With the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs getting ready to start, it's time for a well-worn tradition of WIIM staff farting around in the dark trying to pick the winners of the eight series to start things off. We're playing the WIIM Bracket Challenge too (and you should too! hint hint), but we wanted to take a quick look at the first round and see what we could come up with. Our results are as follows
Dallas Stars (1) vs. Minnesota Wild (8)
This won't be a very wild series, in more ways than one. - uvgt2bkdnme
No matter which team wins, Minnesota fans are going to be unbearable. - redwinger43
Results: The entire crew picked Dallas without a single person thinking it would take seven games. Most took five or six games, with five as the more-popular answer.
Anaheim Ducks (2) vs. Nashville Predators (7)
Dallas and Nashville have to travel north-south across the country. Winner of this east-west cross-country series is going to be mincemeat for the winner of California Round 1. - uvgt2bkdnme
Results: 80% in favor of the Ducks with the majority thinking the series would go six.
St. Louis Blues (2C) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (3C)
Winner advances, everyone else loses. - uvgt2bkdnme
I think this is finally the year the Blues get over the first round bump. Granted, I picked them to last year, but I really mean it this time! The Blues have been a force for most of the season and Chicago is not the team they have been in the past, despite scoring surges from Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin. I wouldn't be surprised if it goes the distance, but I expect St. Louis to finally get the Playoff Monkey off their backs, avenging prior playoff anguish at the hands of their bitter rival in the process. - Matt
Results: 65/35 in favor of the Blackhawks with half of the respondents thinking it would take seven.
Los Angeles Kings (2P) vs. San Jose Sharks (3P)
Can you say home ice? - uvgt2bkdnme
Results: 8/11 for the Kings finishing off the Sharks with most thinking this one's going to take seven.
Washington Capitals (1) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (8)
Despite picking the Caps to win it all, I still kind of expect them to collapse because they have been so good all season, but not to the Flyers because I won't be able to stand the smug Flyera fans. - Helmerroids
Washington's playoff disappointments aside, they're a good team going up against a hot team. I still think Washington gets by in this series, because despite their cooler play in the last part of the season, they weren't the President's Trophy winners by 11 points on accident. - redwinger43
Results: A clean sweep of votes in favor of the Caps with nobody actually thinking sweep. WSH in six.
Florida Panthers (2) vs. New York Islanders (7)
I picked Panthers over the Islanders, but that it would take 7 games because there's always that one series that drags on forever with two teams nobody really cares about. - Helmerroids
Results: 65% in favor of Florida. The most-common answer was seven games, but that only got 46% of the vote.
Pittsburgh Penguins (2M) vs. New York Rangers (3M)
Henrik Lundqvist will set the NHL record will 337 saves in the series, but ultimately the Rangers will fall in 5 games to the Penguins. The series will end with Dan Girardi pulling a Marek Malik deke and going top shelf on Lundqvist for the Pens to win a 1-0 quadruple OT thriller. When asked about the play, Girardi noted that he was just trying to make a clean zone exit pass. - Prashanth
Results: Penguins by a 4-to-1 margin taking six games. As many people voted this one would be a sweep as voted it would take all seven. Six game series, this one.
Tampa Bay Lightning (2A) vs. Detroit Red Wings (3A)
Picking Tampa over the Wings in 6 still feels like I'm being too optimistic about the Wings. - Helmerroids
I'm never going to pick against my own team. The Wings came within a goal of beating Tampa last year. With Stamkos and Stralman injured, I think the Wings can put it together long enough get a series victory - redwinger43
Results: 72% in favor of Detroit (28% traitors!) with 8/11 thinking six games.
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So there you have it: the stone cold locks for the first round. Take these all to your bookie and don't blame us when your legs get broken.