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NHL Playoff Prediction Post

Well here we are...the postseason...the second season...the promised land

And to all of our come your Vancouver Canucks! There were 4 of us at the start of the year who did not believe this team was playoff capable and questioned how long this team could stay competitive. Hell, I wondered if Petey would even be around by the tradeline. Instead, now we are talking about how far we think this team can go.

Before we start dreaming about the Canucks playing in what Francesco calls "The Money Round!", let's look at the other series that are there to watch on off nights.

New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals

Game 1: Capitals at Rangers -- Sunday, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, TVAS, MSG, MNMT)
Game 2: Capitals at Rangers -- April 23, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, TVAS, SNE, SNO, SNW)
Game 3: Rangers at Capitals -- April 26, 7 p.m. ET (TNT, truTV, MAX, SN360, TVAS)
Game 4: Rangers at Capitals -- April 28, 8 p.m. ET (TBS, truTV, MAX, SN360, TVAS, SNE, SNO, SNP)
Game 5: Capitals at Rangers -- May 1, TBD
Game 6: Rangers at Capitals -- May 3, TBD
Game 7: Capitals at Rangers -- May 5, TBD

Westy: Start spreading the news...Messier sucks...nevermind. The Caps snuck into the playoffs in their last game and get the pleasure of playing the best team in the East. This might be a bad thing for Ovie, as the teams split the season 2-2, with the home team winning every game. Playoff hockey is all about the special teams, which the Rangers have. You could also go with the theory that the hot team has the advantage going into the playoffs....Rangers again. Or you could just go with the better team.....Rangers in 5.

jimmi: In all the excitement, drama and inflated expectations of the West being the Best, I may haven forgotten the Best of the West still has to play the leftovers from the east. It's not fair! Actually, I'd be just fine if the NHL was actually two distinct leagues - the WnHL and the EnHL. And met once every 4 to 10 years for some sort of hockey summit thingie. But, again, the NHL doesn't care about my preferences. So... Caps aren't last year's Panthers, no upset prediction. Rags in 5.

Kent- At first glance, you'd think that the Capitals would be hard-pressed to even win a game in this one. Of the 16 teams that qualified for the dance this year, the Caps are by and large the worst of the bunch, and it would be reasonable to expect the team in first to have no problem here. The thing is, the Rangers are giving off real 2023 Boston Bruins vibes. That's not to suggest that the Caps are this year's Florida Panthers, but a) this is not going to be the cake walk everyone thinks it is, and b) the Rangers won't get much further. Rangers in 7.

Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Game 1: Lightning at Panthers -- Sunday - Panters Win 3-2
Game 2: Lightning at Panthers -- April 23, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2, SN360, TVAS)
Game 3: Panthers at Lightning -- April 25, 7 p.m. ET (TBS, MAX, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Panthers at Lightning -- April 27, 5 p.m. ET (TBS, truTV, MAX, TVAS, SNE, SNW, SNP)
Game 5: Lightning at Panthers -- April 29, TBD
Game 6: Panthers at Lightning -- May 1, TBD
Game 7: Lightning at Panthers -- May 4, TBD

Westy - The Battle of Florida should be entertaining. Unlike last year, the Panthers didn't slink their way into the playoffs, while the aging Lightning played just good enough to get into the dance again. The Panthers had the 2-1 advantage in the season series and while the Lightning won the last meeting, I don't think the Lightning have a real chance against the Cats. The Tkachuk-Hubradeau trade looks more lopsided every day. I predict lots of goals and Panthers in 6.

jimmi: Again, I'm just not interested in Floridian hockey - and neither will our great grandchildren. One upside to global warming at least. Despise both teams equally. The Covid-Cuppers and Lu's SoBeach team of pastel flipflop wearing sun-stained hockey players. Ugh. With that distaste fresh in my thoughts, picking the Bolts in 7.

