NHL Playoffs Predictions: Eastern Conference Picks


It is that time of the year, the NHL Playoffs, the Stanley Cup Finals – a time when the level of hockey elevates to a level of must see television.

Unfortunately, the Buffalo Sabres are not in the playoffs once again, so that allows fans to root for another team, possibly out of a second love for that team, or a hatred of the other team.  Every year on this site I have picked each round of the playoffs, not necessarily out of pure analysis of who will win the series, sometimes the picks are with my heart, but in the NHL Playoffs, its anyone’s game.

How do you pick your playoff bracket?  Do you pick from the heart?  Do you warm up with the Frozen Four or March Madness?  Since we don’t have to update standings on the NHL Draft Lottery anymore, we are going to just include our daily Draft Simulator pick – today’s winner, the Columbus Blue Jackets, meaning the Buffalo Sabres walk away with Jack Eichel in the draft.

If you want to pick the draft, you can head on over to the bracket challenge at nhl.com and pick your bracket that way, but include your picks here as well.

NHL Playoffs – Eastern Conference Quarter Finals

Montreal Canadiens vs Ottawa Senators

Canada has to be jumping for joy that they have five teams in the Stanley Cup Finals.  Unfortunately for them, their odds of advancing a good amount of teams are diluted by the fact that they are all pretty much playing each other.  The first series is Montreal and Ottawa.  I liked the story behind Ottawa’s run for the playoffs, especially because it culminated in the fact that the Boston Bruins didn’t make the playoffs.

The simple fact of the matter here is the Montreal Canadiens might just be too much for the Sens – on paper.  On the ice the teams played four times in the regular season, and the Ottawa Senators won three of those four matchups, outscoring the Canadiens 14-9.

While I think on paper the Montreal Canadiens should win this series in six games, I am actually pulling for the Ottawa Senators here.  I mean how much respect can the Canadiens have for the Stanley Cup – I mean they did drop it on the ice the last time they had won it.

Stat line pick – Montreal in six.

Heart line pick – Ottawa in five.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Detroit Red Wings

Tampa may have had a really good shot at the Stanley Cup Final last season, but injuries kind of railroaded that.  The Detroit Red Wings have this magnificent run of post season appearances that they kept going.  I have not heart string attachments to this series, but now that their playoff string is in tact, the Detroit Red Wings can gracefully bow out of the picture without interrupting history.

A first round exit might make it more likely that Mike Babcock decides not to return to the winged wheel, and while that doesn’t make his chances of coming to Buffalo any greater – it does start the clock on Tim Murray being able to bend his ear and convince him to come help him build a champion.

Stat line pick – Tampa Bay Lightning in six.

Heart line pick – Tampay Bay in four.

New York Rangers vs Pittsburgh Penguins

It just seems like yesterday that the Pittsburgh Penguins were the talk of the league.  They needed a win over the Buffalo Sabres to even get into the playoffs on the last game of the season.  Trouble in paradise and a need to restock the igloo?

I will always root for a New York based team over any other team if the Buffalo Sabres are not involved in the NHL playoffs.  Out of all the NHL arenas through the US and Canada, I have only ever been to three, Memorial Auditorium, First Niagara Center (well technically I was there when it was the Marine Midland Arena, HSBC Arena as well, but that is splitting hairs) and MSG.  So you could say the Rangers might be my second team because of that.

Then again, I think New York City should be emancipated from the state of New York, but that is another conversation altogether.  Also – if there is something that might wake the slumping Penguins up, it would be the post season.

Stat line pick – New York Rangers in seven.

Heartline pick – Pittsburgh in six.

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  • Washington Capitals vs New York Islanders

    Crobsy got a cup.  Crosby vs Ovechkin has all we have been hearing since the two of them joined the league in nearby markets.  I really want to see Ovechkin win a Stanley Cup.  I never liked him really until recently.  You could say he grew on me.

    The New York Islanders spoiled our chances at a severe chance at number one and number two overall in the draft.  After such a poor season last year, who would have thought the Islanders would have been one of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference.  I was really hoping for them to be involved in the draft lottery.   Garth Snow probably saved his job in Long Island by deferring the pick he sent to the Buffalo Sabres.

    Stat line pick – New York Islanders in six.

    Heartline pick – Washington Capitals in five.

    Next: Sabres Made Right Move Firing Ted Nolan

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