2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview

Eastern Conference

Wild Card Team #2 vs. Metropolitan Division Winner

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Washington Capitals

Players to Watch: F Auston Matthews and F Alex Ovechkin

Who Wins: Capitals in 6 games

Metropolitan Division #3 vs. Metropolitan Division #2

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Players to Watch: G Sergei Bobrovsky and F Evgeni Malkin

Who Wins: Penguins in 6 games

Wild Card Team #1 vs. Atlantic Division Winner

New York Rangers vs. Montreal Canadiens

Players to Watch: F J.T. Miller and G Carey Price

Who Wins: Canadiens in 6 games

Atlantic Division #3 vs. Atlantic Division #2

Boston Bruins vs. Ottawa Senators

Players to Watch: F David Pastrnak and D Erik Karlsson

Who Wins: Bruins in 7 games

Western Conference

Wild Card Team #2 vs. Central Division Winner

Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Players to Watch: D P.K. Subban and F Artemi Panarin

Who Wins: Blackhawks in 5 games

Central Division #3 vs. Central Division #2

St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild

Players to Watch: F Vladimir Tarasenko and F Eric Staal

Who Wins: Blues in 6 games

Wild Card Team #1 vs. Pacific Division Winner

Calgary Flames vs. Anaheim Ducks

Players to Watch: G Brian Elliott and F Rickard Rakell

Who Wins: Ducks in 5 games

Pacific Division #3 vs. Pacific Division #2

San Jose Sharks vs. Edmonton Oilers

Players to Watch: D Brent Burns and G Cam Talbot

Who Wins: Oilers in 7 games

National League East

* – indicates new to team

1. Washington Nationals

The only flaw is the back end of their bullpen, but they could remedy that before the trade deadline.

2. New York Mets

This is easily one of the deepest rosters the Mets franchise have ever had.

3. Miami Marlins

With the loss of Jose Fernandez to a boat accident, they’ll have to rebuild the rotation.

4. Atlanta Braves

The new ballpark will be open and it’s time to see all the talent the Braves have accumulated for the past two seasons.

5. Philadelphia Phillies

Another year in the cellar is likely, but the Phillies future is looking brighter each day. Continue reading “National League East”

American League East

* – indicates new to team

1. Boston Red Sox

A stellar rotation instantly makes them World Series contenders.

2. Toronto Blue Jays

Their lineup is still among the best, but will the bullpen be able to keep a lead?

3. Baltimore Orioles

There are too many question marks in the rotation to put them anywhere past a Wild Card spot.

4. New York Yankees

While a Wild Card spot isn’t out of the question, giving their young nucleus a season to grow could help them in the long run.

5. Tampa Bay Rays

They could certainly be an interesting team to watch if they played in a different division. Continue reading “American League East”

National League Central

* – indicates new to team

1. Chicago Cubs

They are easily the favorites to repeat this year and could be for many more seasons.

2. St. Louis Cardinals

While they aren’t the flashiest team, they have plenty of depth to plug up any holes.

3. Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates could be in a transitional year with rumors swirling about trading McCutchen.

4. Milwaukee Brewers

They’re still a year or two away from being potential contenders.

5. Cincinnati Reds

The rebuilding project has begun with the offseason trade of Brandon Phillips. Continue reading “National League Central”