On Monday, 15 NHL.com staffers made their picks for the first round of the NHL playoffs.
All 15 picked the Capitals to beat the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round.
|Nicholas J. Cotsonika||X|
|Mike G. Morreale||X|
While the Capitals swept the Hurricanes during the regular season, Carolina may not be a cake walk. As Peter Hassett wrote over the weekend, the Canes had strong underlying numbers this season, but just struggle to finish offensively. They’ve been a different team, however, since they acquired Nino Niederreiter from the Minnesota Wild in January.
The Capitals series is one of only three postseason series that received unanimous vote tallies. The other two are the Tampa Bay Lightning/Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames/Colorado Avalanche series with the Lightning and Flames being picked as victors.
The writers also included who they thought the Stanley Cup Final would be, who would win, and who would be named Conn Smythe. None of the writers picked the Capitals to repeat, not believing the Capitals could “not suck back to back.” Ten of the staffers picked the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the Stanley Cup. If those predictions come true, it would end the curse of the Presidents’ Trophy.
Only one contributor, Bill Price, picked the Capitals to appear in the Stanley Cup Final. In his bracket, the Caps would lose to the Nashville Predators and Ryan Johansen would be named Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
Not sure how to navigate the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoff bracket? Our expert staff weighs in with their picks.
— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) April 8, 2019
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