The 2016-2017 NHL regular season is over and what a season it was. Some of the highlights from the season:
- Connor McDavid becomes the third youngest ever to win the Art Ross trophy with 100 points having secured two points against the Vancouver Canucks on the final night of the regular season.
- The Edmonton Oilers make the playoffs for the first time since 2006 after amassing 103 points in the regular season
- The Toronto Maple Leafs also make the playoffs joining four other Canadian teams – Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers
- Sidney Crosby has one of his strongest seasons in recent memory and finishes second in League scoring with 89 points and leads the NHL with 44 goals.
- The Washington Capitals lead the NHL with 55 wins and 118 points
So with that we welcome the NHL’s second season, arguably the greatest tournament in all of sports, the Stanley Cup playoffs.
2017 NHL Stanley Cup Play-off Predictions
Like most hockey fans we like to predict who we think is going to come out of the West and who will come out of the East. Could this be the year that a Canadian team ends the drought for NHL supremacy? It just might be and it might not be who you think. Spoiler alert: I have gone on record to say that the Edmonton Oilers will be the next Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup, not sure if this is the year or not, but your never know.
Here is a look at the match-ups for this year’s NHL playoffs. The NHL Play-off format is a bit confusing so excuse us if we get the second round match-ups mixed up a bit.
Eastern Conference Predictions
Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Winner: Washington Capitals in six games.
Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers
Winner: Montreal Canadiens in seven games.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Winner: Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.
Boston Bruins vs. Ottawa Senators
Winner: Ottawa Senators in an upset in seven games.
Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Winner: Washington Capitals in six games.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators
Winner: Montreal Canadiens in six games.
Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens
Winner: Washington Capitals in five games.
Eastern Conference Champion: Washington Capitals
Western Conference Predictions
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators
Winner: Chicago Blackhawks in seven games
Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames
Winner: Calgary Flames in six games
Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues
Winner: Minnesota Wild in six games
Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks
Winner Edmonton Oilers in six games
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild
Winner: Chicago Blackhawks in six games
Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames
Winner: Edmonton Oilers in seven games
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Edmonton Oilers
Winner: Edmonton Oilers in six games
Western Conference Champion: Edmonton Oilers
Stanley Cup Finalists: Washington Capitals vs. Edmonton Oilers
Stanley Cup Champion: Washington Capitals
Ok so that is my Scooby Doo ending. The Eastern Conference predictions are solid, but realistically we think that either the Chicago Blackhawks or Minnesota Wild will come out of the West. While I would like the Oilers to come out of the West, quite honestly I think that Cam Talbot will be fatigued and Edmonton’s blueline is simply not quite there yet.
This could finally be the year for the Washington Capitals. Although the Blackhawks night have something to say about that.
Here are my dark horse picks from each conference that could win the Stanley Cup:
- Pittsburgh Penguins – can you call the defending Stanley Cup champs a dark horse? Too many injuries this time around.
- Montreal Canadiens – how fitting would it be for the Habs to win the Cup in the 100th Anniversary of the NHL?
- Edmonton Oilers – I can’t help shaking this feeling that the Oilers could go all the way this year. I cannot explain this feeling that I have… and not just because this is there first time in the playoffs in a decade. This team looks good and if healthy could really do some damage and not just Connor McDavid. I’m thinking the “heavy” players such as Milan Lucic, Patrick Maroon and Zack Kassian could wear teams down.
- Minnesota Wild – traditionally Bruce Boudreau’s teams under-perform in the playoffs. However goaltending goes a long way come playoff time, and the Wild did score a lot of goals this year (although more so in the first half of the season).
Five Canadian teams in the playoffs. The Edmonton Oilers back in the post season. Connor McDavid flying on all cylinders. Alexander Ovechkin with something to prove. The Chicago Backhawks remain atop the West. A potential battle of Alberta looming. What more could a hockey fan ask for? Enjoy the playoffs. See you in June.