2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview

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East Division

1. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 4. New York Islanders

Players to Watch: G Tristan Jarry and F Mathew Barzal

Who Wins: Penguins in 6 games

2. Washington Capitals vs. 3. Boston Bruins

Players to Watch: D John Carlson and G Tuukka Rask

Who Wins: Bruins in 7 games

Central Division

1. Carolina Hurricanes vs. 4. Nashville Predators

Players to Watch: F Martin Necas and G Juuse Saros

Who Wins: Hurricanes in 5 games

2. Florida Panthers vs. 3. Tampa Bay Lightning

Players to Watch: D MacKenzie Weegar and D Victor Hedman

Who Wins: Lightning in 6 games

North Division

1. Toronto Maple Leafs vs. 4. Montreal Canadiens

Players to Watch: F Auston Matthews and G Carey Price

Who Wins: Maple Leafs in 5 games

2. Edmonton Oilers vs. 3. Winnipeg Jets

Players to Watch: F Connor McDavid and F Mark Scheifele

Who Wins: Oilers in 7 games

West Division

1. Colorado Avalanche vs. 4. St. Louis Blues

Players to Watch: F Nathan McKinnon and G Jordan Binnington

Who Wins: Avalanche in 6 games

2. Vegas Golden Knights vs. 3. Minnesota Wild

Players to Watch: D Shea Theodore and F Kirill Kaprizov

Who Wins: Golden Knights in 7 games

Stanley Cup Prediction

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*Because of lockdown madness, the 2020-21 NHL season will have the four divisions playing against each other in their regions. This is a breakdown of my prediction for the Stanley Cup Playoff participants for the 2020-21 season. The top 4 teams from each division will play each other in the first two rounds. Then what would be the Conference Finals, the four remaining teams will be ranked 1-4 on their regular season point totals. The one-seed will play the fourth-seed and the second-seed will play the third-seed. Continue reading

West Division

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1. Colorado Avalanche

They proved in the playoffs last year that they are among the best offensive teams in the league.

2. Vegas Golden Knights

Adding a Stanley Cup winner in Alex Pietrangelo on defense shows they are still in a win-now mode for this young franchise.

3. St. Louis Blues

Losing Pietrangelo will hurt, but getting Torey Krug isn’t a bad consolation prize.

4. Minnesota Wild

Their team depth and playing in a weaker division has them primed for a playoff spot.

5. Arizona Coyotes

Too much turmoil in the front office, but the talent is there for playoff contention.

6. Anaheim Ducks

They’re probably another year away from contention, but the offense needs to start showing more progress.

7. San Jose Sharks

Their run for a Cup has come and gone.

8. Los Angeles Kings

The growing pains will continue as will the cap crunch for goalie Jonathan Quick and defenseman Drew Doughty. Continue reading

2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview

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Eastern Conference

1. Philadelphia Flyers vs. 8. Montreal Canadiens

Players to Watch: G Carter Hart and G Carey Price

Who Wins: Flyers in 5 games

2. Tampa Bay Lightning vs. 7. Columbus Blue Jackets

Players to Watch: F Nikita Kucherov and D Seth Jones

Who Wins: Lightning in 6 games

3. Washington Capitals vs. 6. New York Islanders

Players to Watch: G Braden Holtby and D Ryan Pulock

Who Wins: Islanders in 7 games

4. Boston Bruins vs. 5. Carolina Hurricanes

Players to Watch: F David Pastrnak and F Sebastian Aho

Who Wins: Hurricanes in 7 games

Western Conference

1. Vegas Golden Knights vs. 8. Chicago Blackhawks

Players to Watch: G Robin Lehner and G Corey Crawford

Who Wins: Golden Knights in 6 games

2. Colorado Avalanche vs. 7. Phoenix Coyotes

Players to Watch: D Cale Makar and F Taylor Hall

Who Wins: Avalanche in 6 games

3. Dallas Stars vs. 6. Calgary Flames

Players to Watch: G Ben Bishop and F Sean Monahan

Who Wins: Flames in 6 games

4. St. Louis Blues vs. 5. Vancouver Canucks

Players to Watch: D Alex Pietrangelo and D Quinn Hughes

Who Wins: Blues in 7 games

Central Division

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1. Nashville Predators

Their defense is still stacked, but will the offense match?

2. St. Louis Blues

Coming in as defending Stanley Cup champions shouldn’t have any effect on this team.

3. Colorado Avalanche

They were a dark horse team last year, but they should be legit contenders this year.

4. Winnipeg Jets

The loss of a few key players will hurt, but this team is too talented to not make the playoffs.

5. Dallas Stars

If they remain a defensive stalwart they’ll be playing in the playoffs once again.

6. Minnesota Wild

They seem to always be a player or two away from making a leap in a stacked division.

7. Chicago Blackhawks

They could certainly make strides this year, but everyone above them is better by far. Continue reading