Predictions: Lead-Up to the Stanley Cup


Logo courtesy of the NHL.

Like basketball fans, hockey fans look forward to April and May because it is the beginning of the NHL Playoffs where 16 of the league’s 32 teams battle to hoist the historic Stanley Cup. 

The top three teams from each division plus two wildcard teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs. The first round of the playoffs consists of four seven-game series in each conference, where the first team to win four games wins the series and moves on to the next round. 

The divisions in the Eastern Conference are the Atlantic and Metropolitan.

In the Atlantic Division, the series is as follows: the #1 seed Florida Panthers play the second Wild Card, Washington Capitals, the #2 seed Toronto Maple Leafs play the #3 seed back to back reigning Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning. 

In the Metropolitan Division, the #1 seed Carolina Hurricanes play the first Wild Card, your hometown Boston Bruins, and lastly, the #2 seed New York Rangers play the #3 seed Pittsburg Penguins.  

The Divisions in the Western Conference are the Central and Pacific. 

The series is as follows: in the Central Division: the #1 seed Colorado Avalanche plays the second Wild Card, Nashville Predators, and the #2 seed Minnesota Wild plays the #3 seed St. Louis Blues. 

In the Pacific Divison, the #1 seed Calgary Flames play the first Wild Card, Dallas Stars and the #2 seed Edmonton Oilers play the #3 seed Los Angles Kings. 

On May 1, before the playoffs began, ESPN Insider Greg Wyshynski released his predictions for every playoff series, with my favorite team, the Florida Panthers, raising the cup after beating the Minnesota Wild four games to two. 

The first round of the playoffs is currently underway with the Colorado Avalanche the only team who has clinched their spot in the second round with their 4 games to 0 victory over the Nashville Predators.

My Predictions

In the Atlantic Division, I’m predicting the Florida Panthers to beat the Washington Capitols four games to two, and the Toronto Maple Leafs to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning four games to three.

In the Metropolitan Division, I’m predicting Carolina Hurricanes to beat your hometown Boston Bruins four games to three, and the Pittsburgh Penguins to beat the New York Rangers four games to two.

In the Central Division, I’m predicting the Minnesota Wild to beat the St. Louis Blues four games to three.

In the Pacific Divison, I will pick a major upset with the Dallas Stars beating the Calgary Flames four games to three and the Los Angeles Kings beating the Edmonton Oilers four games to three.

Moving on to the next round, in the Eastern Conference Finals, I think the Panthers will beat the Carolina Hurricanes four games to two and advance to the Stanley Cup finals for only the second time in the program’s history.

In the Western Conference, the Avalanche beat the Los Angeles Kings four games to two to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. 

Lastly, I’m predicting the Florida Panthers to beat the Colorado Avalanche four games to three and hoist the Stanley Cup above the team who beat them in their only other Stanley Cup appearance.

This poll has ended.

Who will raise the Stanley Cup?


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