Experts Panel: Eastern Conference Play-In Picks

Ian Gooding

2020-07-29

These past few months have been crazy, but the crew at Dobber Hockey is ready for some hockey again. And with that, some predictions for the play-in tournament.

Today, the writers weigh in with their predictions for the Eastern Conference play-in tournament in Toronto. Tomorrow, you'll see the predictions for the Western Conference play-in tournament in Edmonton. You'll see each writer's predicted winner, along with the number of games that it will take for that team to win. Remember, the play-in tournaments are best-of-5 series.

The panel's lifetime record is 94-55 when it comes to playoff predictions.

Eastern Conference matchups

Pittsburgh (5) vs. Montreal (12)

Carolina (6) vs. NY Rangers (11)

NY Islanders (7) vs. Florida (10)

Toronto (8) vs. Columbus (9)

 

Dobber

Pittsburgh in 4

NY Rangers in 5

NY Islanders in 4

Toronto in 5

 

Ian Gooding

Pittsburgh in 3

NY Rangers in 5

NY Islanders in 5

Toronto in 5

 

Mike Clifford

Pittsburgh in 4

NY Rangers in 5

Florida in 5

Toronto in 5

 

Cam Robinson

Pittsburgh in 4

Carolina in 5

NY Islanders in 4

Columbus in 4

 

Rick Roos

Pittsburgh in 4

NY Rangers in 3

Florida in 5

Toronto in 5

 

Dave Hall

Pittsburgh in 4

NY Rangers in 5

Florida in 4

Toronto in 4

 

Alex MacLean

Pittsburgh in 4

NY Rangers in 5

NY Islanders in 4

Toronto in 5

 

Grant Campbell

Pittsburgh in 4

Carolina in 5

NY Islanders in 4

Toronto in 4

 

Steve Dotzel

Pittsburgh in 4

NY Rangers in 4

NY Islanders in 5

Toronto in 5

 

Flip Livingstone

Montreal in 5

Carolina in 4

NY Islanders in 5

Toronto in 5

 

Aaron Boyle

Pittsburgh in 4

NY Rangers in 5

Florida in 4

Toronto in 3

 

Chris Kane

Pittsburgh in 5

Carolina in 4

NY Islanders in 4

Toronto in 4

 

Mario Prata

Pittsburgh in 5

Carolina in 5

NY Islanders in 5

Toronto in 5

 

Brennan DeSouza

Pittsburgh in 4

NY Rangers in 5

Florida in 5

Toronto in 4

 

Adam Daly-Frey

Montreal in 5

NY Rangers in 3

Florida in 4

Toronto in 5

 

Tom Collins

Montreal in 4

NY Rangers in 4

Florida in 4

Columbus in 4

 

Coin Toss

Montreal in 5

NY Rangers in 5

NY Islanders in 5

Toronto in 5

 

CONSENSUS

Pittsburgh in 4

NY Rangers in 5

NY Islanders in 4

Toronto in 5

 

 

 

About the panel's picks

For the coin toss, heads was the higher-seeded team. I defaulted to five games in each coin toss pick.

Pittsburgh (5) vs. Montreal (12)

The panel considers the Penguins to be the clear-cut favorite here, which should be no surprise given the disparity between the two teams in terms of seedings and points (15 points, and the Pens played two fewer games). Habs fan Tom Collins happened to be one of the writers to choose the Canadiens, although Toronto-based Flip Livingstone was one of the others.

Carolina (6) vs. NY Rangers (11)

The panel was more split on this series, but in the end, they like the lower-seeded Rangers to pull off the upset. The possibility of the Rangers started goaltending phenom Igor Shesterkin combined with the firepower of Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad appears to be too tempting to pass up. The possibility of Dougie Hamilton not being ready for this series also hurts the Hurricanes' chances.

NY Islanders (7) vs. Florida (10)

This series was the closest vote of all in the Eastern Conference in terms of writer's picks, with the number of games reflecting the most popular choice among writers who selected the Islanders. The two teams were separated by only two points at the end of the season, although the higher-seeded Islanders played one fewer game. This series might be a true coin toss (which, by the way, also selected the Isles).

Toronto (8) vs. Columbus (9)

For a series in which the two teams had the same number of points in the same number of games, there was a near-unanimous choice to win. Given the number of games, the majority of writers believe this will be a close series even if the pick wasn't. I can confirm that the two writers who picked Columbus are not Toronto fans: Collins (see above), and Canucks prospect expert Cam Robinson.

Agree? Disagree? Comments?  

Come back tomorrow, when the panel makes its Western Conference play-in picks.

About the panel

Dobber launched this website in 2005 after he was the fantasy hockey columnist for The Hockey News website, The Fantasy Sports Network, and a contributor to The Forecaster. DobberHockey has since grown into the Dobber Sports Network and has work can be found across the Internet, including on Sportsnet.

Ian Gooding is the managing editor of DobberHockey and a regular writer on the daily Ramblings beat. He has also contributed to many other sites, including Sportsnet, Today's Slapshot, Kukla's Korner, and fantasyhockey.com.

Mike Clifford is an associate editor of DobberHockey and contributor for Rotowire and other fantasy hockey ventures.

Cam Robinson is the managing editor at DobberProspects and, along with Ian Gooding and Mike Clifford, collaborates to Daily Ramblings. He is a regular guest on Vancouver sports talk radio.

Mario Prata is the manager of special projects and marketing for Dobber Sports. He is also a co-founder of the famous The Sports Forecaster magazine.

Eric Daoust manages our valued Frozen Pool section.

Tom Collins writes the weekly Top 10 column that can be found here every Monday.

Rick Roos authors the weekly Roos Let Loose column every Wednesday. He is the former Cage Match writer for Dobber Hockey.

Adam Daly-Frey checks out what’s coming down the pipe with the Looking Ahead column every Friday.

Alex MacLean authors the salary cap column Capped, which can be found here every Thursday.

Grant Campbell writes the weekly Wild West column every Monday.

Brennan DeSouza writes the weekly Eastern Edge column every Tuesday, and gives us the latest injury information every Wednesday.

Dave Hall pens the weekly prospect column The Journey that can be found here every Saturday. He has also contributed to Dobber Prospects.

Chris Kane writes the Frozen Pool Forensics column on Fridays.

Flip Livingstone is our Saturday game picks author. He is a former NHL writer for theScore with past experience at such outlets as Postmedia, Hockey Night in Canada, and the CBC.

Steve Dotzel provides tips to help you win your daily fantasy leagues on Saturdays.

Enjoy the play-in tournament, folks!

UPCOMING GAMES

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STARTING GOALIES

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HOT PLAYERS

  Players Team GP G A P
VICTOR HEDMAN T.B 6 3 5 8
JOHN KLINGBERG DAL 6 1 6 7
ALEXANDER RADULOV DAL 7 1 6 7
MATTIAS JANMARK DAL 4 1 2 3

LINE COMBOS

  Frequency TOR Players
31.6% MITCHELL MARNER AUSTON MATTHEWS JOHN TAVARES
18.4% ZACH HYMAN KASPERI KAPANEN WILLIAM NYLANDER
13.6% ANDREAS JOHNSSON ALEXANDER KERFOOT ILYA MIKHEYEV

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