NHL PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS

April 10, 2019
By: Dan Fremuth
It took just over two weeks for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament to winnow its field from 68 teams down to one eventual champion. The NHL takes a slightly different approach as it will utilize just about every night during the next two months to dwindle its 16-team field down to an eventual champion.

Fresh off an historic 62-win season, the Tampa Bay Lightning are the prohibitive favorites to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup but if the Stanley Cup Playoffs have proven anything through the years it's that anything can happen. Goaltenders can steal games and even series. Role players become superstars and household names overnight. And injuries can tip the scales at the most crucial time.

Sadly, the Philadelphia Flyers didn't qualify this year so my hopes of the Orange and Black hoisting the Cup will have to wait another year. With that, here are my picks for the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Tampa Bay Lighting over Columbus Blue Jackets (5 games)
Boston Bruins over Toronto Maple Leafs (7 games)
Washington Capitals over Carolina Hurricanes (6 games)
Pittsburgh Penguins over New York Islanders (6 games)

Tampa Bay Lighting over Boston Bruins (6 games)
Washington Capitals over Pittsburgh Penguins (7 games)

Washington Capitals over Tampa Bay Lightning (7 games)

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Calgary Flames over Colorado Avalanche (6 games)
Vegas Golden Knights over San Jose Sharks (7 games)
Nashville Predators over Dallas Stars (6 games)
Winnipeg Jets over St. Louis Blues (7 games)

Vegas Golden Knights over Calgary Flames (6 games)
Winnipeg Jets over Nashville Predators (7 games)

Winnipeg Jets over Vegas Golden Knights (6 games)

STANLEY CUP FINAL

Washington Capitals over Winnipeg Jets (7 games)