WIIM Predicts: The Second First Round NHL Playoffs

Well the not-officially-the-first-round-but-still-where-the-Leafs-were-eliminated is over and now we have an actual playoff seeding for you. Fortunately, we’re here to tell you how it will go.  But first, let’s review our predictions from last round:

J.J. - 4 out of 8 (2 perfect)
Peter - 5 out of 8 (1 perfect)
Rob - 3 out of 8 (2 perfect)
Josh - 2 out of 8 (0 perfect)
Mike - 4 pit pf 8 (0 perfect)
Paul - 2 out of 8 (0 perfect)
Sara - 4 out of 8 (2 perfect)

So there you have it... we’re not good at this.

Eastern Conference

Philadelphia (1) vs Montreal (12)

Took the Flyers:
J.J. (6) - The Tour of Pennsylvania-via-Toronto comes to an end for the Habs
Peter (5) - When this all started, we all knew that Philly would be the top seed, and would play Montreal. Don’t check my previous predictions.
Prashanth (5) - Gritty finishes Montreal off by suplexing Youppi at center ice in Philadelphia and video is relayed to Toronto
Mike (6) - The Habs’ workmanlike effort against the Pens was admirable, but the Flyers aren’t going to be as shy about mucking it up with Montreal.
Sara (5) - We’ve already lost a bunch of “superstars” to elimination don’t take away Gritty too
Rob (5) - Montreal makes it tough but Philly is really clicking right now
Jamie Z. (6) -  This comes down to goaltending. Old School vs. New School (Price vs. Hart), but the Flyers are RED HOT right now.

Took the Habs:

Tampa Bay (2) vs Columbus (9)

Took the Bolts:
Mike (7) - My grandma is going to love this one. She’s been wanting to find a new soap for a while.
Prashanth (5) - TBL ain’t about to botch this again
J.J. (5) - I feel the Jackets are due for a letdown and I’m often wrong about things
Jamie Z. (6) - The Jackets seem to have that golden horseshoe right now, but I think Cooper rallies his troops despite being banged up and the Bolts avenge last year’s sweep.

Took the Jackets:
Peter (6) - Hedman likely out for at least a game, CBJ shutting down the Toronto forwards, I’m calling this an upset.
Sara ( 5) - It would be hilarious and I’m still angry about Kronwall’s suspension in 2015.
Rob (6) - Tampa is injured and did not look great in the qualifiers. Columbus just finds ways to win

Washington (3) vs NY Islanders (7)

Took the Caps:
Sara (6) - Tom Wilson will do something stupid (i.e. suspendable) that somehow inspires the Caps to win.
Prashanth (7) - Isles don’t have enough firepower to keep up with the Caps. Ovi scores 6 this series.
Rob (7) - I cannot bet against Ovi but it is going to be a difficult series

Took the Isles:
Peter (7) - I think this will be really close, and NYI will have the slight advantage from playing in the play-in round
Mike (6) - New York looked real mean in the first round and more ready than the losers in the top half of the bracket.
J.J. (5) - I like the Isles as an upset team.
Jamie Z. (7) - This might be the best series in the first round. Trotz against his former team. I think the Isles’s defensive, trap style prevails here like it did last year against the Pens.

Boston (4) vs Carolina (6)

Took the Bruins:

Took the Canes:
J.J. (7) - The Hurricanes will take a bit to get used to playing competitive hockey again after warming up versus the Rangers, but they come out on top.
Mike (5) - Boston has not looked good in the return-to-play and they are facing a Canes team that dispatched the Rangers with ease.
Prashanth (6) - Carolina looked terrifyingly fast against a bad Rangers team and should get Dougie back for the next round. Boston looks like the “It’s been 84 years” meme
Peter (5) - Boston hasn’t looked good in the round robin games, and I think Carolina matches up well against them.
Sara (4) - Yes I’m predicting a sweep because eff the Bruins and they lost two games to the Red Wings.
Rob (5) - Boston is going to struggle to keep up with the fast and aggressive Canes
Jamie Z. (7) - The Bruins have the edge in net and overall playoff experience. But, the Canes are a fast team and the Bruins looked sloppy in the qualifying round.

