My Predictions for the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Updated: Apr 18
It's the most exciting time of the year. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are finally looming. With play beginning tomorrow night, I wanted to get my picks in before the action begins so I can rightfully brag about how smart I am in two months (or, more likely, how wrong I was).
CGY over COL (6 Games)
A lot is being made about the Flames goaltending potentially being their downfall, but Philip Grubauer isn't exactly a Vezina Candidate. Calgary's superior depth carries them past the Avs.
VGK over SJ (7 Games)
On the other hand, the goaltending differential here is substantial. Just like last year in Round 2, Marc-Andre Fleury outplays Martin Jones as the Sharks suffer another heartbreaking early exit.
NSH over DAL (7 Games)
Ben Bishop has quietly put up a Vezina-worthy campaign. But Dallas depth is abmysal and it's not like Seguin and (especially) Benn are having MVP seasons. The four-line juggernaut of Smashville prevails.
STL over WPG (6 Games)
The Blues are one of the hottest teams in the NHL coming into the playoffs, while the Jets are one of the coldest. If Jordan Binnington keeps his cool and stays in regular season form, give me St. Louis in the upset.
TB over CBJ (5 Games)
The Blue Jackets are a very good team. They've got scoring depth, an elite defensive pair, and a Vezina-caliber goaltender. Unfortunately, they're playing the greatest team in the salary cap ever and one of the best of all-time. So, yeah.
BOS over TOR (6 Games)
The Leafs defense has been battered and beatened all season long, and there's no reason to think the Bruins won't do the same. Frederik Andersen is the x-factor here - if he's dominant, the Leafs could pull it out. But I'll say their boogeyman slays them once again.
WSH over CAR (6 Games)
Every year there is a young, upcoming team facing a grizzlied veteran contender. Colorado-Nashville in 2018, Toronto-Washington in 2017, Philadelphia-Washington in 2016 (I had to get the Flyers in I'm sorry). Generally, the veteran squad prevails. No exception to the rule here.
PIT over NYI (5 Games)
Something in my gut just says the slipper is about to come off Cinderella a bit too soon. Credit to the Isles for a great regular season, but playoff Sidney Crosby is a beast few can tame.
VGK over CGY (7 Games)
Stone, Karlsson, and Marchessault vs. Gaudreau, Giordano, and Monahan. This could be one of the most star-studded series in the playoffs. Vegas takes another Game 7 and sends the Flames into another internal crisis.
STL over NSH (6 Games)
The firepower of the St. Louis overtakes the balanced Predators as Vladimir Tarasenko finally becomes the household name he should be.
TB over BOS (4 Games)
Toronto may not have won the battle, but they'll get the pressure of wearing the Bruins out in a physical series, leaving them as cannon fodder for a Lightning team with more than one productive forward line.
WSH over PIT (5 Games)
It just feels like the guard has been passed. All season long, the Pens have had a weird feel, as several stars such as Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, and Matt Murray have gone on prolonged slumps. At least two of those rear their ugly head in Round Two, and it's enough to push the Caps to their second straight Conference Final.
VGK over STL (6 Games)
Like Winnipeg, Vegas has star power, but it's just seemed to click better over the course of the season (especially since acquiring Mark Stone). The Blues somewhat weak defense costs them as the series moves on, and Vegas returns to the Finals for the second time in as many years.
TB over WSH (5 Games)
The student finally schools the teacher. Armed with the lessons they learned in last year's choke, the Bolts dominante the Caps en route to their second Finals appearance in five years.
Stanley Cup Finals
TB over VGK (6 Games)
Marc-Andre Fleury will have his moments, and the Knights' balanced offense will keep them in this for as long as possible. But there's just no one on Tampa's level. There have been a lot of talks about an unlikely Cup winner this year, but a lot of the time that happens with we most expect it. Hence the reason why the President's Trophy winning Lightning take home their second Stanley Cup.
Brayden Point (TBL)