Kent- Pay no mind to Jimmi, as we've learned over the years he cares not a squirt for fun things. This series is going to be an absolute war. Both teams are loaded with offensive talent, strong defence, excellent goaltending and most of all, some thoroughly unlikable players on both sides. While we're going to get treated to some amazing playoff hockey, the team that emerges from this one isn't going to have much left for the second round and beyond. I do believe that Tampa's window is continuing to close, though, and it could be an interesting summer. Panthers in 7.

Boston Boouurrns vs Toronto Maple Laughs

Game 1: Maple Leafs at Bruins -- Saturday 8 p.m. 5-1 Boourns Win
Game 2: Maple Leafs at Bruins -- April 22, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 3: Bruins at Maple Leafs -- April 24, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, TVAS, CBC)
Game 4: Bruins at Maple Leafs -- April 27, 8 p.m. ET (TBS, truTV, MAX, SN, TVAS, CBC)
Game 5: Maple Leafs at Bruins -- April 30, TBD
Game 6: Bruins at Maple Leafs -- May 2, TBD
Game 7: Maple Leafs at Bruins -- May 4, TBD

Westy - This yearly event must brings night sweats to Leaf fans. The Bruins had their own nightmare last year after winning the President's Trophy and getting knocked out in the first round. This should be a "good" series between two teams that I hope lose. Like always, if the Bruins can stop Matthews, they can win the series...sounds simple. Boston swept the season series, and I think the have the system to get rid of the COTU. Bruins in 6

jimmi: It just keeps getting more disgusting. I predict I won't loathe Porn-Stache's team any less if they win, nor detest the Ratchand's last swipe at the CoTU, but the later team is more likely to 'advance' only to be eliminated in the 2nd round. So... Boooins in 7... despite the Laffs leading 6-0 in the 3rd period of that fateful game.

Kent- Remember back to the last time we were actually excited about this team, and the Canucks had to go up against the Chicago Blackhawks for a third time? The dragon was slain, and we got to witness a pretty amazing playoff run. I'm not saying that the Leafs are destined for greatness, as they're still in need of better goaltending and have bottom of the roster gaps that need to be filled. They are however, playing against a Boston team that isn't quite the same as the one that has haunted them three times previous. It won't be easy, but much like the Canucks in 2011, they'll finally slay their dragon and move forward. Leafs in 7.

Carolina Hurricanes vs New York Islanders

Game 1: Islanders at Hurricanes -- Saturday - Canes Win 3-1
Game 2: Islanders at Hurricanes -- April 22, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2, SN360, TVAS)
Game 3: Hurricanes at Islanders -- April 25, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2, SN360, TVAS)
Game 4: Hurricanes at Islanders -- April 27, 2 p.m. ET (TBS, truTV, MAX, SN, TVAS)
Game 5: Islanders at Hurricanes -- April 30, TBD
Game 6: Hurricanes at Islanders -- May 2, TBD
Game 7: Islanders at Hurricanes -- May 4, TBD

Westy - Bo is 2 for 2 when it comes to getting into the playoffs. Unfortunately, his team will also get knocked out early for the 2nd year in a row. The Islanders were 2-2 against the Canes, but Freddy Andersen is back and Brind Amour will have that neutral zone trap ready to bore the fans to death and beat down Barzal and Bo. Canes in 5

jimmi: Another pair of teams in the east that I neither care about or follow. Sure, have some sentimental Bo feelings and some unfulfilled Guentzelling to deal with - really PA? Did you even try? Sure does look like the Canes in 6 from the disgruntled outside.

Kent- Carolina's the team to beat in the East, and while they're not without their weaknesses, Rod Brind'Amour's squad are built for the post-season. They're up against an Islanders squad that had to grind to get into the playoffs, and while they're not going to be swept, they're no match for the Bunch of Jerks. Canes in 5.

