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2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Thread

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My predictions for the first round:

Nashville vs. Colorado: Predators are a legit Cup contender. Killer D and goaltending. Avs are just lucky to be there. Too much is placed on MacKinnon's shoulders. Nashville in 5.

Winnipeg vs. Minnesota: Jets are just too strong up front. Suter is out for the Wild. Never believed in Dubnyk. Winnipeg in 5.

Kings vs. Vegas: Kings have been able to do something few other teams have- earn a .500 or better record against the Knights. Vegas has overachieved during the regular season. The playoffs are a different story. The clock strikes midnight Cinderella. Kings in 6.

Sharks vs. Ducks: San Jose was 1-5 in their last 6 games to end the season. They blew home ice advantage in the first round. The Ducks have been basically the same team for years with nothing to show for it. Should be a good 7 game series. I should pick Ducks, but I am going with the Sharks.

TB vs. NJ: This should be an easy series for the Lightning. They are better in every category. The only first round sweep. Tampa Bay in 4.

Boston vs.Toronto: Leafs are still too green. Boston is the 2nd best team in the East. Remember 2013? Bruins won't need a Toronto choke job to clinch. Boston in 6.

Capitals vs. BJ's: Until Columbus actually accomplishes something, I just can't pick them to win a playoff series. Capitals are basically the Sharks of the East: always invited to the Prom, but never gets to be Queen. They'll at least make the 2nd round this year before crashing. Washington in 7.

Pens vs. Flyers: Clash in the Keystone State. Philly's goaltending is too suspect. Penguins shouldn't have any issues scoring.Pittsburgh is the 2 time defending Champs seeking a third. Sorry Wings fans, no more draft improvement from the Mrazek trade. Penguins in 5.

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Tampa in 5 - Tampa is just too good. Could see them having an off game somewhere in here and Hall & fiends taking advantage of it though, so no sweep.

Boston in 6 - I think Boston has what it takes to shut down Toronto’s young stars and that’ll be enough in a low scoring grindy series.

Caps in 6 - Bobrovsky could steal a game or two and if Columbus stays out of penalty trouble, they could have a shot. I think the caps power play will be too much to overcome here though.

Phillayyy in 7 - Ok, I can admit this one is more of what I want to see than what I think will happen :P but I do think it’ll be a closer series than a lot of people think. Hopefully Murray does his best Fleury impression. 

Preds in 4 - Preds take care of the Avs easily. I don’t see the Avs stacking up well against the Preds in any category. 

Jets in 4 - Jets, like the Preds, take care of Minny easily. The loss of Suter proves to be too much and the Jets/Preds set up what should be the most exciting second round series, with both teams well rested. 

Kings in 7 - Kings have the experience to make a solid playoff push whenever they make it to the post season. This experience proves to be enough, but Vegas doesn’t go down without a fight. There’s a chance this series ends up being the most exciting of round one. Perhaps it sets the stage for a regional rivalry between the two? 

Sharks in 7 - This will be another hard fought series. A lot of me picking this going to 7 games is dependent on Gibson getting back for game one. If he misses a good chunk of it, this series could be over quickly. If he’s healthy though, it’s a bit of a toss up and I like the Sharks better so I’ll go with them. 

 

Now the NHL can completely blow up my bracket, let’s go! :D 

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Pittsburgh is easily going to make it out of their bracket IMO.. Washington is a fraud team this year. Columbus not quite good enough yet. 

Pittsburgh/Boston/Tampa/Nashville. I can't see a cup winner other than these 4 teams.

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2 hours ago, shocky2002 said:

Can't remember the last classic playoff series. Maybe Kings/Blackhawks in 2014. NHL postseason is so overrated.

Feels very set-up now. 2 california teams, 2 Pennsylvania teams...yawn. 

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6 hours ago, kylee said:

Feels very set-up now. 2 california teams, 2 Pennsylvania teams...yawn. 

3 cali teams* 

or do you mean facing each other? You can blame the “divisional rounds” format for that. 

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11 hours ago, shocky2002 said:

Pittsburgh is easily going to make it out of their bracket IMO.. Washington is a fraud team this year. Columbus not quite good enough yet. 

