Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs begins on Wednesday 4/11/18 with the Minnesota Wild at the Winnipeg Jets (CNBC) and the Philadelphia Flyers visiting the Pittsburgh Penguins (NBCSN). Here are the Chester Doctrine Picks for this years Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Nashville v Colorado
Mike: Nashville in 5. Nashville is the much more complete team. Starting with the strong core of defensive players will shut down MacKinnon. Additionally Nashville has much more experience in the playoffs than the younger Colorado team.
Winnipeg v Minnesota
Mike: Jets in 7. With Suter out with a fracture in his right ankle, and Spurgeon out a partial tear in his right hamstring, the Wild will have to rely on a young defensive core. Although the Wild have offensive firepower with Eric Staal leading the way, they will most likely fall short.
Las Vegas v Los Angeles
Mike: Vegas in 7. This is going to be the most difficult 1vWC game this year. Los Angeles has a very talented core of players between Kopitar, Brown, and Quick. Look for Marian Gaborik to have a better presence in the postseason than the regular season. Vegas however will look to continue their historic season another round with outstanding play from Marc Andre Fluery.
Anaheim v San Jose
Mike: Ducks in 6. With Thorton and Kane out the Sharks will struggle in the offensive zone. The Ducks will look to Perry and Getzlaf to power their way past the Sharks.
Tampa Bay v New Jersey
Mike: Devils in 7. Taylor Hall has had an outstanding season, which puts him in the MVP talks. The Devils have been on a streak, and will look to continue it against Tampa Bay and its high powered offense led by Steven Stamkos.
Boston v Toronto
Mike: Toronto in 6. The Maple Leafs young talent will try to outlast the older more experienced Bruins. Boston may have more depth on the roster, but Toronto’s speed will play a major factor against a Bruins team who struggled to stay healthy all season.
Washington v Columbus.
Mike: Washington in 5. Washington has much better match ups at center over Columbus. Additionally Ovechkin is a game changer that Columbus lacks. This series will have a great goaltending match-up between Holtby and Bobrovsky. Look for a low scoring affair with Alexander Ovechkin and Artemi Panarin being the primary point-getters for each squad.
Pittsburgh v Philadelphia
Mike: Pittsburgh in 5. Although the city of Philadelphia has been in championship mode the back to back returning Stanley Cup winners have too much depth and firepower for Philadelphia. This series will be very entertaining to watch. Expect the games to be physical and very close. Philadelphia has boosted their goaltending with the return of Elliott, but Pittsburgh’s stars will be too much to handle.
Nashville v Winnipeg
Mike: Nashville in 5. Nashville has the more well rounded team and the better goaltender.
Las Vegas v Anaheim
Mike: Anaheim in 7. Vegas’ run comes to a end after a long tough series with Anaheim. Look for Ryan Kessler and Jakob Silfverberg to be the difference makers.
New Jersey v Toronto
Mike: Toronto in 6. Toronto matches up well against New Jersey. Matthews vs Hall will be a thrilling match-up, but the second lines for Toronto will fair better than New Jersey, giving them the edge
Washington v Pittsburgh
Mike: Pittsburgh in 7. The Capital Curse continues. Washington loses in the second round after a hard fought battle by two well built teams.
Nashville v Anaheim
Mike: Nashville in 6. Nashville’s experience and depth will lead them to a return to the finals.
Toronto v Pittsburgh
Mike: Toronto in 7. I’m going with the upset. Although Pittsburgh has more star power and much more depth. Toronto will be the hungrier team and will outplay Pittsburgh.
Stanley Cup Final
Nashville v Toronto
Mike: Nashville in 5. After a tough loss last year and the core of their team returning this year. Nashville will fix their mistakes and beat the Maple Leafs. Subban, Jossi, and Ellis will log a lot of minutes and look for PK Subban to be named winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as NHL playoff MVP.