Winnipeg Jets vs Colorado Avalanche

Game 1: Avalanche at Jets -- Sunday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2, SN, TVAS)
Game 2: Avalanche at Jets -- April 23, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 3: Jets at Avalanche -- April 26, 10 p.m. ET (TNT, truTV, MAX, CBC, TVAS)
Game 4: Jets at Avalanche -- April 28, 2:30 p.m. ET (TNT, truTV, MAX, SN, TVAS)
Game 5: Avalanche at Jets -- April 30, TBD
Game 6: Jets at Avalanche -- May 2, TBD
Game 7: Avalanche at Jets -- May 4, TBD

Westy - On paper, this might be a great series....of course on paper the Avs might also be overmatched. The Jets dominated the Avs this year, going 3-0 with a combined score of 17-4. Both teams are fast, but Winnipeg is a team that will finish all their checks and may even start some before they finish the first one. What I like about this series is one great team is going home. Having the best goalie in the league (sorry Canuck fans) gives Winnipeg a distinct advantage. Jets in 6

jimmi: Well... finally we make it to the interesting part of the playoffs. Agree with Westy, whoever wins means one less good team to worry about. I no longer have any affiliation with the Avs - didn't before, but pretending to sound like it makes internet rumours so much fun. Besides, the Avs already got their 21st century Cup. Bastards! Have to go with Chicky's 2nd fav team, Jets in 7.

Kent- After the Canucks, the Jets were one of the surprises in the NHL this season. They're pretty similar, apart from a stingier defence, and have a goaltender in Connor Hellebuyck who seems like he was born for a long Stanley Cup run. It's a shame that they're going to have to go up against the Colorado Avalanche, just two years past their Cup win and still very much a threat. As good as the Jets are on defence, I can see Nathan MacKinnon feasting on them. Avalanche in 6.

Edmonton Oilers vs Los Angeles Kings

Game 1: Kings at Oilers -- April 22, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 2: Kings at Oilers -- April 24, 10 p.m. ET (TBS, MAX, SN, TVAS, CBC)
Game 3: Oilers at Kings -- April 26, 10:30 p.m. ET (TBS, MAX, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Oilers at Kings -- April 28, 10:30 p.m. ET (TBS, truTV, MAX, SN, SN1, TVAS)
Game 5: Kings at Oilers -- May 1, TBD
Game 6: Oilers at Kings -- May 3, TBD
Game 7: Kings at Oilers -- May 5, TBD

Westy - I approve of this series. If there is a team that can play a stifling type of playoff defense that could frustrate McDavid, it's LA. Now having said that, the Oilers have a lot of weapons at their disposal besides McDavid. The Oilers have a top 5 PP and the Kings have the #2 PK. I believe the goaltending edge goes to the Kings. I usually don't watch other teams, but this series might make me go back after the Nucks game and take a peek. I am wishing for a Kings victory, but cold hard stats point at the Oilers moving on. Oilers in 6

jimmi: Finally. I get to disagree with Westy. Again. There's no fun in watching either of these teams play. Not the LA 'no hockey' form of hockey, nor the cyber-McD-legs darting here are there around/through the stifling one-three-one. I'm not wishing for a victory for either team. Just a tough series that wears down the winning team. Which is the Oil in 7.

Kent- Forget what the regular season told us about Los Angeles: they might be the biggest frauds of the sweet 16 this year. And while I'm not entirely sold on the Oilers turn-around with new Head Coach Chris Knoblauch, the Kings don't have what it takes to stop McDavid, Draisaitl and company. Oilers in 5.

Dallas Stars vs Lost Vegas Gollum Knights

Game 1: Golden Knights at Stars -- April 22, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN360, TVAS, FX)
Game 2: Golden Knights at Stars -- April 24, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 3: Stars at Golden Knights -- April 27, 10:30 p.m. ET (TBS, truTV, MAX, SN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 4: Stars at Golden Knights -- April 29, TBD
Game 5: Golden Knights at Stars -- May 1, TBD
Game 6: Stars at Golden Knights -- May 3, TBD
Game 7: Golden Knights at Stars -- May 5, TBD

