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2018-19 NHL Playoff Predictions

John Turnbull

Posted on October 7, 2018 20:24

1 user

Don't spend your savings in Vegas on these bets, this year is a tough call.

Fool's errands. My dad used to send me out on those for a laugh - like getting a metric crescent wrench from the garage. As I grew up I swore I wouldn't go on those again, yet here I go; making early NHL playoff predictions.  The biggest thing to bear in mind when attempting this particular fool's errand is that despite the pundits' stat-laden assurances, talent and solid line-ups can never trump under-performance, luck and injuries.

One of the best indicators I've learned for making these ridiculously inaccurate predictions is to find out which teams have the most players in their prime and are in the last year of their contracts. With that piece of research in mind, here are my playoff calls, with no particular order in how they finish:

Western Conference

San Jose Sharks - The addition of Karlsson rejuvenates the grey-beards.

Colorado - Young team on the move with great young defensive core.

Las Vegas Knights - They won't get as far, but Pacioretty helps.

Nashville Predators - Perennially, almost boringly, play-off bound.

Winnipeg Jets - Still won't go all the way and need another over-performance from Hellebuyck.

Dallas Stars - They never go long before squeaking back in to the hunt.

Edmonton Oilers - They trade for a real goalie mid-season and make a late-season push.

Minnesota Wild - Their boring style of play still lulls teams to sleep.

CONFERENCE FINAL: Winnipeg Jets vs. San Jose Sharks

WINNER: San Jose Sharks

Eastern Conference

Boston Bruins - Still a good, solid core. Need to stay injury-free.

Tampa Bay Lightning - No longer need a healthy Stamkos to compete.

Toronto Maple Leafs - Babcock almost has his team in place.

Washington Capitals - They'll sneak in again, but no mojo left to repeat.

Florida Panthers - I know, 2 teams from Florida? Meh.

Philadelphia Flyers - The Broadstreet Bullies are back, baby!

New Jersey Devils - Hall leads teams better out of the spotlight.

Columbus Blue Jackets - Although Tortorella's teams usually self-destruct after a few seasons, young talent will knock out Pittsburgh.

CONFERENCE FINAL: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

WINNER: Tampa Bay Lightning

And... drum roll, please... the Stanley Cup goes to: TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

Please don't send death threats through Twitter if you bet on these predictions and lose. Enjoy what should be a great season, everyone!

John Turnbull

Posted on October 7, 2018 20:24


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