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

Colorado in 4

Calgary in 6

St. Louis in 6

 

Stanley Cup Final:

COL over CAR

 

Conn Smythe:

Nathan MacKinnon

 

Cam Robinson

 

Philadelphia in 5

Columbus in 6

Washington in 7

Carolina in 7

 

Vegas in 5

Colorado in 6

Calgary in 7

Vancouver in 6

 

Stanley Cup Final:

COL over CAR

 

Conn Smythe:

Nathan MacKinnon

 

Rick Roos

 

Philadelphia in 6

Tampa Bay in 6

NY Islanders in 5

Carolina in 6

 

Vegas in 6

Colorado in 5

Calgary in 7

Vancouver in 6

 

Stanley Cup Final:

TB over VAN

 

Conn Smythe:

Nikita Kucherov

 

Dave Hall

 

Philadelphia in 5

Tampa Bay in 6

Washington in 7

Carolina in 7

 

Vegas in 5

Colorado in 5

Calgary in 6

Vancouver in 6

 

Stanley Cup Final:

COL over PHI

 

Conn Smythe:

Nathan MacKinnon

 

Alex MacLean

 

Philadelphia in 5

Columbus in 6

NY Islanders in 5

Carolina in 6

 

Vegas in 6

Colorado in 4

Calgary in 4

St. Louis in 7

 

Stanley Cup Final:

PHI over COL

 

Conn Smythe:

Sean Couturier

 

Grant Campbell

 

Philadelphia in 5

Tampa Bay in 6

Washington in 6

Boston in 7

 

Vegas in 6

Colorado in 5

Calgary in 7

St. Louis in 6

 

Stanley Cup Final:

PHI over COL

 

Conn Smythe:

Carter Hart

 

Eric Daoust

 

Philadelphia in 5

Columbus in 7

Washington in 7

Carolina in 5

 

Vegas in 5

Colorado in 7

Calgary in 6

Vancouver in 7

 

Stanley Cup Final:

COL over PHI

 

Conn Smythe:

Nathan MacKinnon

 

Flip Livingstone

 

Philadelphia in 5

Tampa Bay in 7

NY Islanders in 6

Carolina in 6

 

Vegas in 5

Colorado in 6

Dallas in 6

St. Louis in 7

 

Stanley Cup Final:

COL over CAR

 

Conn Smythe:

Nathan MacKinnon

 

Aaron Boyle

 

Philadelphia in 4

Tampa Bay in 6

Washington in 6

Boston in 7

 

Vegas in 6

Colorado in 5

Calgary in 7

Vancouver in 6

 

Stanley Cup Final:

PHI over VGK

 

Conn Smythe:

Carter Hart

 

Chris Kane

 

Montreal in 6

Tampa Bay in 6

Washington in 5

Carolina in 7

 

Vegas in 5

Colorado in 5

Dallas in 7

St. Louis in 6

 

Stanley Cup Final:

CAR over DAL

 

Conn Smythe:

Sebastian Aho

 

Mario Prata

 

Philadelphia in 6

Tampa Bay in 6

NY Islanders in 7

Carolina in 7

 

Vegas in 5

Colorado in 6

Calgary in 6

St. Louis in 7

 

Stanley Cup Final:

CAR over COL

 

Conn Smythe:

Sebastian Aho

 

 

Brennan DeSouza

 

Philadelphia in 7

Tampa Bay in 5

NY Islanders in 7

Carolina in 7

 

Vegas in 5

Colorado in 6

Dallas in 7

Vancouver in 6

 

Stanley Cup Final:

TB over COL

 

Conn Smythe:

Brayden Point

 

 

Adam Daly-Frey

 

Philadelphia in 4

Tampa Bay in 6

Washington in 5

Boston in 5

 

Vegas in 4

Colorado in 4

Dallas in 6

St. Louis in 4

 

Stanley Cup Final:

VGK over PHI

 

Conn Smythe:

Mark Stone

 

 

Tom Collins

 

Philadelphia in 5

Tampa Bay in 6

NY Islanders in 5

Carolina in 5

 

Vegas in 7

Colorado in 4

Calgary in 5

St. Louis in 6

 

Stanley Cup Final:

CAR over VGK

 

Conn Smythe:

Sebastian Aho

 

 

Coin Toss

 

Montreal in 7

Tampa Bay in 7

NY Islanders in 7

Boston in 7

 

Vegas in 7

Arizona in 7

Calgary in 7

St. Louis in 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONSENSUS

 

Philadelphia in 5

Tampa Bay in 6

NY Islanders in 7

Carolina in 6

 

Vegas in 5

Colorado in 5

Calgary in 7

St. Louis in 7

 

Stanley Cup Final:

COL over CAR/PHI

 

Conn Smythe:

Nathan MacKinnon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Favorites

The panel went with the following favorites (round-robin teams), listed by strength of preference in terms of votes:

Vegas (over Chicago) / Colorado (over Arizona)

Philadelphia (over Montreal)

Tampa Bay (over Columbus)

St. Louis (over Vancouver)

No writers chose either Chicago or Arizona to win their series. Colorado finished 18 points ahead of Arizona, while Vegas finished 14 points ahead of Chicago (although the Blackhawks had one game in hand). Even with the Blackhawks and Coyotes playing must-win series, picking an upset here would be a reach.  

Upset specials

The panel likes the following play-in teams to pull off the upset, listed by strength of preference in terms of votes:

Carolina (over Boston)

Calgary (over Dallas)

NY Islanders (over Washington)

Teams that did not perform well in the round-robin tournament were more likely to be considered for an upset. The Bruins went 0-3 in the round-robin while the Hurricanes swept the Rangers, so the panel hardly factored in Boston's Presidents' Trophy win from back in March.   

Stanley Cup winner

The panel likes Colorado to win the Stanley Cup, with Nathan MacKinnon the only Conn Smythe Trophy winner from that team. Philadelphia and Carolina were in a dead heat to represent the Eastern Conference, as they received the same number of votes to both win the Stanley Cup and finish as the runner-up.

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 playoffs, 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 EDM Players
22% JOSH ARCHIBALD CONNOR MCDAVID RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS
17.9% ANDREAS ATHANASIOU LEON DRAISAITL KAILER YAMAMOTO
13% ALEX CHIASSON GAETAN HAAS JAMES NEAL

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