If you haven't already, you'll want to purchase your Playoff Draft List at the Dobber Store. It's a fully customizable spreadsheet so that you can enter your teams to win and determine playoff pool rankings. Or if you're not sure, you can use Dobber's picks. Get yours at the Dobber Sports store before your playoff pool deadline.
If you need further guidance in making your playoff picks, our writers will be providing their picks a little later today. As an added bonus this year, you'll also see DFS picks and game picks on certain days throughout the playoffs.
Today I'll give you a preview of my own picks, as well as the rationale that I used to make those picks. I'll add the disclaimer that I've been wrong thousands of times when it comes to picking series winners. These are not lead-pipe locks by any means and there are no analytical models justifying my choices. I'm just explaining how I see things. Maybe this helps you in your pools as well.
Florida vs. Washington – Florida in 6
The President's Trophy winning Panthers will be a popular Stanley Cup Final pick for obvious reasons. Yet do they play the style of hockey that is needed to get there? Also, can their goaltending hold up? I could see a scenario in which they don't get there because winning with high-scoring games doesn't work as well in the playoffs as it does in the regular season. I picked them at the start of the season to make the final, so I'm going to stick with that pick.
If they do lose, it's not in this round. Washington's goaltending is suspect (I think they are better off with Vitek Vanecek than Ilya Samsonov). And we don't know whether Alex Ovechkin is 100%. This could be a more competitive series than you might think, though.
Carolina vs. Boston – Boston in 7
If Frederik Andersen is fine, I'm taking the Hurricanes. However, Antti Raanta can't seem to play more than a few games without getting some kind of injury. The Canes are a possession team that doesn't have to rely on its goaltending anyway, which should still make this series competitive.