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OTF’s Playoff Predictions

These are 100% accurate.

Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Playoff hockey is here!

As is customary this time of year, the crew at OTF is going on record with their playoff predictions. Here they are!

This year we included Cup & Conn Smythe winners, as well as some good ole fashioned hot takes.

Eastern Conference

Blue = favorite, red = underdog (in terms of seeding)

Most people going with the favorites, except for that Senators-Bruins matchup—everyone picking the upset in that one. No love for the Maple Leafs. Most of us think the Pens-Jackets series will be a long one.

Western Conference

Hey! Some Preds picks!

Most of us think the Sharks will be able to tame the red-hot Oilers, while Austin is going with an upset special in the first round. Hayley is predicting the Preds will win Game 7 in the United Center which would be #neat.

Which series interests you the most? (besides Preds-Hawks)

Alex: I will have my eyes on the Capitals-Leafs in the opening round, but I really think Blue Jackets-Penguins could be a great series.

Marya: Blue Jackets-Penguins should be really interesting to watch due to PIttsburgh's injury situation and their definitely-not-a-rivalry. I'll also be watching the Habs-Rangers.

Michael: I feel like the Oilers vs. Sharks has the potential to be the most exiciting first-round series. McDavid is must-see tv, Draisaitl is spectacular, the Sharks are a physical and aggressive team and they match up well.

Hayley: I'm curious to see how the Habs do in the playoffs now that Price seems to be healthy again. It will also be interesting to see how the Oilers and the Leafs do with their young talent in the playoffs. They were great in the regular season, but can they handle playoff pressure?

Bobby: I'm absolutely going to be watching the Blue Jackets taking on the Penguins. There are a lot of Blue Jacket members who hate the Penguins, namely Dubinsky and Tortorella. While they've struggled with Werenski injured, he'll be ready to go for the playoffs.

Bryant: I'm interested in the Oilers-Sharks series. I really want to see how McDavid does leading the Oilers to their first playoff series in God knows how long. Does he have what it takes to help take his team to a Cup?

Austin: Flames-Ducks has caught my eye due to the clash in styles. Anaheim will pride itself on physicality and big bodys. The Flames are at the best when they're going full speed. I think Calgary takes it in seven because speed kills, baby.

Biggest upset? Any possible sweeps?

Alex: Picking the Preds to win is definitely an upset. Probably no sweeps, though I really considered going with the Oilers sweeping the Sharks. TOO. FAST.

Marya: I have the Caps sweeping the Leafs.

Michael: Obviously, the Preds. However, I think the Blues over the Wild is one I'm in the minority in. Bruce Boudreau is a playoff choke artist, and as much as I hate to admit it, the Blues are pretty hot right now.

Hayley: The Flames sweeping the Ducks. Not an upset, but it would be fun to watch.

Bobby: St. Louis over Minnesota is really the only upset I have. The Wild are just ripe for a playoff collapse with how they've been playing. I think Toronto is outclassed by Washington at every position and are set up to be swept.

Bryant: I hope the Preds can pull an upset, but I picked the Hawks to win at the beginning of the season and I'm sticking to my guns. I think the Caps coming close to sweeping the Leafs.

Austin: I think Nashville is more individually talented 1-20, and I think they finally put it together in a big way. That's definately an upset if they take it in five. The Leafs are no match for Washington, and that'll be the only sweep of the first round.

Conference & Cup Finals

Why stop there? Here’s what we think about the rest of the playoffs, including the Conn Smythe.


Alex: The Predators defense will get the best of the Blackhawks forwards. The Wild’s last 20 games didn’t matter and they will roll through teams on their way to the Western Conference Final. Corey Perry scores a goal.

Marya: I'm picking the Hawks to beat the Habs in the Cup final, but I'm betting on the losing goalie getting the big leafie trophy at the end.

Michael: Pekka will shutout the Blackhawks in at least one game. Two Blackhawks fans will be arrested in Nashville. Filip Forsberg will have a hat trick in Game 3. Jonathan Toews will not score a goal the entire series.

Hayley: Pekka Rinne shuts out the Blackhawks at least once, because he still hasn't forgotten that last game 7. Craig Smith will score 7 goals, Wilson will score 5 goals and legally change his middle name to Playoff. The 4th line consisting of McLeod and Harry Z is just a fake out move by Lavy, and we'll finally get the 4th line we've been waiting to see all season... a good one.

Bobby: Juuse Saros plays at least two games against the Blackhawks. Look, I love Pekka Rinne, and he is and should be the clear starter against the Blackhawks. Nevertheless, the Predators-Blackhawks series should be filled with goals. Seabrook is the most overrated defenseman in the league. At the same token, the Predators have been known to give up lots of goals on the rush, which is one of the ways that Patrick Kane and company score goals. I fully expect the Blackhawks to put up five goals in a game at least once against the Predators. Finally having a reliable back-up option, Laviolette won't think twice about putting Saros in.

Bryant: My hot take is Kevin Fiala bursts onto the scene and gains notoriety from the game's major analysts. He's been playing well recently, and I have predicted him to have a big 2017-2018 season. I will go out on a limb and predict these playoffs to be his real coming out party.

Austin: Jonathan Toews doesn't score a goal in the first round, and that'll be the leading catalyst in the Blackhawks failure. Kane won't get enough help as Nashville will have 4 of the top 6 scorers in the round.