Official 2018 NHL Playoffs Thread

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…no not Christmas you capitalist pig, it’s time for playoff hockey!!

PREDICTIONS:

ROUND 1 EC: Tampa Bay has faltered lately, Kucherov isn’t the monster he was in the first half of the season and Vasilievisky looks like a pylon half the time now. New Jersey and Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall will dispatch them in the first round but not without a fight. Boston will avoid a repeat of the 2013 nail biter (and second-greatest comeback in Boston sports history) by eliminating the Maple Leafs in a 6-gamer. Toronto’s two wins will come as OT flukes. Washington and Columbus’ series will seem closer than the 4-2 series margin thanks to plentiful OT games, but CBJ’s playoff woes will continue as Ovechkin torches Bobrovsky. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia will be the most exciting first-round matchup, and will mirror the last time these two met. The series will be a high-scoring affair, as Philadelphia’s youth and speed will overpower the inconsistent Matt Murray, while Crosby and co. put puck after puck past the pads of Brian Elliott.

ROUND 1 WC: While Colorado put on a good show to get into the playoffs, beating @smpratte’s beloved Blues, they will be no match for the well-oiled Predators machine. The Avalanche will look more like a brief spat of flurries as Eeli Tolvanen torches Jonathan Bernier multiple times in the series to announce his entry to the NHL. The Jets will finally make their presence known as a powerhouse, as Patrik Laine executes precise strikes on Devan Dubnyk. The key will be Mark Scheifele’s recovery from injury as he puts up heavy numbers in a sweep of Minnesota. Vegas, always the subject of questioning, will become apparent as the true real deal with an easy win over the Kings. Marc-Andre Fleury will be a brick wall and the Kings lack of depth beyond Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar will become apparent as Vegas’ bottom six win them the series with ease. San Jose’s depleted corps will become evident as the Ducks dispatch them in 5 games, on the backs of stellar performances from Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell. Evander Kane will try his best to get the Sharks to the second round but after several initial Ducks victories, his mind will wander to his future contract and he will miss several key defensive assignments in attempts to put up numbers.

Round 2 predictions at the conclusion of round 1…but here’s my full bracket!

Who do you think will win the cup this year?

My boy ovi needs a cup, caps are my second team behind Detroit (rip) and I hope they don’t choke again

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Vegas vs Tampa final.

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C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS.

Caps/Jackets. With that being said, zero expectations for us might just give us what we need. Guys heating up at the right time, riding a hot backup goalie with the beast on the bench. We all know Bob’s playoff history so hopefully he continues it and we squeak into the 2nd round. We leak goals, our D core is finally getting it somewhat together and recently our last 10 or so have been better. Need Trotz to toss guys like DPS out of the lineup and bring in some younger guys that are hungry and can actually produce… 5v5 we are pretty weak, so it’ll be close. Homer pick - Caps in 6.

Pens/Flyers - Who cares. Great D core on Flyers with Provo & Ghost then you have Giroux having a monster year. Sure their goalie situation might be an issue, but this could be a good series. Pens, Murray has been blah and their D is nothing to write home about. Letang will Letang, Flyers just have to stay out of the box and it could be them in 6.

Bolts/Devils - Vas has been overworked for a young guy and its showing. Stammer has his usual injuries and Kuch isn’t scoring 10 goals a game. Devils have a great young core, Hall is carrying those guys and Jojo is back from his concussion. They are quick and might surprise the bolts. If Kinky stays strong and Hall keeps it up, it will be a series. But having said that, bolts in 6.

Boston/Leafs - Top scoring line in the league vs those young guys. Matthews and company are creative and quick, but it really relies on Andersen. Boston will score and it will be a VERY fast paced series, I hate Marchand, but I will say Boston in 6.

Preds/Avs - Stacked D, stacked Center and Vezina goalie vs MacK. Okay, so Avs might have a LITTLE more than MacK, but he really took the team on his back and I don’t think they can compete. I would LOVE the Cinderella story of the AVs, but Preds in 5.

