goals in each game. The Blue Jackets are extra hot with the addition of the Breadman, and although they are seriously underrated as they play in the league's toughest division, they'll be no match for Tampa Bay's red hot offense. This brings us to the Devils: if Taylor Hall continues to gain points and the Capitals' defense continues to crumble, the first round could be an upset for the Capitals.

 

Thoughts?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the West, I'm not super confident in any team outside of the Preds. Nashville just looks unstoppable right now and they're built for a long run. Deep, skilled, good goal-tending. 

 

Vegas keeps on surprising me. I keep waiting for the fall to reality, and it never comes. Could they take out a Western juggernaut in a 7 game series? Probably not, but who knows. 

 

In the East, TB looks good, but they remind me a lot of Washington. Run through the regular season and get chopped down in the playoffs. Boston looks very good, as does Pittsburgh (surprise, surprise).

 

I really can't argue with your predictions much there. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pekka Rinne's hip won't make it through two rounds. If the Jets get Scheifele and Trouba back into form in time for the playoffs, they'll win the West.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

VEGAS TO THE CUP, BABY!!!!111!1!!!11!!!1!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopes and Dreams For the Blue Jackets From Where they Stand Now:

1. Just make the playoffs

2. If they make the playoffs I'd rather play the Lightning with Connor McDavid than have to go through another series against Pittsburgh. 

 

Hopes and Dreams For The Rest of the NHL:

1. A Penguins series is officiated fairly.

2. Penguins lose in the first round.

3. Vegas loses in the first round. 

4. Winnipeg goes a long run. 

5. Nashville is getting a little too big for their britches so a stumble by them would be appreciated.

6. Offsides challenges and goaltender interference don't impact any key goals. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flyers will somehow make it in by the skin of their teeth and will be swept by whomever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UPDATE: Based off of standings after Tuesday Night.

 

dad5825514acfea3f53fb52022accc291e3ff2ff

 

BACK-TO-BACK: Nashville still appears to be the hottest team in the league right now, boasting a stunning 9-0-1 record in their last ten games. Pittsburgh will also easily overpower Philadelphia and Columbus, propelling them to their third consecutive conference championship.

 

THE CURSE: Nashville sits atop the league at the moment, but Tampa has won both regular season game against the Predators this season. No team in the west seems to be able to stop Nashville, so the Predators will reach the finals only to fail for the second straight year.

 

EARLY EXIT: The division leaders remain the same. If any team is bound to be upset this year, it's the Capitals. Columbus' offense has potential to overpower the crumbling defense of the Capitals, and unless Holtby can regain his footing, it'll be an early trip to the golf course for the Caps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it's a good thing teams that get hot in March stay hot all the way to the Final. That's why I love the 2017 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't see the Blue Jackets beating the Capitals in a 7 game series. They'd have one of those series that looks tight at 2-2, maybe even winning game 1 on the road, and then the Jackets lose easily in games 5 and 6. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

I can't see the Blue Jackets beating the Capitals in a 7 game series. They'd have one of those series that looks tight at 2-2, maybe even winning game 1 on the road, and then the Jackets lose easily in games 5 and 6. 

Part of the Capitals cycle is winning their Round 1 series in more games than it should take (i.e. 6 or 7 games).  Wouldn't be surprised at all if this happens, followed of course by a Game 7 OT loss to the Penguins thanks to a PP goal from Sidney Crosby on a nonexistent slash call on Crosby by Michael Kempny.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lightning could only be your favorite to win the Cup right now if you look at the standings and pay zero attention to the actual on-ice performance. Boston is the best team in the Atlantic and, with the way the two teams are trending, it would hardly surprise me if Toronto beat Tampa Bay in a best-of-7. Vasilevskiy has quietly been terrible since the start of the new year, blueline is unimpressive in performance and the penalty kill is an abject disaster. One hot goaltender (and virtually every team in the top-9 except Philadelphia [of course] has a solid starter at this point in time) is all it will take to knock that team out, honestly. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to admit it, but Dallas isn’t probably going to make it very far with this kind of skid they’ve had lately. And either way, they have to beat Nashville or Vegas. So yeah, no partying like it’s 1999 in Texas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a horrible feeling the above prediction might not be that far off

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know Washington loves nothing more than to underachieve in the playoffs but the Flyers will not win a playoff series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd take the Avs over the Knights right now. MacKinnon is on fire, and everyone else seems to be firing on all cylinders... They may not have much playoff experience, but neither do the Knights. I'd say the Avs could win that in 5 or 6...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now