Welcome to the 2016 NHL playoffs! It’s that time, where the regular season means nothing, the next six weeks mean everything and one franchise will achieve the biggest prize in the game, winning Lord Stanley’s Cup.
With the playoffs starting with Detroit and Tampa on Wednesday, it’s time to show you my playoff bracket, which you too, can do, by clicking on the following link, HERE!
So why have I chosen what I have chosen?
Dallas look potent. With the addition of Patrick Sharp, Johnny Oduya and Antti Niemi, the Stars added not only more rings in the room, but playoff experience, and for a young Stars roster, experience in the playoffs will be vital.
Chicago will be Chicago. Sure they will be without Duncan Keith due to suspension for Game One, and St Louis do look the better team coming in, but the defending Champs won’t go down easy. They know how to win in the playoffs. The Blues don’t. Then again, the Blues have to learn some time..
Anaheim are hot. Red hot. Nashville might have Pekka Rinne and Shea Weber, and a plethora of talent on offense, but the Ducks made it to the Western Conference finals last season, and should make it past the Preds without too much hassle.
Kings/Sharks? Martin Jones vs. Jonathan Quick, the Apprentice takes on the Master. The Sharks are better than in ’14, but the Kings are the Kings, and this is where they shine.
The passing of Ed Snider should motivate the Flyers, and I do think that this is the potential upset of the playoffs, but if the Capitals want to be more than just regular season wonders, then they need to win this series. And the next one.
I have the Penguins making the Stanley Cup finals without Evgeni Malkin for a portion of the run, which is a bold pick. But, I feel that this could be another coming out party for #87 in black. Even if Henrik Lundqvist is the opposing Goalie.
If the Islanders are too have any chance of being a credible threat in these playoffs, then they need to beat a Panthers squad, that built themselves for a run during the trade deadline period. Oh, and the Panthers have Jaromir Jagr. Who is 44, and doesnt look like retiring any time soon. Chris Chelios didnt retire until he was 48 remember.
Oh Tampa, Stanley Cup finalists last season. Injury riddled and a big chance of being knocked out early this season. Steven Stamkos won’t play at all due to a blood clot, Anton Stralman is also out long term, and the likes of Victor Hedman, Tyler Johnson and Ryan Callahan with injury clouds hanging over them, will they be able to defeat a Red Wings squadron, looking to send Pavel Datsyuk to retirement and back home to Russia with one last Cup run? The Lightning may have been able to defeat the Winged Wheel the last time they played in the playoffs, but not this time.
As for Dallas to win the Cup? Crosby finally runs out of Steam and the Stars win on the back of surprisingly good Goaltending and Jamie Benn rising above all else to hoist the Stars’ second Cup. Without a skate in the crease.