2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview

Eastern Conference

Wild Card Team #2 vs. Atlantic Division Winner

New Jersey Devils vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Players to Watch: F Taylor Hall and G Andrei Vasilevskiy

Who Wins: Lightning in 6 games

Atlantic Division #3 vs. Atlantic Division #2

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins

Players to Watch: F Nazem Kadri and F Brad Marchand

Who Wins: Bruins in 7 games

Wild Card Team #1 vs. Metropolitan Division Winner

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Washington Capitals

Players to Watch: D Seth Jones and D John Carlson

Who Wins: Capitals in 6 games

Metropolitan Division #3 vs. Metropolitan Division #2

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Players to Watch: F Jakub Voracek and F Evgeni Malkin

Who Wins: Penguins in 7 games

Western Conference

Wild Card Team #2 vs. Central Division Winner

Colorado Avalanche vs. Nashville Predators

Players to Watch: D Tyson Barrie and G Pekka Rinne

Who Wins: Predators in 5 games

Central Division #3 vs. Central Division #2

Minnesota Wild vs. Winnipeg Jets

Players to Watch: F Jason Zucker and G Connor Hellebuyck

Who Wins: Jets in 6 games

Wild Card Team #1 vs. Pacific Division Winner

Los Angeles Kings vs. Vegas Golden Knights

Players to Watch: F Anze Kopitar and F William Karlsson

Who Wins: Golden Knights in 7 games

Pacific Division #3 vs. Pacific Division #2

San Jose Sharks vs. Anaheim Ducks

Players to Watch: G Martin Jones and G John Gibson

Who Wins: Ducks in 6 games

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Stanley Cup Prediction

Eastern Conference

1. Montreal Canadiens vs. 4. Ottawa Senators

2. Toronto Maple Leafs vs. 3. Tampa Bay Lightning

1. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 4. Columbus Blue Jackets

2. Washington Capitals vs. 3. New York Rangers

Western Conference

1. Chicago Blackhawks vs. 4. Dallas Stars

2. Nashville Predators vs. 3. St. Louis Blues

1. Anaheim Ducks vs. 4. Minnesota Wild

2. Edmonton Oilers vs. 3. Calgary Flames

Conference Finals

Canadiens over Penguins

Oilers over Predators

Stanley Cup Finals

Oilers over Canadiens

Pacific Division

1. Anaheim Ducks

You can’t argue with their results the last few seasons.

2. Edmonton Oilers

The roster is stacked and they are ready to take the next step.

3. Calgary Flames

It’s time for them to put it all together and make some noise in the playoffs.

4. Los Angeles Kings

A slight hiccup last year, but there is still plenty of talent left on this veteran group.

5. San Jose Sharks

A solid core remains, but so many teams improved in the Western Conference.

6. Arizona Coyotes

The young core is starting to develop and that could spell trouble for the teams at the top of the division.

7. Vegas Golden Knights

The newest NHL franchise will look to be competitive in their inaugural season.

8. Vancouver Canucks

A new coach hopefully means new life being put back into this franchise. Continue reading “Pacific Division”

Central Division

1. Chicago Blackhawks

The deepest roster in the Western Conference should keep them in the conversation for Cup contenders.

2. Nashville Predators

Last years Cup run was no fluke. They’ll remain favorites to return.

3. St. Louis Blues

Plenty of talent to go around, but that salary cap is going to start collapsing on them.

4. Minnesota Wild

There’s plenty of fire power on offense, but do they have enough to stop opponents come playoff time?

5. Dallas Stars

A few major acquisitions has them knocking on the door of clinching a playoff berth.

6. Winnipeg Jets

Playing in a tough division has them remaining near the bottom of the conference.

7. Colorado Avalanche

They’ll need to decide soon who will remain for their inevitable roster rebuild. Continue reading “Central Division”

Atlantic Division

1. Montreal Canadiens

As long as Carey Price remains in net, they will remain atop the division.

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

The young core is getting better at a rapid pace.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning

With the return of Steven Stamkos, Tampa has their sights set on a Cup run.

4. Ottawa Senators

Their playoff run last year was something to marvel. Time to see if they can go further.

5. Boston Bruins

The youth movement has begun in Boston.

6. Buffalo Sabres

Another head coaching change means the Sabres have to get on track quickly.

7. Florida Panthers

A disappointing season means lower expectations, which could bode well for this young, but talented group.

8. Detroit Red Wings

Moving into a new arena always brings optimism, but it will be hard to overlook their flaws. Continue reading “Atlantic Division”