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NHL Stanley Cup Finals Prediction

Tampa Bay Lightning 4 Colorado Avalanche 3

This year’s Stanley Cup Finals matchup is an intriguing one, featuring the two-time defending champion Lightning against this year’s consensus favorite, the Avalanche.

The Lightning sort of slept through the regular season and have turned it on during the playoffs, while the Avs used its explosive offense to steamroll through the league in both the regular season and playoffs. There is plenty of star power on both sides, with Tampa Bay featuring Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Victor Hedman, while Colorado counters with Nathan Mackinnon and Cale Makar.

It’s in the net where I believe the series will be decided. Again, all-world goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has elevated his play to the maximum during the postseason for the Lightning after what some might call a down year in the regular season. Meanwhile, his counterpart, Darcy Kuemper has been hobbled with ailments throughout the playoffs.

I’m taking the Lightning in a tight series to three-peat, primarily due to its sizeable advantage in net.

NHL Conference Finals Predictions:

Eastern Conference:

Tampa Bay Lightning over New York Rangers 4-1

The Rangers have come from behind and stolen seven-game series from both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes, with the key being goalie Igor Shesterkin, as New York has been outplayed by its opponents for significant chunks in the first two rounds. Their reward is home ice advantage in the conference finals, but at the price of the matching up with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion, who have seemed to find their footing after an uneven regular season.

Shesterkin and his Lightning counterpart, Andrei Vasilevskiy, are a juicy goaltending matchup, and each are more than capable of stealing a series. That said, at this point, the Lightning are the more complete team.

Western Conference:

Colorado Avalanche over Edmonton Oilers 4-2

I admit I have the hindsight of knowing the result of the 8-6 shootout victory for the Avalanche in Game One. I predict more of the same high octane offense regardless of any counter measures each team will take to slow down the other. A interesting stat I read this morning stated that the Oilers have scored the most goals thus far in the postseason. Unfortunately, they have given up the most, as well. I expect more of the latter against Colorado.

NHL Rink Wrap: Oilers take commanding 3-1 lead; Hurricanes’ road woes — ProHockeyTalk | NBC Sports

The Edmonton Oilers have taken a commanding 3-1 series lead against the Calgary Flames, while the New York Rangers draw even in their series.

NHL Rink Wrap: Oilers take commanding 3-1 lead; Hurricanes’ road woes — ProHockeyTalk | NBC Sports

NHL Second Round Predictions

Eastern Conference:

Tampa Bay Lightning over Florida Panthers 4-3

The battle of Florida features the two-time defending champion Lightning taking on the Presidents Trophy-winning Panthers. This is a rematch of a playoff series from a year ago when Tampa Bay cruised past Florida. I’m taking the battle tested Lightning in an extremely tight series.

Carolina Hurricanes over New York Rangers 4-2

Both teams survived seven game series in the first round. The Rangers were generally outplayed by the Pittsburgh Penguins, especially during 5 on 5 play, however were saved by Pittsburgh blowing leads in the final 3 games (all Rangers victories). Carolina will not allow New York back into any games.

Western Conference:

Colorado Avalanche over St. Louis Blues 4-2

The Avs will finally get over the hump of the second round and continue to be the Stanley Cup favorites by getting past a tough St. Louis squad.

Edmonton Oilers over Calgary Flames 4-3

The battle of Alberta will see Connor McDavid and company ride into the conference finals in what could be a classic series. Look for Oilers’ goaltender Mike Smith to have to stand on his head at times.

NHL Rink Wrap: Hurricanes dominate again; Wild, Lightning, Oilers get even — ProHockeyTalk | NBC Sports

Kirill Kaprizov has a hat trick for the Minnesota Wild, the Edmonton Oilers bounce back with a shutout, and the Tampa Bay Lightning get even, while the Carolina Hurricanes dominate the Boston Bruins again.

NHL Rink Wrap: Hurricanes dominate again; Wild, Lightning, Oilers get even — ProHockeyTalk | NBC Sports

NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions:

Yes, I am aware the playoffs started last night, however, I wan unfortunately unable to post my predictions ahead of time. I promise I will not let last night’s results skew my true predictions!

