My NHL Playoff First Round Predictions (aka, Taking Everyone Else’s Picks And Flipping One)

I was planning to do a lengthy “NHL Playoff Preview” post for today, but redundant features like ESPN’s Expert Pixxz (spelling mine) just drain all the prognosticating life out of me. ESPN has six experts predicting eight NHL Playoff series, and of the 48 total selected outcomes, not a single one is a series sweep, and 5 of the 8 series are picked across-the-board identically (an astonishing SEVEN if you discount Barry Melrose’s Flyers & Ducks predictions).

To be fair, I’m not willing to unleash a bevy of sport-shattering first round upsets myself, but seriously, ESPN assembles six experts to debate eight series in the least predictable postseason after baseball’s, and five of the six people pick seven of eight series the same? Not that I’d prefer people taking random upsets for the hell of it, but surely some people have some differing opinions out there, right?

I’ll at least differ from the masses on these three predictions:

— Bruins will sweep the Canadiens. There’s at least one sweep almost every year, but people avoid predicting them because you look like a way bigger A-hole if you pick a sweep and the other team wins the series versus picking a five game series and the other team winning.

— Flames over the Blackhawks in seven. Not super-confident about the way Calgary’s played the last couple months, but they’re more physical than Chicago, better defensively, far better in goal, and far more experienced than the Hawks, at least to the point where six out of six analysts all independently picking the Blackhawks is just bewildering.

— I’ll even go as far as to sign my own death warrant — wait a sec, gonna make sure I can edit posts a week after they’ve been published…I can? Ok cool — most people appear to be taking the Pens over the Flyers in 7, with a couple outlaws taking Pens in 6 or Flyers in 7, but I’m gonna go ahead and…here goes… take the Penguins in 5. The Flyers have arguably been in an even worse funk than Jersey over the past month, they still have major problems on defense, Marty Biron was dominant in the last Pens/Flyers NBC game but I can’t see that happening over a full seven game series, and the Pens come into the series hotter than any team besides Carolina, they can match the Flyers’ physicality with Staal, Kunitz, Cooke, and Guerin, their penalty killing is massively improved, they’ve played dominantly at home for the past two months, and I think this could finally be a series for Fleury to make a name for himself. The only way I see the Pens losing is if their power play completely sputters and/or they give up some shorthanded goals, which is…actually really likely. Ahhh screw this, I hate picking things before I know what they are. And with that…

EAST

1) Bruins over 8 ) Canadiens in 4

2) Capitals over 7) Rangers in 6

6) Hurricanes over 3) Devils in 6

4) Penguins over 5) Flyers in 5

WEST

1) Sharks over 8 ) Ducks in 7

2) Red Wings over 7) Blue Jackets in 6

3) Canucks over 6) Blues in 6

5) Flames over 4) Blackhawks in 7

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One Response to “My NHL Playoff First Round Predictions (aka, Taking Everyone Else’s Picks And Flipping One)”

  1. Wild John Says:

    First time here- great blog! And you are looking like a genius with your Boston and – dare I say it- Pens picks. 5 hours will tell.

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