It begins. Place your bets.
Peter writes hockey and does tech. Ian writes hockey and does tech. Keith is literally a coin.
A 2014 Philadelphia quarter. I wrote K on him because his name is Keith and I didn’t wanna accidentally put him in a parking meter.
Peter: This will be the most interesting series in the west. I’m constitutionally opposed to both of these teams, but in a head-to-head my sympathies lie with PK and Filip. Predators in 6.
Ian: If the Washington Capitals are to win the Stanley Cup this season, they will have to conquer their demons in every round. Nothing comes easy right? That’s why no matter how good the Blackhawks play, the Preds will somehow win this series, as if its written in the stars. That’s because it is. Filip Forsberg has plans in June. He just doesn’t know it yet. Predators in 7.
Keith, a coin: Blackhawks.
Peter: Minnesota has had one of the best defensive seasons in NHL history — the way they limit quality chances is nuts. Bruce Boudreau and co. are gonna run roughshod over a waning Blues team. Wild in 5.
Ian: Bruce has the Wild playing some of its best hockey in franchise history. That’s why I think they’ll dispatch the Blues somewhat easily in the first round. But if we know anything about BBBB (Bench Boss Boose Boodreau), heartbreak will looming in the later rounds like the stench of a mildew-y shoe laying in the sun. Wild in 6.
Keith, a coin: Blues.
Peter: Two horrible teams being horrible together. I won’t watch a second of this series. Giving this my hot-take special: Flames in 4.
Ian: Full disclosure: I didn’t know the Flames made the playoffs until I literally just read the above text. Next you’re going to tell me Johnny Gaudreau has a driver’s license too. I’ve got the Ducks in this one. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry will be all the Ducks need to, uh, fly to the second round. Puns! Ducks in 5.
Keith, a coin: Ducks.
Peter: The Sharks might be on a gentle decline, whereas McDavid’s Oilers are obviously up and coming. This will be a ton of fun to watch. Gimme the Sharks in 7.
Ian: Connor McDavid scored 100 points this season and this Edmonton Oilers team is desperate for post-Gretzky playoff success. While Brent Burns had one of the greatest offensive seasons for a defenseman of all time, I just think this Oilers team has too much energy, will power, and offensive acumen to not advance. Oilers in 7.
Keith, a coin: Sharks.
Peter: Two of the best goalies of the last 10 years staring down at each other from across the ice. I’m excited to watch Claude Julien’s team advance to the next round, so I’ll take the Canadiens in 5.
Ian: I wish nothing but the worst for the Canadiens, who before the season started, traded away one of the greatest people in hockey. They hurt their team longterm with this move and then signed hockey idiots Alex Radulov and Andrew Shaw. But those rat bastards are going to win this series and that’s because Carey Price has a date in the Eastern Conference Finals. Canadiens in 6.
Keith, a coin: Canadiens.
Peter: The Bruins are underrated as hell. They’re the darkest dark horse of the east. They will wreck the Sens, who are bad. Bruins in 5.
Ian: I think both of these teams are trash, but it’s hard for me to believe that Bruce Cassidy won’t screw this up somehow. Chara is as old as Moses. Rask isn’t that good anymore. And Brad Marchand will probably spear someone’s dick off again. Ottawa in 4 and really the Bruins deserve this.
Keith, a coin: Bruins.
Peter: I’m so exciiiiited. There will be so much offense. It’ll be a track meet, and the Caps are carbo-loaded for it. Capitals in 6.
Ian: Part of me wants Barry Trotz to be humbled by a team and a coach that fully believes in analytics. But the roster that George McPhee built and Brian MacLellan aggressively tinkered with, will just be too much for this Leafs team that has unproven goods in goal and a blueline that consists of Connor Carrick, Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner, and actual trash. The Leafs’ young guns will make this a scary series though. Capitals in 6.
Keith, a coin: Leafs.
Peter: The Penguins are beat up (no Letang), but they’re still good enough to beat the Blooj. That said, Bob will make it interesting. Hope they go the distance. Penguins in 7.
Ian: The Capitals and Penguins will play each other in the second round. It’s destiny. Except this year, the Caps will destroy them. See you in three weeks, Pens fans. Penguins in 6.
Keith, a coin: Penguins.
Your turn: Share your picks below. [Winning team] in [number of games].
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