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2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions

Alex Ovechkin's Capitals are just one of the teams that could make some noise in the Stanley Cup playoffs (Courtesy of Twitter).

Alex Ovechkin's Capitals are just one of the teams that could make some noise in the Stanley Cup playoffs (Courtesy of Twitter).


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By Peter Valentino

Alex Ovechkin’s Capitals are just one of the teams that could make some noise in the Stanley Cup playoffs (Courtesy of Twitter).

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are of the best playoffs of the four major North American sports.  The atmosphere in the arena, the rollercoaster of emotions and the overtime finishes, it’s all incredible.  So without further ado, here are my 2018 Stanley Cup playoff predictions.

Metropolitan

Columbus vs Washington

Ovechkin and Backstrom will need to carry this team far in order to get past a young, talented team like the Blue Jackets.  With how hot this team finished the year, I think the Jackets can go on a run, and Washington seems like a team that will have its issues exposed by Columbus.  Columbus in six.

Philadelphia vs Pittsburgh

The great rivalry is renewed in the postseason.  The Penguins got hot in the last few months of the year, seeming to get back in the rhythm of going back to defending their title.  Philly has been up and down all season, and I can see them putting up a fight (literally), but the Pens should prevail. Pittsburgh in six.

Atlantic

New Jersey vs Tampa

New Jersey has been one of the surprise teams this season, while Tampa Bay has been one of the more consistent teams all year.  Expect Tampa to win, but for the Devils to be a lot better next year. Tampa in five.

Toronto vs Boston

Toronto has generally been complacent all year, just making the playoffs in a top heavy division.  They are about a year away from being true Stanley Cup Contenders. Boston in five.

Central

Colorado vs Nashville

Colorado’s rise to the last wild card spot has turned them into one of this year’s Cinderella candidates.  But last year’s Cinderella, the Predators, ended up this year with the President’s trophy.  Expect something like a sweep, utilized as a stepping stone for the Avalanche. Nashville in five.

Minnesota vs Winnipeg

The Jets are one of the surprise teams this year, even though they shouldn’t be.  The team has great scorers such as Patrik Laine, Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler.  The Jets should win this series out of a usual out in the Bruce Boudreau-coached Wild. Winnipeg in four.

Pacific

Vegas vs Los Angeles

If there is one team that can beat an expansion team in the playoffs, it’s a team that still has its core from two Stanley Cup teams.  This probably will be the closest series of the first round, with the Kings pulling it out in the end. Los Angeles in Seven.

Anaheim vs San Jose

This series will be close, too.  Both teams are playoff veterans to varying degrees of success.  Anaheim has a young goalie and an aging core, and its generally assumed that this is their last run at the cup.  I think San Jose takes it in a fun series. San Jose in Seven.

 In the next round, I think Columbus beats Pittsburgh in seven, Boston beats Tampa in six, San Jose beats Los Angeles in five and Winnipeg beats Nashville in seven.  In the conference championship round, it’s Boston over Columbus in five and Winnipeg over San Jose in five.  And in the Stanley Cup final, Boston defeats Winnipeg in six.  Let the games begin!

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2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions