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Eastern Conference Qualifying Round Predictions

The NHL recently announced that the league will be moving to phase 2 of their Return to Play plan allowing teams to reopen their facilities on Monday. However, this doesn’t mean that games will resume soon. The league and player’s association still have to figure out other details. One of the major details is the medical protocols in terms of protecting players from COVID-19. Until play resumes, let’s take a look at these predictions from each of the qualifying round series matches starting in the Eastern Conference. We’ll look at the key players, predicted scores and winners in each series.

Note: All teams will be reseeded prior to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the round robin teams won’t keep their original seed. Example: No. 5 Edmonton Oilers vs. No. 12 Chicago Blackhawks WILL NOT play No.4 Dallas Stars. The winner of that match will play who ever the No. 4 seed is during this playoff format.

No. 5 Penguins vs. No 12. Canadiens

Key Players:

Penguins: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin

Canadiens: Carey Price and Max Domi

Predicted Scores:

Game 1: 3-2 Penguins

Game 2: 2-1 Canadiens (Overtime)

Game 3: 2-0 Penguins

Game 4: Penguins 2-1

Winner: Pittsburgh Penguins

New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin doing his signature high kick celly.
New York Rangers look to take on this playoff tournament by storm. Image courtesy: Sarah Stier

No. 6 Hurricanes vs. No. 11 Rangers

Key Players:

Hurricanes: Sebastian Aho and Dougie Hamilton

Rangers: Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad

Predicted Scores:

Game 1: 2-1 Hurricanes (OT)

Game 2: 2-1 Rangers

Game 3: 3-1 Rangers

Game 4: 3-2 Hurricanes

Game 5: 1-0 Hurricanes (OT)

Winner: Carolina Hurricanes

No. 7 Islanders vs. No. 10 Panthers

Key Players:

Islanders: Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey

Panthers: Jonathan Huberdeau and Keith Yandle

Predicted Scores:

Game 1: 3-1 Islanders

Game 2: 2-1 Islanders (OT)

Game 3: 3-2 Panthers

Game 4: 2-1 Islanders

Winner: New York Islanders

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews stick handling the puck between his legs.
The Toronto Maple Leafs look to get out of the first round of the playoffs this season. Image courtesy: The Athletic

No. 8 Maple Leafs vs. No. 9 Blue Jackets

Key Players:

Maple Leafs: Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner

Blue Jackets: Pierre-Luc Dubois and Nick Foligno

Predicted Scores:

Game 1: 2-0 Maple Leafs

Game 2: 2-1 Maple Leafs

Game 3: 1-0 Blue Jackets (OT)

Game 4: 2-1 Blue Jackets

Game 5: 3-2 Maple Leafs (OT)

Winner: Toronto Maple Leafs

You may be wondering: When does a team have “home advantage”? The league determined that games 1, 2 and 5 would give the home advantage to the higher seeded team. Games 3 and 4 would give the home advantage to the lower seeded team. These scores are purely performance based so many of these results may look similar.

Check back to The Game Haus to see the predictions for the Western Conference.

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1 comment

The Game Haus Western Conference Qualifying Round Predictions | NHL June 10, 2020 at 8:46 am

[…] NHL waits to resume, TGH started to look at the Eastern Conference qualifying round. Keep in mind that these matchups are for teams seeded 5-12 and they will play in a best-of-five […]

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