2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs Predictions 

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are a mixed bag filled with ebbs and flows and many surprises. It can be tough to predict who will win it all, although Chicago and Los Angeles have made that fairly easy over the past few years. Who will take it all this year? My predictions:

ROUND 1

#1 Washington vs WC2 Flyers 

Verdict: Capitals in 6

The resilient Flyers will certainly put a beating on the Capitals, and vice versa, but the Capitals are likely to prevail. It’ll be a battle of superstar against superstar in Ovechkin and Giroux. The series will be won or lost on defense, which Washington has the upper hand. Ovechkin and company will have fun tormenting Nick Schultz and Andrew MacDonald for four of the seven (possible) games of the series. 

#2 Pittsburgh vs #3 NY Rangers

Verdict: NY Rangers in 7

Just like last year, the Rangers will defeat the Penguins in Round 1. The Penguins are the hottest team heading into the playoffs, but you can’t count out a team with Henrik Lundqvist backstopping them. I feel the Rangers will kick it into overdrive, at least for this series, and squeak out a win. 

#1 Florida vs WC1 NY Islanders 

Verdict: NY Islanders in 7

This series is a toss-up. Both the Panthers and Islanders, in my mind, are evenly matched. It’ll come down to goaltending and injuries. If Jaroslav Halak can make it back by the end of the series, that’ll be a gamechanger. Still, I think the Isles take this one. Barely. 

#2 Tampa Bay vs #3 Detroit

Verdict: Tampa Bay in 6

Another rematch from last year, I give the upperhand to Tampa Bay once again, even without Anton Stralman and Steven Stamkos. The Bolts have better goaltending and better depth in my opinion, plus will be hungry to return to the finals. 

#1 Dallas vs WC2 Minnesota 

Verdict: Minnesota in 6

The Wild have faced and triumphed over some tough opponents over the past few years and that does not change here. The Wild have a better overall game in my opinion, especially on defense. Devan Dubnyk can steal some games as well. This will be a high flying, goal fest of a series. 

#2 St. Louis vs #3 Chicago

Verdict: Chicago in 6

The Blues will continue their playoff woes as they fall to Chicago in six games. The battle tested Blackhawks will try to solidify their dynasty, and it starts by taking down the Blues. Goaltending health will play a big factor in this series. 

#1 Anaheim vs WC1 Nashville

Verdict: Ducks in 5

The Ducks battled back from a horrendous start and found their way atop the Pacific Division, but still face a tough Predators opponent. Pekka Rinne hasn’t been stellar this year, so his abilities will factor in largely in this series. The Ducks also have fantastic special teams with both their powerplay and penalty kill being #1 in the league. 

#2 Los Angeles vs #3 San Jose 

Verdict: Los Angeles in 6

Facing Californian rival San Jose as well as former goalie Martin Jones, the Kings are in for a tough series. That goes for the Sharks as well. This series could go either way, but the edge has to be given to the Kings given the history. 

ROUND 2 

#1 Washington vs #3 NY Rangers

Verdict: Washington in 6

The Capitals cannot be contained, even with Henrik Lundqvist in goal. Their offense and defensive core sate too lethal. The Rangers back end with Boyle, Girardi, and Staal will have a tough time containing them. 

#2 Tampa Bay vs WC1 NY Islanders 

Verdict: Tampa Bay in 6

The Lightning continue on their quest to get back to the Stanley Cup Finals by edging out the New York Islanders. Ben Bishop returns to form and leads Tampa Bay to the next round. 

#3 Chicago vs WC2 Minnesota 

Verdict: Chicago in 6

Another year, another Chicago versus Minnesota series. The Blackhawks prevail again. The quad-threat of Toews, Kane, Panarin, and Hossa is too much for the Wild to handle as they lose yet again in disappointing fashion. 

#1 Anaheim vs #2 Los Angeles 

Verdict: Anaheim in 7

Now, wouldn’t this be an amazing series? The Ducks and Kings meet in the semi-finals and beat each other to a pulp, however the Ducks get the series win. 

ROUND 3

#1 Washington vs #2 Tampa Bay

Verdict: Washington in 6

Tampa’s bid to return to the finals falls short at the expense of the President’s Trophy winners. The Capitals remain a force to be reckoned with. Steven Stamkos could return by this point, but it’s up in the air. Still, I don’t see him being enough to turn the tide of the series in Tampa’s favor. 

#1 Anaheim vs #3 Chicago

Verdict: Anaheim in 7

A rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals, however this time Anaheim takes home the win. The Ducks get an added boost from their superb special teams to win the series. The weak bottom half of Chicago’s defense will have a tough time keeping up with Anaheim’s depth. 

STANLEY CUP FINAL

#1 Washington vs #1 Anaheim 

Verdict: Anaheim in 6

The Anaheim Ducks are your 2016 Stanley Cup champs!

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

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The NHL Files was created as an interactive blog for twitter on August 1st, 2013. Since then we have garnered over 5,700 twitter followers and many more blog followers. We intend to keep you up to date with articles & tweets.

Posted on April 11, 2016, in NHL, NHL Playoffs and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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