NHL Playoff Prediction

Updated: April 13, 2016

Another NHL season has come and gone and the stage is set for another exciting two months of playoff hockey. Now it’s tie to break down each round and see who will win this year’s Stanley Cup.

Western Conference

1st Round

Dallas Stars vs. Minnesota Wild

The Stars finished the season atop the Central Division with 109 points and have one of the most potent offenses in the league. With star players like forwards Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, they will be a horrible match up for any opposing team’s defense. I believe this will come into play during this series and I see them being too much for Wild goalie Devin Dubnyk. The Stars will advance to next round in four games and sweep the Wild in dominate fashion.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues

The Central Division is by far the best in hockey seeing as how five of the eight teams from the Western Conference are from this division. The fact that the reigning Stanley Cup Champions aren’t the one seed speaks volumes about the division and its depth of talent. The Blackhawks elite offense will overtake St. Louis easily in five games. Forward Patrick Kane will lead the charge like he has all season and lead Chicago into the next round.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators

This is my favorite matchup out of the Western Conference because this is the only series I see lasting seven games. Don’t look too much into the seeding and the fact that Nashville is a four seed. The number is deceiving because the Predators are much better than that. However, Anaheim is a true one seed and are a balanced team that can hurt you on both offense and defense. Anaheim will outlast Nashville because of forwards like Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry who will carry them into the next round.

Los Angeles Kings vs San Jose Sharks

I see the Kings walking all over the Sharks rather easily and Los Angeles will sweep San Jose in four games. I can’t see the Sharks scoring enough against Jonathan Quick and this will be a quick and painless series…if you’re a Kings fan.

Eastern Conference

1st Round

Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Offense, offense, offense. That will be the story in this series. Even with quality goalies like Braden Holtby and Steve Mason, the offensive superstars of Alex Ovechkin and Claude Giroux will light the lamp countless times. The Capitals will win in five games and outscore the Flyers, proving they deserved the President’s Trophy.

New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Another classic two and three seeded match up. This is the only series that will go seven games out of the East. When the Penguins traded for Phil Kessel, I thought they would be a favorite going into this postseason and they definitely are. The trio of Kessel, Crosby, and Malkin (when he’s healthy again) arguably make for the best offensive core in the league. I think they will be too much for the aging New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist and the Penguins will outlast the Rangers in seven games.

Florida Panthers vs. New York Islanders  

The Panthers were without a doubt the biggest surprise team in the NHL. No one including myself saw them winning their division but the Cinderella story has to come to an end at some point, right? The Islanders are just the team to do that. With star forward John Tavares, I think New York will score heavy and often against an inexperienced Panthers team and upset the hockey world. They’ll win in five games.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings

With Pavel Datsyuk retiring and Steven Stamkos hurt, the real key question is which goalie will Detroit roll with? Whoever it is, all these side stories will make for a great series and the lowest scoring this postseason. Tampa isn’t good enough without Stamkos to compete with a healthy Detroit team for an entire series. Datsyuk will do everything in his power to go out a champion one more time. Detroit wins in five.

Western Conference

2nd Round

Dallas Stars vs Chicago Blackhawks

The biggest offenses going head-to-head in this series will cause it to be one of the highest scoring series in the playoffs, but I think Chicago is an all-around better team and they have Kane who led Chicago last year in the postseason. He’ll do it again as Chicago wins this one in six.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings

This series will be much more defensive compared to the other one out of the West and Quick will play lights out, shutting down the Anaheim offense and allowing the Kings to win in six.

Eastern Conference

2nd Round

Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

The classic Ovechkin v. Crosby match up will not disappoint. Ovechkin will give everything he’s got to try and outlast Sid the Kid. In the end, the Capitals will disappoint in the postseason like they do every year and fall to the Penguins in seven.

 New York Islanders vs. Detroit Red Wings

This series will be short and sweet without any substantial injuries to the Islanders. I see them moving through the Red Wings rather quickly and advancing to the next round in five games.

Western Conference Finals

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings

This is one of my favorite match ups. These two teams have represented the West for the last three years and nothing will change this year. Chicago is too good on both sides of the puck for Los Angeles to handle them throughout an entire series. Chicago will edge the Kings in seven and punch their ticket to the Finals.

Eastern Conference Finals

New York Islanders vs Pittsburgh Penguins

The Islanders dream season will continue as they will roll past the Penguins in five games. Tavares will lead the Islanders scoring six times this series and making a statement as they head to the Finals.

Stanley Cup Finals

Chicago Blackhawks vs. New York Islanders

Can Chicago defend the Stanley Cup? Can the Islanders cap the dream season with a Stanley Cup win? All these questions will be answered in Chicago’s favor because Kane and the Blackhawks’ overall talent depth will take over and thrash the Islanders in five games.

Stanley Cup Winners: Chicago Blackhawks

Conn Smythe Winner: Patrick Kane

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