2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview

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Eastern Conference

Wild Card Team #2 vs. Atlantic Division Winner

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Players to Watch: F Artemi Panarin and F Nikita Kucherov

Who Wins: Lightning in 6 games

Atlantic Division #3 vs. Atlantic Division #2

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins

Players to Watch: D Morgan Rielly and F David Pastrnak

Who Wins: Bruins in 7 games

Wild Card Team #1 vs. Metropolitan Division Winner

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals

Players to Watch: G Petr Mrazek and F Evgeny Kuznetsov

Who Wins: Capitals in 5 games

Metropolitan Division #3 vs. Metropolitan Division #2

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders

Players to Watch: F Jake Guentzel and G Robin Lehner

Who Wins: Penguins in 6 games

Western Conference

Wild Card Team #2 vs. Pacific Division Winner

Colorado Avalanche vs. Calgary Flames

Players to Watch: F Nathan MacKinnon and D Mark Giordano

Who Wins: Flames in 7 games

Pacific Division #3 vs. Pacific Division #2

Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks

Players to Watch: F Mark Stone and D Erik Karlsson

Who Wins: Golden Knights in 6 games

Wild Card Team #1 vs. Central Division Winner

Dallas Stars vs. Nashville Predators

Players to Watch: G Ben Bishop and F Viktor Arvidsson

Who Wins: Predators in 6 games

Central Division #3 vs. Central Division #2

St. Louis Blues vs. Winnipeg Jets

Players to Watch: G Jordan Binnington and F Mark Scheifele

Who Wins: Jets in 6 games

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Stanley Cup Prediction

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Eastern Conference

1. Tampa Bay Lightning vs. 4. Philadelphia Flyers

2. Toronto Maple Leafs vs. 3. Boston Bruins

1. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 4. New Jersey Devils

2. Washington Capitals vs. 3. Columbus Blue Jackets

Western Conference

1. Nashville Predators vs. 4. Colorado Avalanche

2. Winnipeg Jets vs. 3. St. Louis Blues

1. San Jose Sharks vs. 4. Minnesota Wild

2. Vegas Golden Knights vs. 3. Anaheim Ducks

Conference Finals

Lightning over Capitals

Jets over Sharks

Stanley Cup Finals

Lightning over Jets

Pacific Division

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1. San Jose Sharks

They became legit contenders with the addition of Erik Karlsson.

2. Vegas Golden Knights

Their cinderella season wasn’t a fluke. They should be contenders once again.

3. Anaheim Ducks

Health and the play of goaltender of John Gibson will determine their success.

4. Los Angeles Kings

It was an early exit in the playoffs last year, but too many questions remain about their scoring prowess.

5. Calgary Flames

They’re solid in a lot of areas, but they play in a stacked conference to get to the playoffs.

6. Edmonton Oilers

There is so much talent here, yet it almost goes to waste in Edmonton.

7. Arizona Coyotes

Some clever moves have the Coyotes positioned to be a surprise team this season.

8. Vancouver Canucks

The Sedin twins have retired and the Canucks will look for a new franchise player. Continue reading

Central Division

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1. Nashville Predators

Their depth on defense is stacked, but they need more production from their forwards.

2. Winnipeg Jets

This team is built to win right now. They’ll have about 2-3 more seasons of being Cup contenders.

3. St. Louis Blues

They were the most active team in the offseason and that should get them back into the playoffs.

4. Minnesota Wild

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a Bruce Boudreau led team will again make the playoffs against all the odds.

5. Colorado Avalanche

Their forward group will outscore a lot of teams, but will their goalie situation improve from last year?

6. Dallas Stars

A new coach and a new style, but it’s one that will mesh well with the star power they have.

7. Chicago Blackhawks

It will be a big learning curve for the youngsters coming in, but Chicago’s veterans will make it easier. Continue reading

Atlantic Division

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1. Tampa Bay Lightning

This team is stacked and there’s no reason they shouldn’t get to the Conference Finals again.

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

They won the John Tavares sweepstakes and now they have their eyes set on the Stanley Cup.

3. Boston Bruins

They’re mixing in some good youngsters with their savvy veterans.

4. Florida Panthers

There’s plenty of talent here, but they play in a top tier division that won’t give up the top three spots easily.

5. Buffalo Sabres

They made some savvy moves in the offseason and it should improve their point total quite a bit.

6. Detroit Red Wings

This ‘Hockeytown’ will have to wait another year to be considered potential playoff contenders.

7. Montreal Canadiens

Rebuilding is never easy, especially when you still have one of the best goaltenders in the game.

8. Ottawa Senators

The only thing they will compete for is the number one pick of the draft. Continue reading