Experts Panel: Playoff Round 1 Predictions

Ian Gooding

2020-08-11

After a four-month layoff, the play-in round and round-robin turned out to be as unpredictable as they could have been.

The panel as a whole took it on the chin as far as majority rankings went, only choosing two of the eight play-in series (NY Islanders over Florida, Vancouver over Minnesota) correctly. Three series in particular hurt the panel, with strong majorities choosing Pittsburgh, Edmonton, and Toronto to advance. The saving grace for the writers is that none of them were defeated by the coin toss, which also guessed only two of the eight winners correctly. That's the kind of play-in that it was.   

Congratulations to Flip Livingstone, who led all writers by correctly picking six of the eight series. That's why he's our game picks writer. You can check out his NHL Picks articles here.

The panel will give it another go today with predictions for the 16-team playoffs, as well as Stanley Cup finalists and winner, and Conn Smythe Trophy winner.

Despite the poor results in the play-in round, the panel's lifetime record is 96-61 when it comes to postseason predictions.

Eastern Conference matchups

Philadelphia (4, 1) vs. Montreal (12, 8)

Tampa Bay (2, 2) vs. Columbus (9, 7)

Washington (3, 3) vs. NY Islanders (7, 6)

Boston (1, 4) vs. Carolina (6, 5)

Western Conference matchups

Vegas (3, 1) vs. Chicago (12, 8)

Colorado (2, 2) vs. Arizona (11, 7)

Dallas (4, 3) vs. Calgary (8, 6)

St. Louis (1, 4) vs. Vancouver (7, 5)

For matchups, the first number shows the rank before the play-in tournament, while the second number shows re-seeding rank.

 

Dobber

 

Philadelphia in 5

Columbus in 6

NY Islanders in 7

Carolina in 6

 

Vegas in 4

Colorado in 5

Calgary in 5

St. Louis in 6

 

Stanley Cup Final:

VGK over CAR

 

Conn Smythe:

Mark Stone

 

Ian Gooding

 

Philadelphia in 6

Columbus in 7

NY Islanders in 7

Carolina in 6

 

Vegas in 6

Colorado in 5

Calgary in 6

St. Louis in 7

 

Stanley Cup Final:

COL over PHI

 

Conn Smythe:

Nathan MacKinnon

 

Mike Clifford

 

Philadelphia in 5

Tampa Bay in 6

NY Islanders in 7

Carolina in 6

 

Vegas in 5

Colorad