Westy - Does anyone else feel that Vegas has done something dirty and wanted this matchup? Will anyone be surprised when Mark Stone strolls out of the dressing room for game 1? The Stars did a lot of good things to get #1 overall in the Western conference only to face a Vegas team that beat them 3 times this year. While I pointed to stats to predict a winner in the Edm/LA series, I am going the opposite with this series. The stats lie. Vegas always finds a way into the playoffs, even when they play mediocre like this year, and then they are able to hit playoff mode and win. And when Vegas beats Dallas, they will face a team in Col or Winn, who they also have a winning record against. Cheaters. Vegas in 5

jimmi: Sorry, Westy, it's not cheating when you're the house. The house that bribed its way past the cost accountants in Gary's employ and bent the 'rules' for a new franchise. Iron Spleen Stone will return in game 2, to portray a semi-miraculous recovery narrative - one as true and tall as the Eiffel Tower - of Vegas. Doesn't matter. I predict that hockey karma - which is like a Hindu Hockey Gawd story - will see the Nighties getting beaten by not just the Stars, but their own sleazy hubris. Stars in 6.

Kent- It can take a while, but bastards always get what's coming to them. And Uncle Gary's Little Darlings and the NHL's most obnoxious fan base are going to know what actual playoff misery is like this year as they get exposed by a very good Dallas squad. It's gonna be tough to knock off the Stars as they start their quest for a second Cup, but they won't have to worry much about the defending champs. Stars in 6.

Vancouver Canucks vs Nashville Predators

Game 1: Predators at Canucks -- Sunday, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 2: Predators at Canucks -- April 23, 10 p.m. ET ( ESPN2, SN, TVAS)
Game 3: Canucks at Predators -- April 26, 7:30 p.m. ET (TBS, MAX, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Canucks at Predators -- April 28, 5 p.m. ET (TBS, truTV, MAX, SN, TVAS)
Game 5: Predators at Canucks -- April 30, TBD
Game 6: Canucks at Predators -- May 3, TBD
Game 7: Predators at Canucks -- May 5, TBD

Westy - I asked for this series. I liked Vancouver's chances against a Preds team that they beat every time this year. i like playing against a team that has worse special teams numbers than the Nucks. I like playing against a team that went 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. And I like the fact that there is no shootout in playoff. I don't like playing against a Preds team that hits anything and everything on the ice, especially if the refs lose their whistles. I don't like playing against guys Forsberg, Josi and O'Reilly in the playoffs. I don't like playing in Nashville. I don't like whatever refs they assign to this series. Since I asked for this series, I guess I better be optimistic about our chances. Canucks in 6

jimmi: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Also WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The outcome of this series is uncertain, but WOOOOOOOOOOO! We're in a playoff series!!! Sure, I would have preferred Nucks meet and beat the Yotes in the Mullet. In a SCP series. Just to rub a little sand in Gary's 28 year money-losing desert fever dream. However, I'm happy to watch the Nucks play in any SCP game in the ROG. It's been so long, I don't even recall what SCP stands for, except something something about owner profits. And it's about time our poor down-trodden billionaire owner recoups some of his lost ego-strokes. With that vital priority in mind, Nucks in 7 with an extra home game to feed the NHL greed machine's furthest outpost. And to give NM Playoff gamethreaders the anxiety boost they have longed for since 2012... 2011.

(Disclaimer: Prefer the Nucks sweep the Preds, but that denies extra profit - and Franny has to cover that extra $92M on the books)

Kent- As fun as it was to have that little jaunt in the bubble back in 2020, I don't feel like that counted. It's been 9 years since the Canucks hosted a playoff game in Rogers Arena, and it's a fine reward for a team that is the biggest surprise in the NHL this season, as well as a fan base that was patient through years of utterly inept management and coaching. They're up against a team that looked like they were destined for lottery pick a couple months ago: the Nashville Predators. And while it's hard not to be impressed with the run Nashville had, they did it against mostly teams who aren't in the playoffs, struggling against true contenders. It's not that they're bad, but they're more like their overall record than the way they played in the final two months of the regular season. After getting a taste in 2020, JT, Brock, Demko, Petey and Huggy Bear get to show this management team that keeping the core together and giving them a better supporting cast was the right thing to do. This team plays much like their Head Coach Rick Tocchet did back in his prime, and while it's a legit surprise they're here, it's time to show the doubters this team is actually good. Canucks in 5.

Let us know what you think about these series! Don't you dare pick the fucking Preds to win.


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