Qualifying Round East
(5) Pittsburgh Penguins vs (12) Montreal Canadiens
My Prediction: Penguins in 3
Other TGH NHL Writers Prediction: Penguins
Throughout the season the Penguins were a strong team but battled with several injuries. Now with a healthy roster, the Penguins could easily cruise past the weak Canadiens team. Carey Price may be able to steal a game, but in the end, the Canadiens stand no chance to defeat the Penguins.
(6) Carolina Hurricanes vs (11) New York Rangers
My Prediction: Rangers in 5
Other TGH NHL Writers Prediction: Rangers
The Rangers and Hurricanes have both made massive improvements within the last season respectively. Both of these teams are evenly matched, but in the end, the deciding factors that will propel the Rangers to victory are their star forward Artemi Panarin, their strong goalie trio of Shesterkin, Georgiev and Lundqvist and 2019-20 season record against the Hurricanes (4-0).
(7) New York Islanders vs (10) Florida Panthers
My Prediction: Panthers in 4
Other TGH NHL Writers Prediction: Islanders
The Islanders come into the matchup with a deep offense, solid defense and decent goaltending. The defensive system of the Islanders has the potential to stop the star power of Barkov and Hubredeau for the Panthers. However, if Sergei Bobrovsky is able to return back to his prime form after this underwhelming season, the Panthers have a great chance to defeat the Islanders and go far in the playoffs.
(8) Toronto Maple Leafs vs (9) Columbus Blue Jackets
My Prediction: Maple Leafs in 5
Other TGH NHL Writers Prediction: Maple Leafs
On paper, the Maple Leafs are far more superior than the Blue Jackets. However, the deep and underrated Blue Jackets team have a chance to upset the under-performing Leafs team. In the end, the Maple Leafs will find a way to come out on top led by Auston Matthews, John Tavares, and Mitch Marner while the Blue Jackets will struggle without any star players.
Qualifying Round West
(5) Edmonton Oilers vs (12) Chicago Blackhawks
My Prediction: Oilers in 5
Other TGH NHL Writers Prediction: Oilers
The Blackhawks are coming into the playoffs as underdogs, barely squeaking into the playoffs. However, a huge advantage the Blackhawks have over the Oilers is their experience. They will put up a good fight against the Oilers, but in the end, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl will be too much for the Blackhawks to handle.
(6) Nashville Predators vs (11) Arizona Coyotes
My Prediction: Predators in 4
Other TGH NHL Writers Prediction: Predators
The Coyotes are in a tough spot with tons of players under-performing this season due to injuries. The Predators are in the same spot with their star goalie Pekka Rinne underachieving this season. Yet, the Predators will still come out on top with their deep offense and great defense.
(7) Vancouver Canucks vs (10) Minnesota Wild
My Prediction: Canucks in 3
Other TGH NHL Writers Prediction: Canucks
The battle of young vs old is now set with the Canucks vs Wild. The Canucks, led by young stars Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes while the Wild have veteran players such as Zach Parise, Eric Staal and Ryan Suter. Ultimately, the Wild will be no match for the Canucks’ speed and skill.
(8) Calgary Flames vs (9) Winnipeg Jets
My Prediction: Jets in 5
Other TGH NHL Writers Prediction: Jets
The Flames come into this matchup with a great offensive, solid defense and average goaltending. Over the past couple of postseasons, the Flames have heavily struggled and can’t find a way to produce. If Connor Hellebuyck can continue his Vezina caliber performance, along with the Jets offensive keeping up, the Jets have a high chance of upsetting the Flames.