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Apr
13
2016

NHL #StanleyCupPlayoffs Predictions – Round 1

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Greetings, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) sports fans.  We step out of the ACC tonight to talk about a sport I love (I’m from North Dakota after all) – the National Hockey League (NHL).  I’m dropping some predictions below for the first round of the NHL #StanleyCupPlayoffs.  Here we go:

Playoff Series

Winner in Number of Games

Commentary

Washington vs. Philadelphia

Washington in 5

Yes, these teams hate each other – and yes the Washington Capitals have choked before as the massive favorite.  But… the Caps haven’t had starpower like this before.  We know Ovie will be Ovie. Here’s thinking Bradon Holtby will on fire in the goal for the Caps – and T.J. Oshie will take advantage of all the attention on Ovie.  This is the best Capitals team I’ve seen since I’ve moved to the DC area more than two decades ago and anything less than a Stanley Cup Finals appearance will be very disappointing.

Pittsburgh vs. New York Rangers

Pittsburgh in 7

Sidney Crosby has arguably been the best player in the 2nd half of the season – and that’s going to be enough to take Pittsburgh to the next round.  This series will go seven games.  Why?  Six Words:  New York Rangers Goalie, Henrik Lundqvist.

Tampa Bay vs. Detroit

Detroit in 6

Detroit backed into the playoffs because of Boston’s complete collapse.  The Red Wings will be playing a Tampa team that isn’t healthy.  Additionally, goalie Jimmy Howard will save Detroit in this series on more than one occasion.

Florida vs. New York Islanders

Florida in 6

44-year-old Jaomir Jagr is still playing hockey (!!!!!!) afhafhldalkjfdalhfalh (omg) – and, at Florida, he has some pretty good young talent alongside him in Aaron Ekblad, Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau.  With an experienced goaltender in Robert Luongo, the Florida Panthers should clinch this series.

Dallas vs Minnesota

Dallas in 5

Minnesota can be described as an inconsistent team at their very best – and right now, they have a lot injuries.  Dallas, in the other hand, has the league’s most potent offense with three 30-goal scorers (Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza) and 10 forwards with at least 10 goals.

St. Louis vs. Chicago

Chicago in 7

Honestly, the series I’m looking forward to the most this year.  Chicago, with Jonathan Toews, Patrick, Kane, Artemi Panarin (good shot at rookie of th year) and Brent Seabrook will be playing St. Louis at the fastest pace you’ll see in this opening round.  St. Louis has an amazing offense led by Vladimir Tarasenko, Alex Steen and flashy rookie Robby Fabbri – and they have a great goaltender in Brian Elliot.  This will be very fun hockey to watch – and the series could go either way.

Los Angeles vs. San Jose

Los Angeles in 7

The Los Angeles Kings are a defensive team that will wear down San Jose – expect  Jonathan Quick to be “quick” in the net for the Kings when they need him the most.

Anaheim vs. Nashville

Anaheim in 6

The Anaheim Ducks might have been the NHL’s best team in the 2nd half of the season.  While Nashville is a talented team, the Ducks have have multiple lines and talent that can score – and that’s going to be enough in this one.

So there you have it – many predicted 6 and 7 game series.  Advice:  Don’t take any of this information and bet your mortgage on it.  These picks are only for recreational purposes (yes, for fun lol).

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