It’s that time again! First night of the race to Lord Stanley’s Cup.
The lightweights have been separated by those that truly want to win and the hopefuls get to do their best against the real contenders.
The old cliche about making the playoffs and anything happening really isn’t true. Either a team has true championship make up or not. It’s not enough, but it has to be there.
Blues vs Winnipeg. Blues in 6.
I know. It’s crazy, but Winnipeg is missing something this season. Age, injuries, not picking up the right players to complement their soup?
I think this series belongs to people like Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Pennington. I think a certain Mr. Tarasenko has something to prove and I think St. Lou, where they love the colour Blue, makes it through this round without missing the beat.
SJ vs Vegas
I know. Jumbo Joe, but Jumbo Joe never has won and I don’t think he will this season either. Vegas simply is overpowering and has a mystical Quebec goalie with a pedigree.
There will be no hoisting of the flag for the Sharks. LV in 6.
Nashville V Dallas
This may be a sweep. Watch out for Subban and and Simmonds to put on a show while Smashville does what it does best. Control the puck and edge out the wins.
Dallas just doesn’t have enough depth to compete in a hard fought track game with the Preds.
Nashville in 5
Calgary v Colorado
It’s easy to look at that first line of the Avalanche, but Calgary is no slouch of a team. I think it will be one round and out for them as they do have issues, especially in net.
Calgary in 7
Pittsburgh v Isles
Penguins in 4.
Columbus vs TB
Tampa simply has it all including character. They have veterans who’ve been there and are still doing it.
While it was interesting to see Columbus go all in and then make the playoffs this is what happens when you gamble in a Big Boy’s game.
Lighting will strike in 5.
Toronto v Boston
A lot of people are rah rahing Boston, but John Tavares has something to prove. What’s scary is so does Auston Matthews and especially Michael Nylander.
The one wild card is Toronto’s goalie, but I expect that they’ll get through this first round, even if Michael Hutchinson turns out to be a hero.
Leaf Nation wins in 6
Carolina v Washington
It’s been a magical season for the Hurricanes. That magical season will end by game 5.