2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Round 1 Predictions

The 2015 NHL playoffs are drastically different than they have been in recent years, and it’s exciting! Five out of seven Canadian-based NHL teams are in the hunt this year. For the first time since 2007, a defending Stanley Cup champion failed to make the playoffs. Another big change – and without a doubt my favorite – the Boston Bruins have missed the playoffs. No team, or fans, will be subjected to their bullying, spearing, diving, illegal hits and general cheap crap. I’m more giddy than I can express.

Here are my Round One predictions and rationale. Bonus! The rest of the CHB crew gives their picks too!

rangers-pens

New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

I’m a fan of the Pens, but they slid arse-backwards into the playoffs this year. Sure, that works for the Kings, but Crosby and crew don’t seem to grow stronger when they’re the underdogs. The Rangers are coached by Extra gum chewer extraordinaire, Alain Vigneault, who we all know (from personal experience) prefers to do his tanking in the Stanley Cup Final, not round one. The Rangers beat the Pens in three of the four regular season games and I see them taking this too. Rangers in 6.

Other CHBers picks:

JJ – Rangers in 7
Nicole – Rangers in 6
Lizz – Rangers in 5
Delia – Rangers in 7
Caylie – Rangers in 7
Chris – Rangers in 6
Clay – Rangers in 5
Ed – Rangers 5
Jocelyn – Rangers 6
Matt – Rangers in 5

caps-isles

Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders

John Tavares will trump Alexander Ovechkin. The end. Okay, if you need more of an explanation here goes… Ovechkin and his Capitals have repeatedly proven that they are not a post-season team. He is easily shut down while the rest of his teammates flounder. The Islanders have been on the brink of success for a while now. They’re hungry and have something to prove. Also, I feel Jaroslav Halak will be able to get his previous playoff mojo back. Islanders in 6.

Other CHBers picks:

JJ – Capitals in 5
Nicole – Capitals in 5
Lizz – Capitals in 6
Delia – Capital in 5
Caylie – Capitals in 6
Chris – Capitals in 6
Clay – Capitals in 6
Ed – Islanders in 7
Jocelyn – Islanders in 6
Matt – Islanders in 7

habs-sens

Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators

It’s not going to be easy. The Senators have beaten the Habs in three of the four regular season matches this year, but this isn’t the regular season. The Habs will start off a little rocky, maybe even lose two in a row, but they’ve got more depth and a better goalie. They’re not riding an emotional high from a lucky streak like Ottawa. The Habs will be focused, calm and confident. They’ll prevail. Habs in 7.

Other CHBers picks:

JJ – Habs in 6
Nicole – Sens in 7
Lizz – Habs in 6
Delia – Habs in 5
Caylie – Habs in 5
Chris – Habs in 5
Clay – Sens in 7
Ed – Sens in 7
Jocelyn – Habs in 7
Matt – Habs in 6

bolts-wings

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings

They say age before beauty… but in this case it’s youthful stamina over aging talent. The Bolts have a better defense, a better penalty kill and a younger core. I’d also give them the goalie advantage. Babcock is a genius but even he won’t be able to pull this off. Bolts in 5.

Other CHBers picks:

JJ – Bolts in 7
Nicole – Bolts in 5
Lizz – Bolts in 7
Delia – Bolts in 5
Caylie – Bolts in 6
Chris – Bolts in 5
Clay – Bolts in 6
Ed – Bolts in 6
Jocelyn – Bolts in 7
Matt – Bolts in 7

wild-blues

St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild

This one is a coin toss for me. Both have solid goaltending. Their regular season match-ups gave no clear indication of a dominant team and any advantage the Blues can claim with their power play, the Wild snuff out with their penalty kill. I’m going with St. Louis because I can’t stand watching the Wild play. I want the snorefest knocked out early. Blues in 6.

Other CHBers picks:

JJ – Blues in 7
Nicole – Blues in 7
Lizz – Blues in 4
Delia – Blues in 6
Caylie – Blues in 5
Chris – Blues in 6
Clay – Blues in 7
Ed –Wild in 7
Jocelyn – Blues in 6
Matt – Blues in 7

hawks-preds

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators

I see this being the big shocker of round one. The Blackhawks will either be missing Patrick Kane or have a very rusty version of him out there. Pekka Rinne will stand on his head. Corey Crawford will struggle. I’d be happy to be wrong on this because of my extreme dislike of Mike Fisher, but I think Preds will triumph. Preds in 6.

Other CHBers picks:

JJ – Hawks in 6
Nicole – Hawks in 6
Lizz – Hawks in 6
Delia – Hawks in 5
Caylie – Hawks in 6
Chris – Preds in 6
Clay – Hawks in 6
Ed – Preds in 7
Jocelyn – Hawks in 7
Matt – Hawks in 6

ducks-jets

Anaheim Ducks vs. Winnipeg Jets

The suburbs (as LA fans like to call the Ducks) won all three regular season meetings against the Jets and they have the strong desire to rewrite their recent playoff history (i.e. losing to the Kings). The Jets are a great story – young, quick and backed by a passionate fanbase happy to have hockey back. It’d be great if they won, but they won’t. They don’t have the playoff history to draw from and I think the pressure will overwhelm Ondrej Pavelec. Ducks in 6.

Other CHBers picks:

JJ – Ducks in 5
Nicole – Jets in 6
Lizz – Ducks in 5
Delia – Ducks in 5
Caylie – Ducks in 5
Chris – Jets in 7
Clay – Ducks in 6
Ed – Ducks in 6
Jocelyn – Ducks in 5
Matt – Ducks in 6

canucks-flames

Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames

I’m a Canucks fan. This is a Canucks blog. What did you expect me to say? But other than being a homer, I think the Canucks penalty kill and their recent experience in playoffs will be their advantage. Yeah, the ‘Nucks didn’t make it to the big dance last season, but neither have the Flames in six seasons. Look for Radim Vrbata and Eddie Lack to be key factors in the series victory. (If they start Ryan Miller, then look for this whole prediction to be thrown out the window. Miller is a good goalie, just not right now). Canucks in 6.

Other CHBers picks:

JJ – Canucks in 6
Nicole – Flames in 6
Lizz – Canucks in 7
Delia – Canucks in 6
Caylie – Canucks in 6
Chris – Flames in 7
Clay – Canucks in 6
Ed – Canucks in 6
Jocelyn – Canucks in 6
Matt – Canucks in 7

Victoria Pattison Denault

Victoria was born in Habs country, moved to Leafs territory for college & Canucks town for work before immigrating to the land of sunshine, movie stars & KINGS. When not watching hockey Victoria writes novels.

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1 Response

  1. April 13, 2015

    […] • CHB’s complete playoff predictions. You’ll never guess which way they’re leaning in the Vancouver-Calgary series. [Canucks Hockey Blog] […]

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