Leafs vs. Blue Jackets
I like the Leafs in this series for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, sheldon keef finally has a whole roster to work with and had a mini camp to get the guys ironed into his system. this should help the rookie bench boss adjust to playoff atmosphere puck. Secondly, their forward core is deep. Like really deep. The tavares and matthews lines will be dominant as always, and robertson-kerfoot-kapanen is an adrenaline shot to the jugular. They should be able to skate columbus into the ground. However, the jackets aren’t necessarily an easy draw. Theyre a gritty team with a grittier coach and wont roll over and die. Their blue line shored by seth jones and werenski is a problem for any team. If elvis can stand on his head this serious could get interesting. That being said its toronto’s series to lose. And if they lose I might cross the line. Hopefully this won’t be evidence in a court case. Buds in 4.
Habs vs. Pens
Montreal is going to get rolled. The penguins are finally healthy, and crosby is looking for a 4th ring. The only question mark is the goaltender situation. Price has the ability to completely steal the series and the penguins don’t have a sure thing in net. However, that shouldn’t be a problem, the habs just arent there as a team to compete in a five game series. After this spanking the NHL is going to gift wrap lafrenier to ease the pain. Pens in 3.
Rangers vs. Canes
This is by far the most interesting series coming out of the east. Rangers and Hurricanes. Two solid teams with offensive firepower and solid defences. The rangers swept the season series 4-0 which is a cause for concern for carolina. Furtheremore, breadman and zibenejad are as deadly a 1-2 combo as they come in the NHL and could be a serious issue. The canes aren’t a pushover in any sense and are more than capable of winning this series. Justin williams wants one more crack at the cup and with guys like aho and svechnikov who’s to say the won’t do it? Im to say they won’t do it. Rangers in 5.
Islanders vs. Panthers
Fuck the islanders. Theyre a below average team that somehow finds a way to win games. Lou is over the hill and gave out bad contracts to guys who are on the back half of their team. All the praise goes to trotzy for running a tight ship and putting together a good season. That being said, they were absolutely terrible before the hiatus. If Bobrovsky comes out of his alcohol induced slumber look for a sweep here. Im dead serious. Huberdeau, Barkov, Yandel, Ekblad, Hoffman, the list goes on. This team is better than their record and are ready to put on a show. Panthers in 4. Im giving the islanders one game because Bobrovsky is so damn unpredictable.
Wild vs. Canucks
The wild are a ho-hum hockey team. They have no real identity and don’t necessarily get anyones attention. With that in mind, they’re not fundamentally garbage. They can get the job done from time to time. The nucks on the other hand are building something special. A core of young gun studs ready to light shit up. Theyre fast and dangerous. But their inexperience leads to some shootouts that don’t always fall in their favour. This is honestly a coin flip and I think whoever wins is going to get rocked in the following round. Im taking the skill guys here. Nucks in 5.
Blackhawks vs. Oilers
Cue chealsea dagger! The oilers are in trouble. Big trouble. McDavid and Drai are probably 1-2 in the world but this isnt a two player sport. The holes are going to become apparent. They hawks have been there before and theyre going to do it again. You heard it here first: cup run. Kaner and toews have alot left in the tank and are going to put it on full display. Its actually sad how badly chierilli crippled this team. Everyone thinks theyre OK, but theyre not. Something very bad is going to happen to them. Sweep might be a strong word to use, but I’ll say it. SWEEP. Hawks in 3.
Coyotes vs. Predators
The yotes need to get moved out of arizona. This team is such a joke. Have every other big market team bail them out with bullshit revenue sharing just to have their “wonderchild” 26 year old GM quit right before their playoff run. Also that guy is not a genius, he’s an idiot. Chayka ran this team into the ground with several bad trades - domi and hall (assuming he wont resign there) just to name a few. Meanwhile smashville is hungry for blood and still had a stellar D core and an experienced high caliber goaltender. This is going to be a blood bath. Preds sweep.
Jets vs. Flames
Good Canadian matchup. Two sick teams that are about to go to war. Solid rosters across the board with elite high end talent, great coaching, and rabid fanbases. Outside of the buds this is the series im looking most forward to. Winnipeg has some defensive problems after big buff decided to opt out to drink and fish, but other than that they are loaded. Hellebuyck is among the best in the game and their top 6 is straight up scary. Meanwhile, Calgary is finally coming into its own as their forwards develop, and their backend is anchored by reigning norris winner Mark Giordano. Gaudreau, Tkachuk and company still have alot to prove in the playoffs, so i’m hesitant to lean on Calgary here - but - If this gets physical I’m liking their chances. Again, a coinflip. But I’m seeing a big series from Laine (makes me sick to say) and Hellebuyck. Whiteout. Peg in 5.
lets go. Good luck gambling on this.