Dynasty Hockey League

Playoff Predictions – Round 1

I’ve challenged myself to predict the first round results and record my observations using my proprietary “Two-Sentence Summary” — enjoy!

 

Eastern Conference

 

(1) Washington v. (8) Ottawa

WSH won regular season series 2-0-0

The league’s best defense faces off against the league’s third-best defense in what could be a tighter-than-anticipated series of the high-flying Capitals.  Ottawa will need to find a way to slow Washington’s second line to have a chance in the series.

Washington in six.

 

(2) Boston v. (7) Toronto

BOS won regular season series 4-2-0

The Maple Leafs have the worst penalty-kill in the East’s playoff field, and they take on the league’s best powerplay in the Bruins.  Kucherov’s swan song season in Boston could be an absolute decimation of Toronto with the man-advantage, but this series will swing wildly back and forth at even strength.

Boston in seven.

 

(3) New Jersey v. (6) New York

NJ won regular season series 4-1-1

A matchup of high-scoring teams, the Rangers will hope that Anderson can meet the challenge of an extended series.  Both teams enter the playoffs on league’s two-longest winning streaks.

New Jersey in six.

 

(4) Philadelphia v. (5) Carolina

Teams tied regular season series 1-1

Arguably the most even matchup of the East’s opening round, Carolina will be starting the series without Nick Foligno, who is serving a four-game suspension.  With Robin Lehner’s superb regular season play, that suspension could be the difference.

Philadelphia in six.

 

Final Thoughts: With some of the best teams in the league calling the Eastern Conference home, it could be argued that this season’s champion will be crowned a series or two earlier than the Final.

 

Western Conference

 

(1) San Jose v. (8) Columbus

SJ won regular season series 1-0-1

Five of the top nine scorers on the Blue Jackets’ roster began their seasons outside of Columbus, but have meshed well to produce a good run of late-season results.  San Jose’s second line will shine in this series, but the Blue Jackets will not allow the Sharks to relax.

San Jose in six.

 

(2) St. Louis v. (7) Dallas

STL won regular season series 4-1-1

Dallas owns the league’s fourth best defense, and they will need to shine against the Blues and the league’s second-best offense.  Adam Henrique will face off against his former team — and haunt them in the process.

Dallas in seven.

 

(3) Edmonton v. (6) Anaheim

EDM won regular season series 5-1-0

Both squads rank at the bottom of powerplay efficiency for playoff-bound teams — whichever comes alive first could determine this series.  But Lundqvist has been disappointing since arriving in Anaheim, and there’s no reason that will change against a high-flying Oilers squad at even-strength.

Edmonton in five.

 

(4) Vancouver v. (5) Colorado

COL won regular season series 5-1-0

The Canucks put themselves in a position to challenge for a championship over the off-season and would match up well against any other team in the West, but the Avalanche seem to have Vancouver’s number this season.  Mike Smith has shone brightly since the trade out of Columbus and mid-season addition Tyler Bozak has anchored an effective second line.

Colorado in seven.

 

Final Thoughts: Nearly every series in the West could conceivably go either way, but regular season success should dictate these series.

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