NHL Playoff Hockey Is Back!
The NHL regular season is behind us. Everything that was accomplished since October means nothing. There are 16 teams left, and each one of them is just 16 wins away from hoisting the Cup!
I decided to take a stab at predicting each round (I may be slightly biased).
I have all 3 Canadian teams making it out of round 1.
Western Conference Round 1 Predictions
As long as their goal-tending is even AVERAGE – Calgary should be able to overpower Colorado. Calgary has too good of a defence and too much firepower up front to bow out in round 1. Colorado has an amazing first line – but after that – their team is average at best.
Calgary in 5
San Jose vs Vegas should be a fun series to watch. Burns & Karlsson will give Vegas a good fight – but I expect Fleury will come through and backstop his team to another playoff series win.
Vegas in 7
I have both Nashville & Winnipeg winning, however it wouldn’t surprise me if both get knocked out in the first round. Since just before Christmas, both these teams have really started sucking major ass. At the start of the season, these 2 were both expected to be Stanley Cup Favourites – but oh how the mighty have fallen. That said, I think both of them scrape by their first round matchups and make it through so we can see an epic rematch from last year.
Nashville in 6
Jets in 5 (more on the Jets Below)
Eastern Conference Predictions
Tampa should dominate Columbus – which will be hilarious considering Columbus sacrificed their future for a deep playoff run this year. Plus who doesn’t like seeing Tortorella losing his mind.
Tampa in 5
Even though I think Barry Trotz should win Coach of the year- I think Crosby, Malkin & Kessel are just too damn good. I expect an early exit for the Islanders.
Penguins in 6
The champs from last year have a decent match up. It will be the experienced Caps against the “bunch of Jerks”. Although I would LOVE to see the Hurricane’s upset the Capitals..I just don’t see it happening.
Caps in 5
Toronto Vs Boston. This is the round 1 Matchup on the East I am most looking forward to. This one can go either way – I’ve always hated the leafs, but I’m actually rooting for them. They’ve come along way, and have some players that are so much fun to watch (Tavares & Marner in particular).
Leafs in 6 (probably 7)
Why the The Jets Will Win The Stanley Cup
Okay…Obviously I chose with my heart probably a bit more than my brain…but as my father always says…YOU GOTTA BELIEVE!
Lately, I haven’t been too excited about the Jet’s chances – they have been playing like shit since Christmas. That said, there are a few reasons for optimism:
- The big man is back. Dustin Byfuglien is a game changer. He has played a few games since returning from his injury – and should be 100% for game 1. We all know what he can do when he get’s pumped up – and playing at home, in front of the WHITE OUT, should get him pumped up pretty damn quick!
- Josh Morrissey should also be ready for game 1. In my opinion he is the best defenceman on the team. He is extremely underrated, and great at both ends of the ice. Being able to play him and Trouba together 20-25 mins a game is just what this team needs. When the Jet’s lost Byfluglien to injury it hurt – but when they lost Morrissey – the team straight up fell apart.
- The White Out. There really is quite nothing like it. Home ice advantage in one of the loudest arenas in the league. I cannot wait until Wednesday!
Side Note- The guy in the custom Jets White out Vader mask is a friend of mine!
- Mark Scheifele is a playoff beast. Last year he had 20 points in 17 playoff games – including a whopping FOURTEEN goals! He has slowed down near the end of the season, but I fully expect him to rip it up in the post season.
- Helly getting hot at JUST the right time. Everyone knows goalies win playoff series. Although he hasn’t had nearly as good as a season as last year – he is rounding into form just at the right time! He finished March with a .926 Save %. (His best month all year).
- Let’s face it -this has been a brutal season for Laine (and he still scored 30 goals). The good news – he can only go up from here! If Laine can score a goal or two in the first game, he could very well lead the entire playoffs in goals. Just need the kid to get hot at the right time – and what better time then Wednesday!
Go Jets Go!