2013-2014 NHL Expert Picks

October 1, 2013 at 8:25pm in Bruins, Featured, NHL, Now!, Opinion
The new-look NHL is sure to provide plenty of intrigue as teams get used to the new alignment and playoff rules. (nhl.com)

The new NHL season is here, as is the new divisional alignment. Each conference now has two divisions, eight teams per division in the East and seven per division in the West. In an effort to more properly align divisions along time zones, the NHL has moved Detroit and Columbus to the East, and Winnipeg is finally in the West. The playoffs will now consist of the top three teams in each division, plus the next two best teams in each conference, regardless of division. With a divisional format to the playoffs, this means you could have a team win a division of which it is not a part.

With the new alignment in full effect, it was a fun opportunity for our experts to pick under a whole new set of rules. With that in mind, our own competition here has a new scoring system in place:

  • Successfully picking a team to make the playoffs is worth one point.
  • Picking the #1 seed in each division exactly is worth three bonus points, then two points for #2 and one point for #3.
  • Picking the first wildcard in each conference exactly is worth two bonus points, then one point for the second wildcard.
  • Picking which division winner will wind up with the NHL’s best record is worth two points.
  • In the event of a tie, we’ll also be picking which team will end up with the NHL’s worst record, then second worst, then third worst. Further tiebreakers will be the total number or worst three teams guessed correctly in any order, then lowest combined record of all three choices.

With all that in mind, the complete pick sets are below. Results will be presented at the conclusion of the season, so check back then. Continue reading 2013-2014 NHL Expert Picks »

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"Pro Wrestling," NES

The Stanley Cup Final is over, and what a heartbreaker it was for Boston. They had an easy path to Game 7 before coughing up two goals in 18 seconds with about a minute left to play. Still, that doesn’t take anything away from Chicago’s accomplishment after their very good season.

With all of us picking the Bruins to take the cup, there wasn’t much room for movement in the point standings. In fact, the only points gained from the final round were from a couple of guesses for a six-game series.

So now that the stage is set, the winner of the 2013 NHL Playoffs Pick ‘Em is… Continue reading 2013 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: Stanley Cup Results »

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It's Boston vs Chicago for the Stanley Cup, winner takes all. (SportsNation)

As you can see from the map, most of the country believes Chicago will skate away with the Stanley Cup. You may also notice that the only states that believe Boston will win are Boston’s home states of New England and Michigan, home to Chicago’s arch rivals Detroit. But whatever you think about that, it’s time for us to bring you the last of our selections for the Stanley Cup Finals.

With the talent on both sides, it’s no wonder that a lengthy series is predicted, with either six or seven games on all counts. Goalies, as the most conspicuous players, are always a good bet to make waves in the MVP voting, but powerful forwards have also been known to make their mark as well.

Speaking of which, the playoffs MVP will be a new scoring category in our Pick ‘Em, now that we’re in the final round. And in addition, just for the finals, all point values are doubled! That means that picking the winner of the series is worth four points, while picking how many games the series will last and the playoffs MVP are worth two points each.

And in the event anyone finishes tied, we’ll also be guessing Tuukka Rask’s save percentage over the course of the entire series. Whoever guesses closest, above or below, will get the edge.

So now that the groundwork has been laid, check below for the picks, and come back once the series is complete for the final standings and results. Continue reading 2013 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: Stanley Cup »

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Despite losing Gregory Campbell to a broken leg, the Bruins swept rival Pittsburgh. Chicago likely won't go down as easily as the Penguins. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Finals are set, and it will be the 2010 and 2011 champions, Chicago and Boston respectively, duking it out to see who gets the Cup again. To get there, Chicago dethroned defending champs Los Angeles in five games, while Boston swept past a very powerful Pittsburgh team, despite losing Gregory Campbell to a broken leg in Game 3. Campbell exhibited toughness enough to finish his shift, which is a big indicator as to how Boston was able to blow past the Penguins.

With everyone picking a different set of winners in our competition, nobody was able to get too far ahead or behind from where they were beforehand. With both series wrapping up much more quickly than our experts believed, gathering points was kept to a minimum.

So check below for the results from the third round, and come back Wednesday night for the picks for the Stanley Cup Finals. Continue reading 2013 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: Third Round Results »

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Pittsburgh's star-studded line-up is ready to go, but Boston won't be an easy out. (lh3.googleusercontent.com)

The NHL is down to its final four teams, and in an interesting twist, they’re also the last four teams to win the Stanley Cup. The Penguins, Blackhawks, Bruins and Kings are all worthy teams, and should make for a highly entertaining Conference Final Round.

Despite having only four possible combinations of series winners, all of our experts chose a different combination. So if you were hoping for a Penguins/Kings finals, you may be out of luck. Half of all choices for how many games the series would last ended up being seven games, which means we’ll likely see some more exciting, down-to-the-wire action.

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

So now that that’s out of the way, the complete pick sets can be found below. And be sure to come back once the series are complete to see how everyone did. Continue reading 2013 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: Third Round »

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Chicago completed a very good comeback against their biggest rivals, but now they have to deal with the champs. (http://www.quesper.com/)

The second round of the NHL Playoffs is complete. It was capped off by a cutthroat series between evenly-matched Los Angeles and San Jose, and of course a comeback by Chicago after being down 3-1 to Detroit. Pittsburgh and Boston won their series fairly easily to set up what looks to be a violent series in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Overall, it was fairly easy to pick the winner of a series, and much harder to guess how look it would take a team to win the series. Yours truly was the exception in both cases, which ended up being a wash.

So what does that do to our standings? Check below for the results so far, and come back Saturday for the Conference Championship picks. Continue reading 2013 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: Second Round Results »

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Detroit did well to knock off Anaheim, but their arch rivals Chicago await. (http://angelinos.narod.ru/)

The second round of the NHL Playoffs is underway, and it should be fun. Chicago and Detroit face off for the last times in the same division. Boston and the Rangers face each other in the playoffs for the first time in 40 years. The Penguins face a Senators team that just won’t go away. Los Angeles finally hosts four games in a playoff series, but against a well-rested Sharks squad coming off a sweep as the road team.

All of it makes the series pretty difficult to choose, as just one of the series had a unanimous winner as predicted by our panel. No sweeps were predicted in this round, but predictions for how many games each series will last were also quite diverse.

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

That all opens the door for some big movement in the standings after the second round, so check below for the second round picks, and come back once the round is complete for all the results.

Name Brian John Nick Taylor
Penguins vs
Senators
Winner Penguins Penguins Penguins Senators
Series
Length
5 5 6 7
Bruins vs
Rangers
Winner Bruins Rangers Bruins Bruins
Series
Length
7 5 6 7
Blackhawks vs
Red Wings
Winner Blackhawks Blackhawks Blackhawks Blackhawks
Series
Length
6 7 5 6
Kings vs
Sharks
Winner Kings Sharks Kings Kings
Series
Length
5 7 7 5
Total Points 19 8 13 11

Previous Results:

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