NHL Playoffs: Eastern Conference Outlook

Playoff predictions are really cool.

By cool I mean they tell you nothing and have zero value. The writer talks themselves into any team winning the Cup for any multitude of reasons. 

Every series could go either way in the playoffs. Even Tampa Bay could lose three star players in game one and lose to Columbus. Anything is possible. That’s the fun about being a sports fan. Unless you like the Leafs, in which case you already know and accept you’ll be sad forever.

The first round brings about some fun matchups.

Here are a few things to keep an eye on as the playoffs start.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins

1. Which player will Brad Marchand lick first?

Since Leo Komarov is an Islander now, my bet is on Kadri. That’ll be fun.

2. Does Auston Matthews have two shoulders?

If he can shoot this year, that second line matchup could swing the series for Toronto.

3. How butt-hurt are Leafs fans if they lose?

“The playoff format sucks.” “Why do we need to play a team ahead of us if we were so good all year.” “Kyle Dubas is the worst. Tavares sucks and made our team worse.”

Washington Capitals v Carolina Hurricanes

1. Will we get to see the Storm Surge in the playoffs?


2. Does Carolina’s newfound goaltending fold almost immediately?

If I were facing Ovechkin one timers for 7 games in a row, I’d bounce fast too.

3. Does Brooks Orpik spontaneously combust into dust mid-game?

He’s an antique. It’s very possible.

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders

1. In a series putting forward stars against the leagues best defence, superstars against rigid defensive structure, all eyes are on Phil Kessel.

More specifically, how many hot dogs does he plan on fitting in the cup this year. Steve Simmonds needs answers. The hot-dog vendor insider scoop has run dry.

2. Will Mike Sullivan play 4 defenders all postseason, intentionally shortening his bench, to avoid having Erik Gudbransson and Jack Johnson tank his season?

I think that’s the best call. Kris Letang postseason time on ice: 58 mins per game.

3. How many times do tv announcers mention that the penguins could play the Capitals in the second round?

I bet once a period. Because all hockey really needs is another Pens-Caps series. Wait, no we actually do!

Tampa Bay Lightning v Columbus Blue Jackets

1. Do we get to see a John Tortorella meltdown?

Will he kick a reporter out of a press conference, answer someone’s phone, chew out Max Pacioretty for his play during the World Cup of hockey, start a fight with John Cooper? So many options!

Torts gets MAD.

2. Does Tampa sweep the series?

Who are we kidding obviously they do. Big mean Matt Duchene ain’t David, but Tampa certainly is Goliath. Bonnie chance.

3. How many goals can Tampa score in four games?

That’s all they have really, four games. I bet 64 goals… from Kucherov. Maybe a few Stamkos ones if we’re lucky.

4. Will Panarin face jail time for his abuse of his dog?


Montreal Canadiens v …

Oh, ooops this is awkward.

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