Western Conference

Las Vegas (1) vs Chicago (12)

Took the Knights:
Prashanth (5) - Chicago realizes they traded away the wrong goalie very quickly
Mike (5) - Toews basically willed the Hawks to beat the Oilers, but Vegas is made of better stuff.
Peter (6) - Chicago gives Vegas more than they bargain for, but the clearly better team wins.
J.J. (5) - I hate the Blackhawks
Rob (5) - Vegas comes in on an absolute roll and keeps it going
Jamie Z. (5) - The Hawks turned back the clock against the Oilers and both Kane and Toews looked like younger versions of themselves. But, Vegas is built for playoff longevity and will be too tough to beat.

Took the Hawks:
Sara (6) - I’m a pot stirrer. I’m stirring the pot. That’s why I’m here. Stirring up a big pot of misery with a Hawks win.

Colorado (2) vs Arizona (11)

Took the Avs:
J.J. (4) - There is no Earthly reason the Yotes should win this series but I very much want them to.
Prashanth (5) - Colorado is getting better and better and ARI can’t keep up defensively.
Mike (4) - Despite losing to Vegas, I think Colorado is going to be the toughest team in this tournament, and oh how I hate saying that.
Peter (4) - If I were betting, I would be betting on Colorado to win it all, and yes, I hate writing that.
Rob (4) - Arizona is a fun story but Colorado is a legit contender
Jamie Z. (6) - I think this will be a tougher series than people think for the Avs. There are some notable veteran players on the Coyotes (Kessel, Hall and Stepan) that have played some meaningful playoff games. Avs very dependant on that top line to score.

Took the Yotes:
Sara (7) - Coyotes have the advantage when there are no fans in the stands since their usual games it’s all visiting team fans.

Dallas (3) vs Calgary (8)

Took the Stars:
Peter (5) - Dallas will score too much for any defensive liabilities to matter
Mike (7) - Calgary takes just enough penalties and Dallas scores just enough on the power play to send this series the distance.
J.J. (6) - Calgary got to warm up against the Jets and this works heavily against them.
Prashanth - Think the Stars have too much offensive firepower for a Calgary team that I don’t understand

Took the Flames:
Sara (6) - Almost walked this back because I remembered Lucic is on the team, but I’ll stand by my prediction.
Rob (5) - Dallas looked absolutely lost in the qualifiers, Tkachuk and the Flames are good at keeping a team unfocused
Jamie Z. (7) - This is a tough series to predict, but the Stars looked down right awful in the qualifying round. I’m not sure Rick Bowness has things under control in his top six and if the Flames can keep it going, they could go on a run with their depth.

St. Louis (4) vs Vancouver (7)

Took the Blues:
Prashanth - The defending champs are too deep for a Canucks team that still gives big minutes to Tyler Myers.
Sara (6) - Am I sick of Canucks fans more than I hate the Blues? Tough call.
Jamie Z. (7) - The Blues are the defending champs and although they didn’t look their best in the qualifying round, I’ll still give them the nod here against a young Canucks squad.

Took the Canucks:
J.J. (5) - Quinn Hughes’ Conn Smythe candidacy becomes a daily eye-roller for me.
Peter (7) - I think it’s going to be St. Louis, but I’ve been wrong a lot with these, so I’m going with the George Constanza principle.
Mike (6) - Van looked good in the first round and showed some hunger coming back against Minnesota.
Rob (7) - This could be the best series of the round. Something just seems off with the Blues.

BONUS - Who wins the draft lottery?

Peter - Edmonton. Maybe they can make it to the next level with the addition of a first overall player
Prashanth - Edmonton with a live shot cutting to Gary Bettman’s shocked Pikachu face right after.
Sara - Pittsburgh. The NHL botches scheduling the write-up and accidentally tweets it an hour before the draft lottery.
J.J. - Rangers. Brendan Smith needs a friend
Mike - Jets. They’re inoffensive and the NHL can’t possibly create a worst case scenario two draft lotteries in a row, right? Right?
Jamie Z. -I’m torn here. I honestly think the draft lottery is rigged...or this is exactly what the NHL wanted to keep everyone happy. Anyway, I’ll say the Panthers because Bettman needs Lafreniere there to keep the franchise afloat.