Eastern Conference:

Florida over Washington 4-2

The Capitals have all the playoff experience, however, the Panthers are simply the better team. I do wonder a bit about Florida’s goaltending situation.

Carolina over Boston 4-2

This would have been my pick before last night’s Canes beatdown of the Bruins. Carolina has dominated Boston this season and I look for that to continue.

Tampa Bay over Toronto 4-2

Yes, the snake bitten Leafs looked great in Game one, however, it’s the Leafs! And they are playing the two time defending champions.

New York Rangers over Pittsburgh 4-2

The Penguins have loads of playoff reps, but the Rangers are a nice, young up and coming squad.

Western Conference:

Colorado over Nashville 4-1

I don’t see much here that tells me this won’t be anything more than a gentleman’s sweep.

Calgary over Dallas 4-3

The Flames have a deeper roster, but the Stars have plenty of veterans needed to make this a series.

St. Louis over Minnesota 4-2

Here’s my “upset” pick, and it’s not much of an upset taking a deep and experienced Blues team to upend the Wild.

Edmonton over Los Angeles 4-3

This one should be fun. The Kings took the upper hand with a late goal in game one, but look for lots of back and forth here.

This Day in History

February 22, 1980:

Miracle on Ice.

In the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, the United States Men’s ice hockey team defeated the heavily-favored Soviet Union team 4-3. The upset victory was achieved by a team of amateur, mostly college-age players who took on a dominant team of professional hockey players that had won gold medals at six of the previous seven Winter Olympics. After counting down the final seconds of the game live on air, ABC broadcaster Al Michaels famously quipped, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” The US went on to defeat Finland in the gold medal game.

Taken From: This Day in History by Jim Daley; Copyright 2019; Publications International, LTD

(BEIJING) Winter Olympics Report: The National Hockey League (NHL) has confirmed it will not send its players to the men’s ice hockey tournament #AceNewsDesk report — Ace News Services

#AceNewsReport – Dec.24: The NHL season has been disrupted since mid-December by a raft of postponements #AceSportsDesk says according to a BBC Sports News Report: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said “Olympic participation is no longer feasible” with 50 league games postponed up to 23 December. It follows disruption to the regular NHL season because of […]

(BEIJING) Winter Olympics Report: The National Hockey League (NHL) has confirmed it will not send its players to the men’s ice hockey tournament #AceNewsDesk report — Ace News Services

NHL Predictions 2021-2022

I know it’s difficult to fathom, but the NHL regular season starts tonight.  I can’t skate, can’t handle a puck, and certainly cannot fight, but I love watching hockey!  Here are my not-so-expert predictions for the upcoming season.

Eastern Conference:

Atlantic Division:

  1. Tampa Bay
  2. Florida
  3. Boston
  4. Toronto
  5. Montreal
  6. Ottawa
  7. Detroit
  8. Buffalo

Metropolitan Division:

  1. NY Islanders
  2. Carolina
  3. Washington
  4. NY Rangers
  5. Philadelphia
  6. Pittsburgh
  7. Columbus
  8. New Jersey

Western Conference:

Central Division:

  1. Colorado
  2. Winnipeg
  3. Dallas
  4. Chicago
  5. St. Louis
  6. Minnesota
  7. Nashville
  8. Arizona

Pacific Division:

  1. Vegas
  2. Edmonton
  3. Seattle
  4. Vancouver
  5. Los Angeles
  6. Calgary
  7. San Jose
  8. Anaheim

Playoffs Eastern Conference:

First Round:

Tampa Bay over NY Rangers

NY Islanders of Toronto

Florida over Boston

Washington over Carolina

Second Round:

Tampa Bay over Florida

NY Islanders over Washington

Conference Final:

NY Islanders over Tampa Bay

Playoffs Western Conference:

First Round:

Colorado over St. Louis

Vegas over Chicago

Dallas over Winnipeg

Edmonton over Seattle

Second Round:

Dallas over Colorado (There’s always a major upset somewhere!)

Vegas over Edmonton

Conference Final:

Vegas over Dallas

Stanley Cup Final:

NY Islanders over Vegas