Who’s going to win, the Leafs or the Lightning?
Hardev: The blue team in game 7 will be leaving the rink happy.
Seldo: The Maple Leafs and I think anyone saying different should be fired.
Species: Sports betting companies. Yes, I had to go there... but you will see why when they have bought out every single commercial slot on these games, at least the ones that are not taken by Ontario political parties. Also: the Leafs win it in six games.
Brigstew: I’m trying really hard not to fall into either of the the stereotypical Leafs fan groups, the hopeless homer or the misery Olympics gold medalist cynic emotional hedge fund manager, and just think about it rationally. In the end I do think the Leafs will lose this series.
Katya: Leafs in the arena with the wrist shot.
Fulemin: Bolts in 7.
Is it the depth or the stars that win it?
Hardev: Are goalies considered stars or depth because they’re all the way at the back of the ice? Because it’ll be goaltending that decides a lot of this series.
Seldo: First round it's the stars, but the depth contributes more as we go along since the focus is on controlling Matthews and Marner and Tavares and Nylander.
Species: The forward stars. This series is won or lost by Matthews and Marner but especially Nylander.
Brigstew: In a series with so many stars, I don’t know how it can’t be the stars who will win it for either side. I don’t see Mikheyev or Hagel carrying either team.
Katya: No one believes Corey Perry or Jason Spezza are the most important elements? Isn’t the third line all that counts? In the playoffs, you need tough guys who finish their checks, I know it because I heard it on the TV.
Fulemin: In a close series, any goal or two can make the difference, but let’s not get silly. The most important players in this series are the two starting goalies and then a whole bunch of stars.
Who leads the Leafs vs. Lightning series in goal scoring? Points?
Hardev: Matthews will lead the series in goals, Stamkos in points.
Species: Matthews will lead the series in goals, probably, but Playoffs Nylander is real, and he’s spectacular.
Seldo: Continuing from last season, Nylander will lead the Leafs in points. Matthews leads in goals.
Brigstew: Point in both goals and points.
Katya: Marner in points, Matthews and Point, neck-and-neck in goals. Nylander and Stamkos will be equal in on-ice goals against, but no one will mention Stamkos.
Fulemin: Matthews and Kucherov.
Who is the most likely player to get a suspension?
Hardev: Mikhail Sergachev has the aggressiveness, lack of benefit of the doubt from age, and doesn’t speak with a Canadian accent enough to get a suspension in the series.
Seldo: Corey Perry will be the one suspended. He's due.
Species: I don’t expect any suspension in the Leafs vs. Lightning series. Now, the Panthers vs. Capitals series; putting Radko Gudas and Tom Wilson on the ice against each other in a playoff round? Oh my. At least one of them is getting tossed for a game by DoPS. Those are must watch games when the Leafs aren’t playing. Also there’s a potential Edmonton vs. Calgary matchup in round two which I am really looking forward to because you know Tchucky can’t control his temper.
Brigstew: In the Leafs-Lightning series? Perry or Simmonds, I’d say. In the playoffs in general, gotta go with Wilson or Kadri for historical reasons.
Katya: In the Leafs-Lightning series it’s Michael Bunting or Mikhail Sergachev. They both have nearly identical act first think later reps. In the playoffs as a whole, it’s definitely Radko Gudas or Mason Marchment.
Fulemin: Nikita Kucherov is sneakily dirtier than a lot of people seem to realize, so I’ll throw him out.
Which first round series will be a major upset? First round picks?
Hardev: Boston beats Carolina will be an upset in the East, LA beating Edmonton in the West. Florida, Toronto, Boston, Pittsburgh in the East. Colorado, Minnesota, Calgary, Los Angeles in the West.
Seldo: The Leafs winning round one will be an upset. It will make Leaf fans believe and make non-Leafs fans upset.
Species: The Kings will drop the Oilers in four games. Connor McDavid will be frozen on the bench with an expression of no emotion. He will walk all the way home and then destroy his ugly house with a sledgehammer. Then he will immediately start training for next season.
Brigstew: For a MAJOR upset, that would rule out the series that I see as pretty even regardless of the seeding (like Boston-Carolina). I see four series that have, on paper, an big favourite in my eyes: Calgary-Dallas, Florida-Washington, and Colorado-Nashville. and maybe Edmonton-LA as well. But man... three of those favoured teams have some questionable goaltending. I can see Florida losing a high scoring series. I MAYBE could have seen Nashville doing it but Saros is hurt. I can most easily see Smith crapping the bed, but I’m going to go off the board and say Dallas will be the biggest upset of these playoffs.
Katya: Youz guyz confuse me. Carolina is going to kick Boston up and down the rink and send them packing. LA over Oilers is very plausible. Hell, I’ll guess them all:
- Carolina over Boston
- Toronto over Tampa Bay
- St. Louis over Minnesota
- LA over Edmonton
- Pittsburgh over Rangers
- Florida over Washington
- Colorado over Nashville
- Calgary over Dallas
Fulemin: Assuming we don’t count Boston over Carolina (I think it’ll be tight and Boston will win) or TB-TOR, the only series I would have called for a real upset was Pittsburgh over NYR, and the Pens lost their starting goalie.
Who is getting swept?
Hardev: Nashville has no chance, Washington might go down in five. Dallas might get swept, too.
Species: Mark it down, write it down, film it... the Oilers are done in four games.
Brigstew: Nashville... maybe, but they have a pretty good offense and I can see Colorado’s goalies coughing up one game.
Katya: Dallas and/or Nashville will get swept.
Fulemin: Dallas just isn’t a very good hockey team. Calgary is. Flames in four.
Who wins the Western Conference?
Hardev: Hot take... Minnesota.
Seldo: Los Angeles. I don't know why, but I feel like LA makes the final.
Species: Calgary. It’s a bit of a conceit to say I think they will make it because I want a Calgary vs. Toronto Stanley Cup Final both because it would be amazing, but as a bonus it would also make the US TV network executives’ heads explode having to cover a pure Canadian series.
Brigstew: I feel like it’s Colorado’s to lose, but someone from the Pacific will have the easiest path. So let’s say Calgary.
Fulemin: Colorado. Calgary is really good and probably plays more Playoff Hockey Style (TM) but the Avs can score four goals a game.
Biggest blown lead in a game in the first round?
Hardev: Someone’s going to blow a 6-1 lead in overtime at some point in this series. Florida, Colorado, and Tampa could all pull it off.
Seldo: Edmonton will blow a 4-1 lead in game seven after being up 3-0 in the series.
Species: Freddy is gonna be up 4-0 for the Hurricanes in the first period and get pulled when Marchand ties it 4-4 in the second.
Brigstew: If the biggest blown lead of the whole playoffs doesn’t come from the Florida-Washington series than what are we even doing here.
Katya: Florida has that capability. There is one other team very, very able to do the job, but I won’t mention them.
Fulemin: I am sorry but all of you know what the real answer is and you’re kidding yourselves.
Who is the first person fired, and will that be before the first round is over?
The Kittens: Nevermind.