NHL playoff predictions: With first spherical starting Monday, who wins Stanley Cup?

Will the Tampa Bay Lightning take their first step toward a third consecutive Stanley Cup or will the Toronto Maple Leafs engage up their first playoff series decide since 2004?

Will the Edmonton Oilers accumulate their first playoff decide since Todd McLellan coached the personnel or will McLellan’s Los Angeles Kings cease them?

Can the West-main Colorado Avalanche bounce inspire from a 1-5-1 enact to the season? Will the Florida Panthers be the principle Presidents’ Trophy winner since 2013 to make your mind up a Cup?

Those are amongst the questions which would possibly maybe be answered when the NHL playoffs accumulate underway on Monday night.

USA TODAY Sports’ NHL consultants predict the winners for the principle spherical and the Stanley Cup:

Leading scorer Jonathan Huberdeau and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will lead the top-seeded Florida Panthers in the playoffs.

Main scorer Jonathan Huberdeau and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will lead the tip-seeded Florida Panthers in the playoffs.

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Jimmy Hascup

Florida vs. Washington: Panthers in 5. Essentially the most interesting personnel in the conventional season will don’t delight in any complications taking down a personnel that is simply too reliant on one player, Alex Ovechkin, (certain, an all-time powerful) to raise the offense.

Carolina vs. Boston: Bruins in seven. In a warfare of two of primarily the most productive coaches, Boston will get the nod thanks to Patrice Bergeron silent being at the tip of his powers and a more stable goalie anguish.

Toronto vs. Tampa Bay: Lightning in six. Tampa Bay performed this season like a personnel that knew it would possibly maybe form the playoffs without taking part in its most productive nevertheless would ramp up all as soon as more in the postseason.

N.Y. Rangers vs. Pittsburgh: Rangers in six. The Rangers lost the principle meeting with the Penguins then obtained the following three and valid appear to be a more full personnel.

Colorado vs. Nashville: Avalanche in 5. There appears to be too out of the ordinary doubt about goalie Juuse Saros‘ playoff availability and lacking him will sink Nashville even faster on this series.

Calgary vs. Dallas: Flames in 5. The Stars are too reliant on the Joe Pavelski-Jason Robertson-Roope Hintz line and have not proven ample secondary scoring to compensate against a deeper Calgary personnel.

Minnesota vs. St. Louis: Blues in seven. The Wild had more components (113-109) nevertheless the Blues had six more regulation wins (43-37), and I like their defensive depth more.

Edmonton vs. Los Angeles: Kings in seven. Most likely primarily the most lopsided series on paper, what’s the NHL playoffs without some chaos to birth? Los Angeles is higher than you imagine.

Stanley Cup Final: Panthers vs. Flames

Champion: Panthers in six. Florida has a successfully-rounded personnel with elite avid gamers (Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Aaron Ekblad), awful depth, a solid defensive core and a goalie (Sergei Bobrovsky) who had a solid season (and depth there, too, if he struggles).

Conn Smythe winner: Aleksander Barkov, Panthers.

Mike Brehm

Florida vs. Washington: Panthers in 5: The Panthers are a deep, powerful personnel and the Capitals can delight in distress shutting them down, particularly with their inconsistent goaltending.

Carolina vs. Boston: Hurricanes in seven. Every are successfully-coached and this can near the total blueprint down to Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour having dwelling ice for Recreation 7.

Toronto vs. Tampa Bay: Lightning in six. The Lightning’s offense is inspire heading in the valid route. They obtained’t romp like they did in a recent 8-1 decide vs. Toronto, nevertheless their championship pedigree will decide out.

N.Y. Rangers vs. Pittsburgh: Rangers in six. Rangers No. 1 goalie Igor Shesterkin will decide the Vezina Trophy. Penguins No. 1 goalie Tristan Jarry is injure.

Colorado vs. Nashville: Avalanche in six. This would be stress-free to take into legend Norris Trophy candidates Roman Josi and Cale Makar. The Avalanche will be healthier than the personnel that stumbled down the stretch.

Calgary vs. Dallas: Flames in 5. Goalie Jake Oettinger would possibly maybe accumulate the Stars a decide in Dallas. However two-time Stanley Cup-winning coach Darryl Sutter has had the Flames taking part in playoff hockey.

Minnesota vs. St. Louis: Blues in seven. This will most likely be primarily the most productive series of the principle spherical. The Blues’ offense has diverse lines that would possibly maybe injure an opponent, and Minnesota’s Mats Zuccarello and Marcus Foligno are coming off injuries.

Edmonton vs. Los Angeles: Oilers in six. The Oilers will be desirous to form up for final 365 days’s playoff embarrassment and coach Jay Woodcroft has them taking part in to their most likely.

Stanley Cup Final: Avalanche vs. Hurricanes

Champion: Avalanche in six. Here is the third consecutive season that I picked the Avalanche. They addressed their weaknesses at the change deadline. Within the event that they would possibly be able to valid accumulate previous the 2nd spherical, they’ll decide all of it.

Conn Smythe winner: Cale Makar, Avalanche

Jace Evans

Florida vs. Washington: Panthers in 5. The Capitals’ unsettled goaltending anguish sounds like a critical liability against primarily the most productive offense in the NHL.

Carolina vs. Boston: Hurricanes in seven. Here is a valid toss-up series and though I peril relating to the Hurricanes’ goaltending to an extent, their plan is so sound as to aid alleviate those worries.

Toronto vs. Tampa Bay: Lightning in seven. I had been burned too repeatedly by the Maple Leafs to belief them to accumulate their first series decide since 2004 against the two-time defending champs.

N.Y. Rangers vs. Pittsburgh: Rangers in six. The Penguins delight in an excellent deal of playoff experience nevertheless they’ll be without their All-Neatly-known particular person goalie for at least the starting effect of the series whereas the Rangers delight in primarily the most productive goaltender in the NHL by some distance this season.

Colorado vs. Nashville: Avalanche in four. I’m now not fearful about their closing stretch of play: The Avalanche had been a machine most of this season they in most cases delight in looked after industry in the principle spherical three years in a row.

Calgary vs. Dallas: Flames in 5. The Stars are the finest personnel in the playoffs with a detrimental purpose differential. The Flames’ plus-85 trailed easiest the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers for primarily the most productive designate in the NHL.

Minnesota vs. St. Louis: Wild in seven. The Wild delight in a valid star in Kirill Kaprizov and dwelling ice. Marc-Andre Fleury is additionally 9-2 since coming over to Minnesota.

Edmonton vs. Los Angeles: Oilers in six. Edmonton is hardly ever a pillar of consistency on account of shaky goaltending and questionable depth, nevertheless the Oilers delight in two of primarily the most productive offensive avid gamers in the league and the Kings are lacking their No. 1 defenseman.

Stanley Cup Final: Flames vs. Lightning

Champion: Lightning in six. In a rematch of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final, Tampa Bay will cement its effect of abode as an all-time powerful personnel and decide all talk of “asterisk championships” with a third consecutive title. The Lightning are deep, proficient and – most important – they know what it takes to make your mind up.

Conn Smythe winner: Nikita Kucherov, Lightning

This text originally looked on USA TODAY: NHL playoffs picks: 2022 first spherical and Stanley Cup predictions

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