It is finally here Jockeys, the light before the dawn. It’s been a really f***ng dark 2020. However, when we look back we’ll all remember how terrible it was and nothing good came out of it. Apologies if you were expecting a “ we’ll come out stronger” sort of statement. Anyways, the beacon of light is shining upon us and it is oh so bright. NHL Playoffs are here baby. This is the first ever march Madness type of tournament hockey has ever witnessed. With preliminary rounds hitting the ice this Saturday, each team will play a minimum of 3 games in the best of 5 series. That is, unless you’re the Buffalo Sabres. What an abomination of a franchise. Holy shit, Jack Eichel, Ramis, Jeff Skinner, Sam Reinhert and you still fail. It was hard to miss the playoffs this year… 24 f**ng teams made it and you still face-planted like the trash organization you are. Anyways, better luck next decade nerds and keep ruining one of the nations top forwards career. Moving on. Below are my predictions of who will come out on top in the Preliminary rounds
- Pittsburgh vs Montreal- Pitt in 4
As a Caps fan I absolutely hate this pick but it’s just too easy. Crosby, Malkin and company have just too much fire power for the young Habs to handle. Unless Carey Price get’s struck with Zue’s lightning bolt and plays like an absolute god… this series is done in 4.
- Rangers Vs. Hurricanes. Rangers in 5
This is going to be the most enticing series to watch. Two young teams who will be heavy contenders in the East for the next 5 years going at it. The Rangers swept the canes this season but its playoffs so that doesn’t mean shit. That being said, NY was clicking on all cylinders before the pause and Mika Zebajand or however the f**k you spell it was lighting it up. Oh and that bread man up for the Hart Trophy is on NY too. As long as the goaltender can stand up, I like the boys in blue for a close series.
- Columbus vs Toronto- CBJ in 5
On paper the leafs are by far the best team. They have a legit 3 superstars in Mathews, Marner and Johnny T. They have Tyson Barnie and Morgan Reilly on the back end as well. But dammit, that cockroach Torts has a way with elevating his teams into playing a gritty system and pouncing on opportunities when they present them. I’ going to take a leap and take CBJ in 5 here. Toronto fans, look on the Bright side….. you can’t get eliminated in the first round by Boston if you never make it there.
- Islanders Vs Florida- Isles in 5
With the exception of Pitt/Mtl…. The east has the most even matches series this year… because the east is far more stacked. This is another tough one. You have two polar opposite teams here. Trotz, a defensive and hard hitting systematic team who plays as one unit vs a high powered prolific offense with the likes of Barkov and Hubidor. If Florida can get the 10 mill type play out of Bob, they win this series. However, he’s been dog shit in the playoffs. I like Trotz out coaching Queenville here and the
Isles take a close one in 5.
- Calgary vs Winnipeg- Jets in 5
This to me, is the most exciting series the west has to offer. Two fringe teams that have really underrepresented in the post season if you look at their roster. This one could go anyway based on the superstars on both sides. However, I like the leadership of Wheeler and the goal tending of Hellabuck. Jet’s take this one in OT game 5.
- EDM Vs Chicago- EDM in 4
Who would have thought 3 years ago the Oilers were the favorite to beat the 3 time Stanley Cup since 2010 Black hawks. Patrick Kane is a god but he doesn’t have much firepower around him and the supporting cast are all now dinosaurs. Mcdavid and Leon are just too damn good and unless Crawford gets back to 2015 beast mode… I just don’t see CHI pulling off the upset. As much as I would love to see patty Kane get drunk for an entire summer after winning…. I just cant put the pen to paper. Closer games than the series will indicate but EDM in 4.
- Van vs Min Van in 5
This is going to be a very interesting series. Vancouver is a young and promising team with phenomenal goaltending from Markstrom this year. However, Min has played spoiler many times… just ask St. Louis. Minnesota has a lot of veterans with way too expensive of contracts but maybe this is where they will shine. However, I like Van in this and I see a redemption post season from Brock Messner. Close one but I like the Nuks this year.
- Nashville vs Arizona. Nashville in 4
A lot of people are picking the Yotes for a popular pick. I just don’t see it. They are just not that good…… Sorry Bizz.
Nashville has under performed vastly this season but thanks to Covid they get a chance of redemption in the post season as they would have been on the outside looking in if things went to plan. Forsberg, Duchene, Johnssson, Josi, Granland, Ellis, Artison and Pekka at the helm. That is a pretty disgusting name drops right there. They have post season experience which ARZ has none. One thing to be considered…. Taylor Hall is on a contract year. If he can regain his 2018 form and play like a god so he can get overpaid…. That is the only way I see the Yotes pull this off. I’d personally love to the ARZ pull this off but I just don’t see it happening.
The west may be the lower of the two conferences but holy shit… the top 4 teams are filthy. Each team will play each other once and seeding will be determined that way. Below are my picks.
- Avs- 3-0
Its like I’m watching the 2002 AVS again. The team is filthy and I just see them cruising through this round winning big. They have legit 4 superstars and a rock solid goaltender. They are my favorites to win the west.
- Blues- 2-1
The Blues are another sick team who is going to make another run and with luck, a trip back to the finals. They lose to the AVS in a close one.
- VGK- 1-1-1
I love the Knights roster this year… my only question is goaltending. I actually think Lehhner is the better goalie but you have to run away with the flower.. hes just more proven. I see them beating Dallas, losing a close one to the blues and getting dick slapped by the AVS. Also they never should have fired their coach……
- Dallas 0-2-1
This is tough for me as I ALWAYS pick Dallas as my sleeper team. I still think they have a legit shot to go to the western finals… it’s just a matter of match ups. Ben Bishop is playing out of his mind but I just don’t see the same fire power out of Dallas that these other teams have. Can they keep up? I just don’t see it, unless Jamie benn plays like 2017.
I can see any one of these top 4 teams getting the 1 seed…. That’s how good they are this year.
- WSH- 2-0-1
Okay yes, totally bias and yes I am. However hear me out. WSH has Bostons number since Joel ward murdered them back in 2012. They have beaten the Caps one time since then. They also have faired very well against TBL. I have WSH beating Boston, winning a close one in OT against TBL and losing in OT to PHI as the flyers have their number this year. Ovie, BACKY, Carly, Oshie, Vranna and hopefully, a solid holtbeast is tough to bet against.
- Boston- 2-1
Best team in the NHL hands down. Presidents trophy and a superstar filled first line. Best line in the nhl right now. However they cant figure out WSH and they fall to second.
- TBL- 1-1-1
On paper, this is the best team in the nhl by far. It’s a shame they have not won a cup in the past 6 years. No team with the exception of the one listed below was playing better before the pause. I have tbl going deep but they just don’t play well against the two teams up top. I see them playing WSH in the eastern finals again.
- PHI- 1-2
Tough spot to land but that’s how good this bunch is. I see PHI potentially going deep, like Stanley cup run deep. However, they’re still the gosh damn flyers and I see them f**ng it up first round.