Experts Panel: Western Conference Play-In Picks

Ian Gooding

2020-07-30

The Dobber Hockey writers continue to make predictions with their picks for the Western Conference play-in series. You can also view their Eastern Conference picks here.

Just like in the East, 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.

Western Conference matchups

Edmonton (5) vs. Chicago (12)

Nashville (6) vs. Arizona (11)

Vancouver (7) vs. Minnesota (10)

Calgary (8) vs. Winnipeg (9)

 

Dobber

Edmonton in 4

Arizona in 5

Vancouver in 4

Winnipeg in 5

 

Ian Gooding

Edmonton in 4

Nashville in 4

Vancouver in 5

Winnipeg in 5

 

Mike Clifford

Chicago in 5

Nashville in 3

Minnesota in 5

Calgary in 4

 

Cam Robinson

Edmonton in 4

Nashville in 3

Vancouver in 4

Winnipeg in 5

 

Rick Roos

Chicago in 5

Nashville in 3

Vancouver in 4

Winnipeg in 4

 

Dave Hall

Edmonton in 4

Arizona in 5

Vancouver in 4

Winnipeg in 5

 

Alex MacLean

Edmonton in 4

Nashville in 5

Vancouver in 3

Winnipeg in 3

 

Grant Campbell

Edmonton in 4

Nashville in 3

Vancouver in 4

Calgary in 4

 

Steve Dotzel

Edmonton in 4

Nashville in 4

Vancouver in 3

Winnipeg in 5

 

Flip Livingstone

Edmonton in 3

Arizona in 4

Vancouver in 5

Calgary in 4

 

Aaron Boyle

Edmonton in 4

Arizona in 5

Vancouver in 3

Winnipeg in 5

 

Chris Kane

Edmonton in 4

Arizona in 5

Vancouver in 4

Calgary in 4

 

Mario Prata

Edmonton in 4

Nashville in 4

Vancouver in 5

Calgary in 5

 

Brennan DeSouza

Edmonton in 5

Arizona in 5

Vancouver in 4

Winnipeg in 5

 

Adam Daly-Frey

Edmonton in 3

Nashville in 4

Minnesota in 3

Calgary in 5

 

Tom Collins

Chicago in 5

Nashville in 4

Vancouver in 3

Winnipeg in 5

 

Eric Daoust

Edmonton in 4

Arizona in 5

Minnesota in 4

Winnipeg in 5

 

Coin Toss

Edmonton in 5

Nashville in 5

Minnesota in 5

Winnipeg in 5

 

CONSENSUS

Edmonton in 4

Nashville in 4

Vancouver in 4

Winnipeg 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.

Edmonton (5) vs. Chicago (12)

Compared to #5 Pittsburgh and #12 Montreal in the east, these two teams were not as far apart in the standings (11 points, with the Blackhawks playing one fewer game). Still, it shouldn't come as much of a surprised that the panel clearly favored the Oilers here. A healthy Corey Crawford will help the Hawks' chances here, while the presence of playoff-tested Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews could make this a closer series than what might first appear.      

Nashville (6) vs. Arizona (11)

There was some interest in a potential upset in this series. In the end, the Predators entered the season with higher expectations, and finished the season with more points, which likely swayed the panel. There is some argument that Arizona could be the favorite in this conference to pull off the upset. However, the recent exit of GM John Chayka could make things a bit more unsettled than normal in the Coyotes bubble.

Vancouver (7) vs. Minnesota (10)

This series mirrors Toronto and Columbus in the East. Vancouver and Minnesota were separated by only one point while playing the same number of games, so it's kind of a surprise that only 3 of the 17 writers chose the Wild. It could be because the Canucks boast stronger top-end scoring as well as better goaltending. Geographically, west coasters Cam Robinson, Grant Campbell, Dave Hall, and myself (Ian Gooding) all picked the Canucks.

Calgary (8) vs. Winnipeg (9)

These teams were separated by only .001 in terms of winning percentage, so it should be no surprise that the vote was somewhat close. Winnipeg may be the pick because of their more stable goaltending situation (Connor Hellebuyck). In addition, Calgary appears to be a better team on paper than how they have performed this season. Regardless, this series ensures that at least one Canadian team will make the playoffs (round of 16 version).

Agree? Disagree? Comments?

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 series, folks!

UPCOMING GAMES

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STARTING GOALIES

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HOT PLAYERS

  Players Team GP G A P
EVGENI MALKIN PIT 5 4 7 11
ADAM FOX NYR 4 1 6 7
JAKUB VORACEK PHI 6 0 10 10
NATHAN MACKINNON COL 5 2 6 8
MIKA ZIBANEJAD NYR 29 25 19 44
NIKITA KUCHEROV T.B 24 16 20 36
KEVIN FIALA MIN 11 9 7 16
EVANDER KANE S.J 7 5 5 10
KYLE CONNOR WPG 7 8 2 10
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS EDM 17 8 16 24

LINE COMBOS

  Frequency NYR Players
30.7% PAVEL BUCHNEVICH ARTEMI PANARIN MIKA ZIBANEJAD
25.3% KAAPO KAKKO CHRIS KREIDER RYAN STROME
19.1% FILIP CHYTIL BRETT HOWDEN BRENDAN LEMIEUX

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