2024 NHL Stanley Cup Predictions

Well it took until the final minutes of the last game of the regular season to decide the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoff matchups. The Los Angeles Kings scored to tie their game against the Chicago Blackhawks, eventually scoring with seconds of the start of overtime to emerge with the victory. By securing a point in that game, the last playoff series was decided, the Kings would face the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the 2024 NHL Playoffs.

2024 Stanley Cup Playoff Matchups

The first round matchups look like this:

With four Canadian teams entering the post season, representation from North of the border is a solid 24%. This might arguably be the Nation’s best chance to capture hockey’s holy grail for the first time since 1993. Long overdue is an understatement. No Canadian NHL team has won the Stanley Cup under Gary Bettman’s reign as NHL commissioner.

Check out the NHL’s first round playoff schedule over at nhl.com.

As we do every year, we like to make our playoff predictions. Last year we thought that we might see a repeat of the 1990 Stanley Cup Finalists between Boston Bruins and the Edmonton Oilers. No such luck as the Bruins were upset by the Florida Panthers in the first round and the Edmonton Oilers would lose to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights in the second round.

This year we are going to make two sets of predictions. Our first set of predictions is for what we think is going to happen in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs and our second set of predictions is what we hope will happen in the NHL Playoffs.

2024 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions

Let’s start in the Eastern Conference shall we?

Eastern Conference

A – Atlantic Divisions

M = Metropolitan Division

WC = Wild Card

Florida Panthers (1A) Florida Panthers logo vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (WC1) Tampa Bay Lightning logo

We like the Panthers in a hard fought seven game series in this one.

Boston Bruins (2A) Boston Bruins logo vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (3A) Toronto Maple Leafs logo

The Leafs did not look good in their last half dozen games of the season. The Bruins have better goaltending and defence. Boston wins in six game.

New York Rangers (1M) New York Rangers logo vs. Washington Capitals (WC2) Washington Capitals logo

Sorry Caps fans, but there is no way the Capitals should even be in the playoffs. (Loser points definitely helped propel them in). The Rangers were steady and solid all season and have to be consider a legit Cup contender. Rangers will take the series in six (maybe even five games).

Carolina Hurricanes (2M) Carolina Hurricanes logo vs. New York Islanders (3M) New York Islanders logo

What a draw for the Carolina Hurricanes. The should have no trouble with the Isles. Canes in six.

Western Conference

C = Central

P = Pacific

WC = Wild Card

Over in the West is where things get interesting. The Western Conference was arguably the better conference over the course of the regular season and there could be as many as three Cup favourites out in the first round. Here’s what we forecast as happening in the Western Conference:

Dallas Stars (1C) Dallas Stars logo vs Vegas Golden Knights (WC2) Vegas Golden Knights logo

This should be a dandy of a series. The Knights are the defending Stanley Cup Champions and wouldn’t you know it should miraculously have a health roster (see Mark Stone and others) for the start of playoffs. You can never count the defending Champs out, but Dallas was the top team in the West this season. They have built a team for playoffs. We like the Stars in seven.

Winnipeg Jets (2C) Winnipeg Jets logo vs Colorado Avalanche (3C) Colorado Avalanche Logo

Another beauty of a series expected here. The Avs are stacked with talent, and just when everyone thought that the Jets were going to lose their star players both Scheifele and Connor Hellebucyk signed back with the team. While the Avs are a well rounded team, Connor Hellebucyk is the difference maker here. A few years back he single-handedly beat the Edmonton Oilers during the Covid Cup days. Home ice advantage might make a difference in this one as well. This one is a tough one to pick but we are going with the Avalanche in seven games.

Vancouver Canucks (1P) Vancouver Canucks logo vs. Nashville Predators (WC1) Nashville Predators logo

The Canucks had a very good season. Getting Thatcher Demko back for playoffs is a huge difference maker. The Preds were one of the hottest teams down the stretch, and will put up a bit of a fight but not enough to take the series. Canucks in six games.

Edmonton Oilers (2P) Edmonton Oilers logo vs. Los Angeles Kings (3P) Los Angeles Kings logo

For the third season in a row the Kings and Oilers meet in the first round. The Oilers won both series and should make it a third. Many are saying this series features the two worst starting goalies of all playoff teams. Cam Talbot did not look very good down the stretch for the Kings. Stuart Skinner is still a little unproven, but this could be his year. Oilers will take it in six (maybe even in five).