Wild/Jets - I like the Jets, like a lot. Ovi Jr, Bambi, Wheeler and Helle to name a few. Deadly on the PP and quick on the rush. Conner is going to be excited in his first Playoffs and has been going off. Wild are missing Suter and Dub has been pretty okay. I don’t think Staal can continue his production, so Jets in 5.

Knights/Kings - Love me some smiling Schmidt and wild bill crushing it. Kings have been no slouch and we all know what Quick is capable of…flailing around out of position and still making stupid saves. I think the time of them sleepwalking into the WC and reverse sweeping is over. IF MAF can keep up his career numbers and stay healthy, I am going with the Knights in 6.

Ducks/Sharks(aka caps west) - Sharks, plain and simple. If Kane keeps up his production and Burns becomes Burns of the playoffs, they have themselves a win. Ducks are no slouch and have the D to back it up, but Gibson needs to steal a game or two for them to go on. Sharks in 6.

Round 2

Bolts/Boston - Bolts in 6. No long writeup needed, I just think bolts have a more complete team.

Caps/Flyers - Homer pick, caps in 5. Firepower will be too much for whoever the flyers put in goal. We hope they will be somewhat beat up from the Pens series.

Preds/Jets - Cya Preds, Jets in 6. Not sure what version of Rinne we will get in the playoffs, but im banking on not the one right now. Jets will win on special teams.

Knights/Sharks - Sharks in 5. This is where the fairytale ends. Vegas cannot keep up the production (as ive told myself all year) They are relentless on the puck, but I feel they will be exposed in the first series against the kings enough for the sharks to exploit them.

EC/WC Finals

Caps/Bolts - Duh, Caps in 6. We actually play Tampa pretty well, if we can muck up the neutral we should be okay. If Vasi heats up, we could be in some trouble.

Sharks/Jets - Jets in 5. Jets will again be too quick for the sharks who will struggle to find the net.

SC FINALS

Caps/Jets - CAPS in 6. Ovi will FINALLY hoist the cup, Kuzy will make some joke and Backy will continue to be underrated. Holts will pickup Grubi’s slack after the 2nd round and have 2 shutouts in the finals. Laine will go cold Bambi won’t stop falling down. Helle will have played too many games and be exhausted.

THE END.

I REALLY like hockey and spend way to much time talking about it.

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Since my Rangers decided they wanted to hit the links instead of the ice this April I will be rooting for the Golden Knights. Quite the story they have been already and it would be awesome to see them take it all the way. Anyone who will stop Cindy from 3-peating I will take though. I see the Flyers may not be too keen on aiding in that effort though. Down 5-0 in the 2nd as I type.

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I would love to see Vegas win. They already showcase the beauty of sports; all the metrics and analytics don’t guarantee success.

@fourthstartcg The Bruins made some crazy trades. They definitely have the best 2007 roster. :wink:

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Gotta represent my hometown!

Before the Knights came to Vegas the Blue jackets were my team. I lived in Pickerington (near Columbus) and attended several games their first couple years. I was even at two memorable games. One good, one bad.
I was at their inaugural game first year and another game where a little girl was killed by a puck in the stands. I still have the programs.

Wow you attended the game where the girl was hit with he puck?! That was a freak accident. I remember that pretty vividly.

This needs a MLB predictions thread

Yes. I think I have the next days newspaper too. I didn’t realize it made the national news though.

I remember she died on my birthday though the game was a few days before.

Someone has to give the Canadian teams a little love in this thread.

Go Leafs Go!

@fourthstartcg AWESOME Prediction!

Would LOVE to see the Bruins take the Stanley Cup!

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Do they still play hockey up there?

Last I heard, our Prime Minister is thinking of making hand holding our new National Sport.

Mr. Trudeau could be onto something!

Is she still the prime minister? Imagine that.

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That gave me a good chuckle. Thanks Mr. Wonka!

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I thought Marchand would be the pest in this game but Kadri decided to take charge… That hit on Wingles should be a suspension.

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Definitely. Obviously I’m slightly biased but man, he boarded him once and then came back and did it again when he didn’t injure him the first time. He should be praying for a long suspension because his face has a date with Chara’s fists when he comes back.

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