Oh boy. If you’re looking to place a bet you should do the opposite of what I’m suggesting. That was not pretty for me in the play-in round. I went three for eight and will have a hard time getting excited for a playoff tournament without McDavid, Crosby, Matthews, and of course the Winnipeg Jets. But that’s okay because there still are some great series’ coming our way. Let’s take a look…
Flyers vs. Canadiens
The Flyers took the east by storm in the round robin to grab first overall in their conference. The Habs pulled off the biggest upset of the play-in round by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins. It’s hard to bet against the Habs after that, but I think the Flyers look too good right now. Flyers in 6.
Lightning vs. Blue Jackets
This will be fun to watch. Remember when the Jackets swept the Lightning last year? It’s the rematch. The Jackets have come off a solid win vs. the offensively-gifted Leafs, but I think the Lightning will be too much to handle. Lightning can’t strike twice in one place, right? Lightning in 5.
Bruins vs. Hurricanes
This should be some fast hockey. The Bruins seem to always play well in the postseason and they have some great veterans that know how to get it done. But I like the Hurricanes and what they’re doing. Hurricanes in 7.
Capitals vs. Islanders
This series should be close. I don’t think the Capitals are as powerful as when they won the Cup, and the Islanders have a good team that is coached incredibly well by Manitoban Barry Trotz. But I don’t think the Islanders will play well from behind and I think they will be behind a lot. Capitals in 6.
Golden Knights vs. Blackhawks
I thought the Golden Knights had one of the best chances to win the Cup entering this tournament. But seeing the Blackhawks beat a team as skilled as the Oilers makes me question that. This one will go the distance. Blackhawks in 7.
Avalanche vs. Coyotes
It was fun to watch the Coyotes have success in the play-in round, but I can’t see that success continuing against the Avalanche. I like the Avalanche’s chances at making a run at the Cup. Avalanche in 4.
Blues vs. Canucks
The defending champs vs. an up-and-coming team like the Canucks. I’m going to bet on a Stanley Cup hangover and take the Canucks, trusting that their young talent shines. Canucks in 7.
Stars vs. Flames
The Stars struggled in the round robin, and the Flames looked solid as they beat the Jets. But this time the Flames should have to contend with the Stars’ top talent all series long, and I can’t see them holding up. Stars in 6.
Here’s to hoping for better predictions in this round!