The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight, so that means Ian and I have to do our usual, horrifyingly inaccurate predictions for the first round.
Below you’ll see the hottest of our hot takes and the most upsetting upset picks you’ll ever see, but we’re also bringing in an x-factor, who might defeat us both in predicting the outcome of this season’s race of the Stanley Cup.
Introducing: Keith, a Coin.
Keith is a 2014 Philadelphia-minted quarter. Keith lives at my desk, and he is in the 50-state quarters program. Keith is a Utah quarter, and therefore impartial to any hockey teams. Someone wrote “K” on him with a magic marker; I do not know who did that and I deny everything.
When Keith picks heads, he picks the higher-seeded team. Keith does not pick number of games because he’s just a stupid coin.
Peter: The Blues are the better 5v5 team, but I’m a believer in Devan Dubnyk. Wild in 7.
Ian: Me pick against a young Russian superstar? C’mon, bro, you know me better than that! Blues in 6.
Keith, a coin: Blues.
Peter: I’m off the Chicago-to-the-Cup bandwagon, but I still believe they’re a better team than Nashville, of whom I will always be skeptical. The PDO bubble will burst, and the Hawks will win in 5.
Ian: This will be the most exciting series of the first round. The Blackhawks are one of the NHL’s best over the last decade, but Nashville is the best team I saw play this season. Rinne, their defense, and then that first line of Forsberg, Ribeiro, and Neal – oh man. They’ll squeak out of this round and then it’ll be curtains for the rest of the West. Predators in 7.
Keith, a coin: Predators.
Peter: First of all, my heart will be broken if Mathieu Perreault misses this series to injury and my heart will be broken if Mathieu Perreault plays and faces ex-coach Bruce Boudreau. I think, even without Selanne, Anaheim is better than they’ve been in recent years– Ducks in 6.
Ian: It’s going to be hard to win any game in Winnipeg, but I think this is the year Bruce takes the Ducks deep. Ducks in 5.
Keith, a coin: Ducks.
Peter: Ah yes, the Not Gonna Watch It series. As long as this ends in tears for a large portion of Canada, I’m happy. Flames in 7.
Ian: Poor Vancouver can never get over the hump. You gotta think they can at least weather the Flames right? Canucks in 6.
Keith, a coin: Canucks.
Peter: Ooh I like that all the Canadian teams are facing each other in the first round. Maximum anguish. Carey Price’s hand is shaky and they depend on him for everything. Give me the Senators in 6.
Ian: The Senators just squeaked into the playoffs, but they have one of the best defensemen in the league and a forward corps that is underrated. Carey Price was great this season, but this is where his fairytale season ends. Senators in 6.
Keith, a coin: Canadiens.
Peter: The Lightning are great, but their special teams blow. Wings in 5.
Ian: This will be a thrilling series. Detroit’s not as deep or young as they used to be, but it’s hard to bet against a Mike Babcock coached team.
Red Wings in 7.
Keith, a coin: Lightning.
Peter: This is a mystery to me. Really, it depends on which Penguins team shows up. I’ll take the Rangers in 7, but I’ve got zero confidence in this.
Ian: The Penguins could easily win this series if they play to their abilities, but I think this is where they completely collapse. The Rangers are so deep and good defensively. Good luck to anyone trying to beat them in this year’s playoffs. If you do, it’s going to 7 games.
Rangers in 5.
Keith, a coin: Penguins.
Peter: Secondary scoring won’t work for Washington, but Alex Ovechkin and the Caps power play will deliver victory. Caps in 7.
Ian: Please forgive me and I feel awful writing this. Jack Capuano is one of the best young coaches in the league and I just can’t pick against a forwards corps that deep. I believe someday John Tavares will win a Cup and this may be that year. Sure I think the Caps defense is much improved, but their scoring lines are wacky right now and their shutdown line is not very good. All that stuff about how the team is “heavy?” The Caps will lose in a foot race. I hope I’m wrong.
Isles in 6.
Keith, a coin: Isles.
p.s. I kind of hate Keith, a coin, already. Share your predictions below!
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