The first round of the 2019 NHL Playoffs begins on Wednesday, April 10th. Here are my thoughts on how everything is going to go down. Take what I am about to write to Vegas and go all in guys, this is exactly what is going to happen.
FLAMES-AVALANCHE - FLAMES IN 4
Calgary is far too good a team to lose to the likes of Colorado. The Avalanche managed to squeak into the Wild Card spot but they only have one strong scoring line which will be stifled quickly by Calgary.
PREDATORS-STARS - PREDATORS IN 6
Similar to Colorado, Dallas is good, but not nearly good enough to go toe to toe with Nashville. Nashville is also one of those teams that seems to find it's second gear the moment they hit the post-season.
BLUES-JETS - BLUES IN 7
St Louis is a scary good team. They had one of the best records in the NHL since January and have been rolling ever since. This is going to be in my opinion the most physically grueling series to watch but at the end of the day the Blues are going to come out on top.
SHARKS - GOLDEN KNIGHTS - GOLDEN KNIGHTS IN 6
At the beginning of the year I would have picked the Sharks to be in the Western Conference Final but through the home stretch the team have not looked sharp and they are going to get outskated by the Golden Knights. Goaltending is going to be the story in this one as Vegas has a brilliant goalie and the Sharks do not.
LIGHTNING-BLUE JACKETS - LIGHTNING IN 5
The Blue Jackets may have saved face by making it into the playoffs but unfortunately they have the misfortune of playing Tampa in Round 1. It's going to be over quickly.
BRUINS-MAPLE LEAFS - BRUINS IN 6
If Toronto can get off to a hot start they might be able to get some momentum and pull this one out, but the Leafs are not a very resilient team. Looking forward to the 60 or 70 articles that will be written questioning Babcock's future with the team after another first round exit.
CAPITALS-HURRICANES - HURRICANES IN 6
The Storm Surge are going to round two. Washington's production fell off a cliff over the last month of the season while the Hurricanes are coming in hot. This should be a fun series to watch.
ISLANDERS - PENGUINS - PENGUINS IN 4
Gut hunch tells me that this one is going to be over fast.
FLAMES-GOLDEN KNIGHTS - FLAMES IN 6
Who says that round two matchups aren't as good as round one? If the cards fall like I am predicting this could be the best series in the West. Calgary's superior offense gets it done for them.
PREDATORS-BLUES - BLUES IN 7
These playoffs are going to show how good the St Louis Blues actually are. They are going to have the toughest road in the West and I don't see any of their series not going the full 7 games.
LIGHTNING-BRUINS - LIGHTNING IN 5
Nuff said. Tampa is far too good for anyone in the East to give them a hard time.
HURRICANES-PENGUINS - HURRICANES IN 5
The Penguins as they always do, are going to lose one of their defensemen early on in this series.
FLAMES-BLUES - FLAMES IN 7
As I said before, the Blues are going to grind out their series as long as possible but their push for the Cup stops here against Calgary.
LIGHTNING-HURRICANES - LIGHTNING IN 4
This is where the Storm Surge ends. I don't have any new way to say this. Tampa is just far too good and can out pace any of the competition in the East.
STANLEY CUP FINAL
FLAMES-LIGHTNING - LIGHTNING IN 6
It's too good of a story to not imagine. The Calgary Flames return to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2004 and play against the same team they faced off against in the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa is far too good to not predict going all the way, unless a hot goaltender steals the show, Tampa is the clear cut favourite.
What say the rest of you? What are your Playoff Predictions?