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Blueshirt Banter’s Round 1 Predictions

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Carolina Hurricanes v Boston Bruins Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The 16-team 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs are set, which means it’s time for us to make our Round 1 predictions.

Eastern Conference

First up, we have the No.1 seed Philadelphia Flyers against the Montreal Canadiens. Few expected Montreal to be here — Montreal may not have even expected to be here when the 2019-20 season paused — but after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the qualifiers, they’ve reached the 16-team playoffs.

Despite their efforts to this point, we all are taking the Flyers in Round 1. While our predictions vary in length, we all are in agreement that the series won’t go seven games.

Next up, we have a rematch from last year’s first round. Along with upsetting the leading Lightning last year, there’s Columbus’ defensive structure to consider this year, and how they managed to eliminate the Toronto Maple Leafs to get here. That’s inspired some confidence in the Blue Jackets’ chances, but the majority of us lean with Tampa Bay pushing back after last year’s disappointing end.

In a contest that features Barry Trotz facing off against his former team, the majority of us think that former team will be victorious this round. Many of us think the series may have to go the distance for that to happen. Washington was the third best team in the Eastern Conference this season, and finished with a +25 goal differential, and we’ve seen before how lethal their offense can be. The Islanders certainly have a solid defensive structure, but if there’s a team who knows how to beat it, it is Trotz’ former team.

Unlike the previous matchups, most of us are leaning towards the lower seeded teams in the Hurricanes after they swept the Rangers in three games. Carolina impressed in the first round, and will only be more difficult to play against with Dougie Hamilton returning to the lineup.

Western Conference

To open the Western matchups, we’re unanimous in picking the Vegas Golden Knights over the Chicago Blackhawks, though there’s some differing opinions in lengths. The Golden Knights are one of the teams with a good chance of winning the whole thing, and addition of Robin Lehner at the deadline, and the return of Max Pacioretty should play a big factor in this series.

We have another unanimous vote, this time leaning in favor of the Colorado Avalanche over the Arizona Coyotes. While we’re in agreement in who the winner will likely be, five of us think it’ll be a battle that extends to six games. The Avalanche lineup is very impressive throughout, led by Hart Finalist Nathan MacKinnon, and ultimately looks like it will be too much for the Coyotes to handle.

There were more split decisions on our next matchup between the Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars. We’re in agreement over not seeing a sweep, we have equal votes in series length. Ben Bishop and Tyler Seguin were unfit to play vs. the St. Louis Blues, and while both are expected to play in Game 1, who knows if they are battling something that will keep them from being 100% vs. the Flames.

Lastly, there’s the Blues and Canucks to round out these matchups. Just one of us selected the Canucks, while the rest think the Blues will have a chance to defend their title in Round 2. Vancouver has a bevy of impressive players like Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, former Ranger J.T. Miller, and Brock Boeser, but the Blues are the defending Cup champs with a healthy and well rested Vladimir Tarasenko ready to lead the way.



Eastern Conference — What Do You Think?

Poll

MTL vs. PHI - Who Wins?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    MTL
    (51 votes)
  • 88%
    PHI
    (382 votes)
433 votes total Vote Now

Poll

CBJ vs. TBL - Who Wins?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    CBJ
    (169 votes)
  • 59%
    TBL
    (249 votes)
418 votes total Vote Now

Poll

NYI vs. WSH - Who Wins?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    NYI
    (125 votes)
  • 69%
    WSH
    (290 votes)
415 votes total Vote Now

Poll

CAR vs. BOS - Who Wins?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    CAR
    (219 votes)
  • 48%
    BOS
    (203 votes)
422 votes total Vote Now

Western Conference — What Do You Think?

Poll

CHI vs. VGK - Who Wins?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    CHI
    (74 votes)
  • 81%
    VGK
    (327 votes)
401 votes total Vote Now

Poll

ARI vs. COL - Who Wins?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    ARI
    (46 votes)
  • 88%
    COL
    (352 votes)
398 votes total Vote Now

Poll

CGY vs. DAL - Who Wins?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    CGY
    (238 votes)
  • 40%
    DAL
    (159 votes)
397 votes total Vote Now

Poll

STL vs. VAN - Who Wins?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    STL
    (298 votes)
  • 26%
    VAN
    (105 votes)
403 votes total Vote Now