It’s that time of the year again where literally nothing else matters. Take a mental leave from your job, say goodbye to your family, depart from your loved ones. The Stanley Cup Playoffs have arrived and the world you once knew is coming to a halt. Any dream, career related admiration or new fitness routines you once sought out will be put on pause for the next two months. Much of the population is excited and ready to watch their respected team battle it out for a chance to hoist lord Stanley. How am I feeling you ask? I’m petrified. Yes, my beloved Capitals after an enormous amount of heartbreak finally broke through and claimed the precious silver that had eluded the nations capitals since 1974. Yet, this year is different. I am scared poop-less. Nay, not  because I don’t think the capitals can go back to back, I know they can. I’m worried about my mental and physical health. The shit this team has put me through these past 26 years has been nothing short of Human Centipede like. No pun intended. These upcoming months will test my health, fitness, career and chance of happiness. All those things we call “dreams” are waving at me in the rear view mirror. Yet, if I get to see Lord Stanley hoisted again in 2019, it’ll all be worth it. Let’s dive into the first round matchups, predictions and odds of who is moving on to the second round. Totally a non biased article. That being said, Caps in 4.

Western Conference 

  1. Nashville Predators (1) vs Dallas Stars (W2) 

This is a very puzzling series. On one hand, I think this could be a phenomenal series that goes the distance to game 7. On the other hand, I can see either one of these teams completely shitting the bed and getting swept. I don’t believe Nashville is the serious contender that everyone makes them out to be. On paper, they have the stoutest defense and if goaltending can hold up, they can be a real threat. The problem I have with Nashville going the distance is they don’t have that offensive superstar threat. yes, they have Forsburg or Ariddison but all of their game changers are on the blue line. Yes, I think they will get past Dallas but they get bounced in the second. Dallas will offensively keep this a series but their defensive woes and depth will catch up and they won’t be able to make any noise in the playoffs this year. Better luck next year.

Pred’s in 6.

 

X Factor Nashville: Victor Arddison

X Factor Dallas: Tyler Seguin

 

2.Winnipeg Jets (C2) VS. St. Louis Blues

Tough draw for the Jets first round. They are a vastly better team but the blues are playing phenomenal hockey right now and are always a team that just wont go the f**k away. However, too much talent in the front end, deeeeeeep defensive core and solid goaltending. Also, side note have you seen the Jets Blue line. they are all enormous, it’s like watching 6 dinosaurs on skates. Physical series but I like the Jets.

Jets in 6

Jets X Factor: Kyle Conner

Blues: Ryan O’Reilly

3. Calgary Flames (p1) vs Colorado Avalanche (WC1)

Oh how I wanted the avalanche to tank so I could see those young thirsty Yotes sneak into the playoffs but life doesn’t work out that way. This is an interesting one for me. Calgary is an absolute wagon and have all the tools to go all the way, yet, the Avalanche when clicking on four cylinders are nasty. Mckinnon is absolutely sick yet so is Johnny Hockey. If the Aves get fantastic goaltending this will be a very competitive series. Sticking with my gut on this.

Flames in 5

X Factor Flames: Jonny Hockey

X Factor Avalanche: Nathan Mickinon

 

4. San Jose (P2) VS. Vegas (P3)

Nothing would make me happier than to see the knights get swept but they are just too damn good of a team for that to happen. With the freakish goaltending the flower brings, additions of Mark Stone to compliment the supporting cast, this is going to be the best series of the Western conference. Be that as it may, I think this may finally be the year those playoff-plauged  sharks get that fresh scent of blood and finally take a bite. This one is going back and forth to 7 but in the end, the Sharks will get revenge on last years dissapointing end.

Sharks in 7

X Factor Sharks: Marc Vlassic

X Factor Knights: Fleury

 

Eastern Conferance 

  1. Tampa Bay (A1) vs. Columbus (WC2)

Man, talk about a shitty first round matchup after tying the NHL record for most points in a season and this is the reward you get!? A pesky Columbus team coached by none other than the leagues cock roach himself, John Torts. This is going to be a great series even though I despise both of these teams. I wish Bane would take over the greater area of Tampa Bay like he did to Gotham back in 2012. No games would be played and both of these teams would be eliminated by default. Fingers crossed. Super star Parnarin with supporting cast of Bob, Duchene and Seth Jones, will test the president trophy winners. However, this is the best team we have seen since the 2002 Colorado Avalanche. There is just too much talent on the Tampa Bay roster to let this season end in the first round. It’s actually absurd how talented this team is and it aches every bone in my body to write that on paper because the lightning are the absolute worst (Besides the Penguins). Unless Bob stands on his hand, which he very well could with how talented he is, I can’t see Columbus getting it’s first franchise playoff series win.

This will be closer than people think but Bolts in 6

X Factor Tampa: The whole team

X Factor Columbus: The Bread Man

 

2. Boston Bruins (A2) vs. Toronto Maples Leafs (A3)

Another shitty matchup for the Atlantic. Both of these teams don’t deserve to play each other in the first round. Each team is stacked and is buzzing on all cylinders right now. On paper, Toronto has more skill (Mathews, Marner, Tavares, Nylander) but the Bruins play their systematical hockey second to no one. If the B’s want to make a run this year, Tuka Rask is going to have to live up to his contract and stand on his head when needed to. This one could really go either way but I’m giving the Bruins the edge here due to their experience and grit. Bruins in a very hard-fought 7.

X Factor Bruins: Tukka Rask 

X Factor Leafs: John the snake Tavares. 

3. Washington Capitals (M1) VS Carolina Hurricanes ( W1)

The most bias moment we all have been waiting for. This one is a given. To play devils advocate, I’ll give the Canes at least one game. Caps in 5. Sure, the canes are a great story but that Cinderella pumpkin they have been riding since the all-star break is about to be deflated by everyone’s favorite russian ogre, Ovechkin. The caps are just an all round better team and have bonified superstars. Only way this goes the other way is if Mrazek turns into Patrick Roy over night. The capitals have had their fair share of playoff woes but as last year showed, those days are behind them and the boys in red will be making another deep push to the Cup. If the Caps somehow lose to the Carolina Hurricanes, I will get a giant hurricane inked on my lower back. That’s how confident I am.

Caps in 5

X Factor Capitals: Jakub Vrana

X Factor Hurricanes: Sebastin Aho

4. New York Isanders (m2) VS Pittsburg Penguins (M3)

Who would have thought, the Isles would be competing for the Metro tittle and having home ice advantage over the Penguins. Just shows you what a good coaching system can do to your organization. Trotz I love you. penguins, f**k you. I wish like shit, the penguins would tumble this spring but life doesn’t work that way. If the Caps have any shot of defending Lord Stanley, the Penguins will have to factor into the equation, as always.

Penguins in 6

X Factor Penguins: Crosby and Bevis and Butt head ( Jake Guetzel)

X Factor Islanders: Barry Trotz( have to coach his ass off to win this one.)

 

I am almost certain all of these will be wrong but screw it, yolo. Comment your thoughts below. See you for round 2.

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Written by Clarky