New York is back in the Finals after a well-earned victory over Montreal. (http://media.salon.com/)

The Finals are set, with New York beating Montreal and resting a bit while LA completed an epic defeat of Chicago in Game 7 on the road. These are two good teams with two very good goalies, but before they square off in the Finals, let’s see how they got there.

It was a rather difficult round, with only one correct series winner combined among everyone’s picks. Only one series length was correct for each series as well. Overall, though not too much changed, there’s a little bit of creeping up to the lead going on.

So check below for updated results, and check back Wednesday evening for the Stanley Cup Finals picks. Continue reading 2014 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: Third Round Results »

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Chicago, as the only team left not to go seven games last round, is hoping to once again defeat LA to reach the Stanley Cup Finals. (fas.org)

The Conference Finals are here. The heavyweight Kings and Blackhawks have a rematch from last year’s Conference Finals, while the upstart Canaidiens and Rangers fight for the other spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. The stakes are higher, and the action sure to be even fiercer.

While both the Canadiens and Rangers beat a higher seeded team to get here, the Canadiens’ victory over a lackluster but still spunky Bruins squad has them getting attention from our experts. The Blackhawks are still getting plenty of attention as the defending champions, but the Kings did win the Stanley Cup as an eight seed not too long ago, so don’t count them out just yet.

Complete picks for the third round are below. Be sure to check them out and come back once the Conference Championships are complete for the updated results. Continue reading 2014 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: Third Round »

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Los Angeles punched the last ticket to the Conference Championships, and now they're in a rematch with the defending champions. (WWE)

Fur teams remain, with three of them having won road Game 7s the previous round. The President’s Trophy winning Bruins are out at the hands of arch-rival Montreal, which advances to face the New York Rangers. Chicago and LA face off in a rematch from last year’s Western Conference Final. The defending champion Blackhawks, interestingly enough, were the only team that started with home-rink advantage to win last round.

The Western Conference was much easier to predict in the previous round, whereas the East, particularly with the Bruins playing rather poorly, threw a few curveballs into the mix. Such a drawn-out round for all teams involved was also hit-or-miss in trying to select.

So be sure to check out the updated results below. And don’t go far, because the picks for the next round will be up shortly. Continue reading 2014 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: Second Round Results »

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Anaheim took down a Wildcard from the Central Division, and now looks to halt a Kings squad that won four straight after dropping three. (http://upload.wikimedia.org/)

Eight teams remain, many of them bruised and battered after a lengthy first round. Montreal got the sweep. LA came from three games down to win. After all that and everything in between, we’re left with four very good series for the divisional finals. As with the first round, it’s a matter for our experts mostly to pick the length of the series, as three of four series have unanimous predicted winners.

As before, picking the winner of a series is worth two points, while picking how many games each series will last is worth one point.

So with that, the picks for Round 2 are below. Check them out, and come back once the second round is complete for the results. Continue reading 2014 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: Second Round »

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Montreal got the only sweep of the first round; we'll see what they can do against arch nemesis Boston. (meridian.k12.il.us)

Montreal cruised their way to a sweep in the first round, but they were the only one. Three series went the distance and three others went six. That gave the Bruins and Canadiens plenty of time to prepare, but the whole round was filled with great moments.

Easily the biggest surprise of the round was Minnesota, who became the first Wildcard under the new playoff format to advance. But with our experts leaning mostly towards one team or the other, it was tough to gain points. To do that, picking the lengths of each lengthy series was the way to go.

So check below to see everyone’s results from the first round. And stick around, because Round 2 picks will be up shortly. Continue reading 2014 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: First Round Results »

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Tim's Playoff Bracket (NHL.com)

The board has been set. With the conclusion of the NHL regular season yesterday, the match-ups for the first round are finalized and boy are there some exciting ones.

I filled out a bracket on NHL.com, which has a fun and easy tool to use (see the featured image).

As you can see, I have the Bruins winning it all (big surprise.) I do have a few interesting upsets, though, and the first round will be fascinating to watch.

Western Conference

Avalanche vs Wild

What a story for Colorado this season, going from a basement dweller to the top team in the West. On the other hand, Minnesota is a team that just squeaked by. This is an easy one. Avalanche in 5. Continue reading NHL Playoff Predictions: Bruins over Kings »

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With a huge turnaround from last season, Colorado is well-positioned. Now what can they do with it? (nsidc.org)

The NHL playoffs are here, and the annual playoff Pick ‘Em is back. And it should be a good one this year with the Wildcard format leading to divisional match-ups in the first two rounds, except for Wildcard Dallas shifting over to the Pacific Division. East newcomers Detroit and Columbus face tough challenges as Wildcard teams themselves.

In our Pick ‘Em, four of the eight series have unanimous winners selected, though most series look to be tightly contested. New York and Philadelphia was the hardest series to choose, though defending champion Chicago will have a difficult contest against St Louis.

Scoring in the Pick ‘Em is as follows:

  • Correctly picking the winner of a series is worth two points.
  • Correctly picking how many games a series will last is worth one point.

And with that out of the way, complete picks for the first round are below. Updated results will be posted when the first round is complete. Continue reading 2014 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: First Round »

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