Round Two Predictions

Eastern Conference

The second round matchups should shake up like this:

Florida Panthers (1A) vs. Boston Bruins (2A)

In a rematch from last year, the Panthers and Bruins meet up, albeit this time in the second round. This one is a tough call, but the Florida Panthers look like a team that could have another deep run. Florida in seven games (again).

New York Rangers (1M) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (2M)

Either one of these team could go to the Stanley Cup finals this Spring. We, however like the Rangers in six.

Western Conference

Dallas Stars (1C) vs. Colorado Avalanche (3C)

This will be a good series. Dallas is built for playoffs and we think that the Jets/Avs first round series is going to be a long, hard-fought one. Dallas wins in six games.

Vancouver Canucks (1P) vs. Edmonton Oilers (2P)

It’s crazy to think that these teams have only ever met twice in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Once in 1986 and then again in 1992. The Canucks swept the Oilers in the regular season winning all four games (and won the first couple pretty decidedly). Canucks have the advantage in coaching and in goal. The Oilers have a bit more depth, but more recent playoff experience. I’d also be remiss not to mention that the Oilers have the games greatest player on the planet today in Connor McDavid. We are taking the Edmonton Oilers in six games.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2024: Final Four

The final four look like this:

Eastern Conference

Florida Panthers (1A) vs. New York Rangers (1M)

For us, the Rangers seem like a team of destiny this season. We like the Rangers in six games.

Western Conference

Dallas Stars (1C) vs. Edmonton Oilers (2P)

Traditionally Dallas has owned the Oilers in post season play over the years. This is an interesting matchup. Dallas has the advantage in goal and is probably a deeper team. Edmonton has an advantage in firepower (but come playoff time we all now how tight it can get out there). Connor McDavid is a very driven individual, but does he have the horses with him to get to his first Stanley Cup Final? With home ice advantage, Dallas wins in seven games.

2024 Stanley Cup Finals Prediction

That leaves us with the final two teams: The Dallas Stars vs. New York Rangers. As mentioned, we feel that the Rangers are a team of destiny. We predict they defeat the Stars in six games and capture their first Stanley Cup since 1994.

2024 Stanley Cup Champion: New York Rangers New York Rangers logo

Ok, so that is how we think the playoffs are going to shake out. Here’s a look at how we hope they go.

2024 Stanley Cup Predictions: A Fan’s Hope

Here is a look at how we would like the 2024 playoffs to unfold.

Round One

Florida Panthers (1A) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (WC1)

We like the Panthers in a hard fought seven game series in this one.

Boston Bruins (2A) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (3A)

Boston wins in six games.

New York Rangers (1M) vs. Washington Capitals (WC2)

The Rangers win in five games.

Carolina Hurricanes (2M) vs. New York Islanders (3M)

Carolina wins in five games.

Dallas Stars (1C) vs Vegas Golden Knights (WC2)

Dallas in seven games.

Winnipeg Jets (2C) vs Colorado Avalanche (3C)

This one is a tough one to pick but we would love to see the Jets prevail in seven games.

Vancouver Canucks (1P) vs. Nashville Predators (WC1)

Canucks in six games.

Edmonton Oilers (2P) vs. Los Angeles Kings (3P)

The Edmonton Oilers in five games.

Round Two

Florida Panthers (1A) vs. Boston Bruins (2A)

Boston Bruins in six games.

New York Rangers (1M) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (2M)

New York Rangers in seven games.

Dallas Stars (1C) vs. Winnipeg Jets (2C)

Jets in six games.

Vancouver Canucks (1P) vs. Edmonton Oilers (2P)

Edmonton in six games.

Conference Finals

Boston Bruins (2A) vs. New York Rangers (1M)

A classic Original Six matchup. Rangers in seven.

Edmonton Oilers (2P) vs. Winnipeg Jets (2C)

Finally, a Canadian team advancing to the final. We like to see the Oilers in seven games.

Stanley Cup Final:

Edmonton Oilers (2P) vs. New York Rangers (1M)

The Oilers win in six games and hoist the Stanely Cup in front of their hometown fans.

2024 Stanley Cup Champion: Edmonton Oilers Edmonton Oilers logo

So while we think the Rangers are going to win the Cup over Dallas, ideally we would like to see the Edmonton Oilers claim the Stanley Cup with a six games series win over the New York Rangers. Good for hockey, good for the NHL, good for Canadian hockey fans.

Ands no I did not see Derek van Diest’s predictions over at nhl.com prior to writing this.