I haven’t done a hockey playoff predictions post in ages. Two years? Three years? Whatever. Given that I have followed the NHL less this year than in any other year since the mid-90’s it is safe to say that these predictions are based on very, very little actual information. Do not use this post for gambling purposes, unless your goal is to lose every last penny you have.
You have been warned.
In the Eastern Conference…
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Columbus Blue Jackets:
It’s been nice knowing you, Columbus. Four games to go and then it’s summer vacation. Enjoy!
Boston Bruins vs Toronto Maple Leafs:
You know, if my Bruins had been in any other division they would be a lock to get to the Conference Finals. In the Atlantic? We might not get out of the first round. Toronto scares the shit out of me, but I still think we can beat them in six or seven, probably seven, games.
Washington Capitals vs Carolina Hurricanes:
I’d like to be able to predict an upset, but Washington is winning this one. Enjoy your summer, ‘Canes. It’s going to be a long one, but at least it’s shorter than Buffalo’s.
New York Islanders vs Pittsburgh Penguins:
Okay, so here’s your upset. The day is coming when Pittsburgh’s all-star roster is not going to be a factor anymore. That day is not today. The Islanders are a good team and a good story and everyone feels great about them and all, but the Penguins will send them home.
On to the Western Conference, where I know even less about each team…
Nashville Predators vs Dallas Stars:
Dallas still has a team? Who knew. In my teeny tiny bit of research for this post I have heard a lack of confidence in Nashville, and some talk of a first seed upset. I don’t think so. I’m picking the Preds. Sorry, Dallas.
Winnipeg Jets vs St Louis Blues:
I’m also hearing some upset talk for this series (again, based on about 10 seconds worth of research) and again I am crying bullshit. I’m picking the Jets.
Calgary Flames vs Colorado Avalanche:
Two teams I’ve actively rooted for in the past. Calgary looks pretty good. I might be thinking they are my team to beat in the West. As if I knew what I was talking about. Go Flames.
San Jose Sharks vs Vegas Golden Knights:
If there is one thing I’ve learned over the past 10-15 years worth of trying to predict the NHL playoffs it is never, ever pick the Sharks. Vegas makes it to round two.
So there we have it. The second round match-ups will be:
Tampa Bay vs Boston
Washington vs Pittsburgh… again
Nashville vs Winnipeg
Calgary vs Vegas
The games start tomorrow night. We’ll see how many of my stupid, uninformed guesses are correct!