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Uneducated NHL Playoff Predictions

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

The NHL Playoffs begin tonight, and that’s another opportunity for me to make inaccurate predictions.

Uneducated NHL Playoff Predictions

The NHL Playoffs start tonight, which means one thing: Playoff Beards.  It also means exciting, physical, and normally great hockey for the foreseeable future.  The closest I came to becoming a hockey fan was being outraged when Brett Hull was blatantly in the crease when the Dallas Stars upended the Buffalo Sabres all the way back in 1998-99.  I've tried to get into hockey, and I love watching games and going to games, but the sport just never stuck with me.

Regardless of my knowledge of the sport or its current developments, these playoffs offer another chance to make predictions.  I'm a sucker for predictions, especially when I don't know what it is that I'm predicting.  Here are my predictions for the opening round of the playoffs, with loose and incoherent reasoning behind the picks.

Eastern Conference

(1) New York Rangers over (8) Ottawa Senators

If I know one thing about hockey and the playoffs, it's that a hot goalie can carry a team through.  It's my understanding that Henrik Lundvist is one of the finest goalies in all of hockey, and plus I can't pick against the hometown team in the first round.  That's just not a good karmic decision.  Plus, if the Rangers keep doing well, I get to see replays of Mark Messier screaming like a maniac with the Stanley Cup in his clutches.

(2) Boston Bruins over (7) Washington Capitals

Glossing over some stats (yes, I did research for this post), I noticed that the top five players in +/- in the NHL are all members of the Boston Bruins.  I don't know whether that's lucky or an indication that the Bruins are just really really good, but I figured that stat has to count for something.  Ovechkin and the Caps go down yet again.

(6) New Jersey Devils over (3) Florida Panthers

Martin Brodeur is still in the league, right?  OK, I at least know that much.  His backup, Johan Hedburg, had more shutouts (four to three) and played in just 27 games compared to 59 for Brodeur.  I don't know what point I'm trying to make, but either way I think New Jersey moves on solely due to Martin Brodeur somehow.

(4) Pittsburgh Penguins over (5) Philadelphia Flyers

I know that there is some bad blood between these teams, as evidenced by their brawl of a hockey game at the end of the regular season.  The Penguins have probably the best player in the league this year in Evgeni Malkin, and his playmaking ability will help Pittsburgh get through a grueling and physical series.

Western Conference

(1) Vancouver Canucks over (8) Los Angeles Kings

Former UMass goalie Jonathan Quick tends the net for Los Angeles, and while I hate to pick against an alum, he was out of school before I got there.  Vancouver will be too much for the Kings to handle, plus I don't want to see any more riots up there.

(2) St Louis Blues over (7) San Jose Sharks

I don't remember the Blues ever being especially good at any time since I've sort of blindly paid attention to hockey.  My best estimate for the good seed is that some of that St. Louis Cardinals magic rubbed off on them and inspired some terrific hockey.  That, or they are just a naturally good team.

(6) Chicago Blackhawks over (3) Phoenix Coyotes

Hockey just isn't natural in Phoenix, and as a result they will not fare well in the playoffs.  Plus, I actually know a few players on Chicago's team: Marion Hossa, Patrick Kane, and Jonathan Toews.  My hockey knowledge is cast and all-encompassing.  

(5) Detroit Red Wings over (4) Nashville Predators

This is a legacy pick for me.  The Red Wings are like chicken parmigiana, classic and always reliable.  Picking them to win over a team that will always just be that one expansion team is incredibly easy for me.  Plus, I want to see some squid get thrown on the ice.

Let CHARGED.fm get you tickets to see the New York Rangers take on the Ottawa Senators.

Comments (2)
  1. Carlo Valentine's profile

    Carlo Valentine

    April 11th, 2012 @18:54

    Not too shabby with the picks in this round. However, the logic could use some improving. Rangers over Sens..Listened to Henrik on the radio today, the man is a celebrity with many skills. And yes, unfortunately, as a Bruins fan I am worried his hotness may wreak havoc Bruins over caps.. Not a gimme series but one we should have no problems with. The +/- stat is one of the more telling stats in the game. It shows balance offensively and defensively. Also, B's ended up with the best goal differential by a long shot this yr. +61 compared to +39 for the Rangers or +51 Canucks.. Pens over Flyers..Not sure about this game to be honest. too many variables. What I do know is those who are considering Sid as possible Conn Smythe winner are INSANE. 22 games played is not enough, even if you do avg about 2 points/gm in that time.. Western Conf is pretty much chalk picks at this point..Too much talent in the favorites. Only game that is up in the air is Blues/Sharks..Stamkos is a beast with the Lightning, watch for him to put on a show..Elliot is overrated(only 38 games this yr)

  2. Ross Bernhardt's profile

    Ross Bernhardt

    April 11th, 2012 @20:56

    It looks like I should have consulted you before I wrote this.

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