Oilersnation Roundtable: Revising our predictions for the NHL playoffs
Photo credit:Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis28 days ago
The first round of the NHL playoffs didn’t go as anybody had planned.
The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Boston Bruins were shocked by the Florida Panthers, the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche got taken down by the Seattle Kraken, and the Toronto Maple Leafs won a series for the first time since before the salary cap existed.
Ahead of the start of the second round, we took a look back at our first-round predictions and made some revisions…
Looking back on my round-one picks, I straight-up nailed the Oilers in six and the Leafs in six. I also was right on the Stars and Hurricanes advancing, was just off by one game in each. I was really hoping the Jets would put together a better effort and I really misread just how broken that room is. The Golden Knights made quick work of them and I didn’t see that coming. I mean, Brossoit out dueling Hellebuyck? CMON! I also misread the Avs and Kraken series, but I’m not going to beat myself up over that. Finally, I had the Panthers pushing the Bruins to seven games and I’m kicking myself for not going all in with that upset pick. What? Did I eat cat food for nothing?
This coming round, I’m confident that the Oilers will make quick work of the Golden Knights. Edmonton in five games is my pick. I have the Stars beating the Kraken in seven games and I’m getting major Bruins vs Panthers vibes here. I really want to pick Seattle, but I think Jake Oettinger will outplay Philip Grubauer.
Out east, I’m going to pick the Devils and their new-found number-one goalie Akira Schmid. I think they’ll beat the Canes in seven games. I’m also going to pick the Leafs to knock off the Panthers in seven games. I want all the game sevens!
Two of my upset candidates from the first round were the Bruins because they had been on cruise control all year and the Avalanche because they had been bogged down by injuries. But rather than going with my gut, I selected Boston and Colorado as the winners in my bracket and wound up getting just three of eight series predictions correct. I was right about the Oilers, Stars, and Golden Knights and wrong about everyone else. Yikes!
My official prediction now is that the Oilers and Leafs will meet in the Stanley Cup Final. Toronto will beat Carolina in the Eastern Conference Final while Edmonton will beat Dallas.
Looking back, I think I only hit the Oilers and Leafs making it through because I don’t remember who I picked between Dallas/Minny but I assume I was wrong. Anyway, I vow to do much better in Round 2 with this run of picks that are sure to be locks. In the west, I’ve got Edmonton over Vegas in six. I’ve also got Dallas over Seattle in six.
Out east, I think the Leafs making it past the first round curse and matching up with the Panthers is an ideal scenario for them, culminating in a series win in only five games. Maybe I’m not bullish enough on the Panthers, but I can’t see their magic lasting for a second straight series. In the other series, I’ve got New Jersey beating Carolina in six because the Hurricanes are beat up with all kinds of injuries right now, and I don’t see them matching firepower with the Devils.
Out west, I went 2/4 on my bets. I had both the Oilers and Stars winning their series, but struckout on my Jets and Avalanche prediction. There was a part of me that really wanted to take the Kraken given them to make the playoffs were my bold prediction, but what can you do. Out east, meanwhile, I cleaned up with the Panthers upsetting the Bruins, the Hurricanes beating the Islanders and the Devils over the Rangers. “New York are frauds” was a great call by me. My miss? Tampa over Toronto. *shrug*
I detailed all of my picks for the second round in my Betway article earlier today with some more reasoning behind all of the picks, but I’m taking Edmonton over Vegas and Seattle over Dallas in the west, and I got the Panthers over the Leafs and the Devils over the Hurricanes out east.
In terms of how things progress from there, well, it’s a real toss up. As much as I’d love to see an Oilers-Leafs final, I think there’s a very real chance the Devils could upset Toronto out east.
What say you, Nation? How much of your bracket is still intact? What do you think will happen in the second round?
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