Pittsburgh/Boston/Tampa/Nashville. I can't see a cup winner other than these 4 teams.

I can't ever remember a team getting so many easy matchups in a playoff run as the Pens have these past couple years.  Last year was especially easy.  First round this year, they have the team that they've pretty much owned since they drafted Crosby.  They'll likely end up facing the Caps again and we all know how that'll go.  The Caps just aren't built for the playoffs.  Its incredible how easy their path is for the third straight year.  Whomever would give them a problem always gets knocked out by someone else.  That was even the case back in 2009 when Boston and NJ (both teams did really well against the Pens that year in the regular season) were both knocked out by Carolina and then the Pens just swept them.  Remember back in the day when we'd have to beat a heavily stacked Colorado and Dallas teams just to make it to the Finals?  

Sorry, ranting here, its not the Pens fault, they can't control who they play, but its just maddening to see them get these kinds of breaks over and over again.  Boston or TB could give them a tough matchup, but I just know NJ will knock both of them out after two long brutal 7 games series with several multiple OT games and the Pens will just tear right through them to the Finals again and face a 6,7 or 8 seed from the West.

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14 minutes ago, xtrememachine1 said:

I can't ever remember a team getting so many easy matchups in a playoff run as the Pens have these past couple years.  Last year was especially easy.  First round this year, they have the team that they've pretty much owned since they drafted Crosby.  They'll likely end up facing the Caps again and we all know how that'll go.  The Caps just aren't built for the playoffs.  Its incredible how easy their path is for the third straight year.  Whomever would give them a problem always gets knocked out by someone else.  That was even the case back in 2009 when Boston and NJ (both teams did really well against the Pens that year in the regular season) were both knocked out by Carolina and then the Pens just swept them.  Remember back in the day when we'd have to beat a heavily stacked Colorado and Dallas teams just to make it to the Finals?  

Sorry, ranting here, its not the Pens fault, they can't control who they play, but its just maddening to see them get these kinds of breaks over and over again.  Boston or TB could give them a tough matchup, but I just know NJ will knock both of them out after two long brutal 7 games series with several multiple OT games and the Pens will just tear right through them to the Finals again and face a 6,7 or 8 seed from the West.

Huh?  Pens and Caps in round 2 last year was stupid in my mind.....I think they were the top 2 teams in the east....meeting so early.  I'm sure the Pens would have loved to not face the President's trophy winners.

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1 minute ago, toby91_ca said:

Huh?  Pens and Caps in round 2 last year was stupid in my mind.....I think they were the top 2 teams in the east....meeting so early.  I'm sure the Pens would have loved to not face the President's trophy winners.

The Caps aren't a good playoff team.  They've proven this year after year.  The Presidents Trophy means nothing because playoff hockey is different kind of game and the Caps are average at best, not a typical Presidents Trophy caliber team.  The Pens have almost always beaten the Caps in the playoffs, dating back to Lemieux.  They have no fear facing a team that always finds a way to lose in the playoffs.

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5 hours ago, amato said:

3 cali teams* 

or do you mean facing each other? You can blame the “divisional rounds” format for that. 

Yeah I mean the divisional round seeding 

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7 hours ago, xtrememachine1 said:

The Caps aren't a good playoff team.  They've proven this year after year.  The Presidents Trophy means nothing because playoff hockey is different kind of game and the Caps are average at best, not a typical Presidents Trophy caliber team.  The Pens have almost always beaten the Caps in the playoffs, dating back to Lemieux.  They have no fear facing a team that always finds a way to lose in the playoffs.

Lol what a clueless post. The Caps dominated the series last year but lost because of MAF. You think last year's Caps team became 'average' because OMG its the playoffs, sorry, but that's just idiocy. 

Edited by shocky2002

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1 hour ago, shocky2002 said:

Lol what a clueless post. The Caps dominated the series last year but lost because of MAF. You think last year's Caps team became 'average' because OMG its the playoffs, sorry, but that's just idiocy. 

Pot calling the kettle black...

Last time I checked, the goaltender was still part of the team. Takes a whole group. 

They fail when the pressure is on. Doesn't matter how.  They have not got it done. Period.

 

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