Everyone up and down picks the Canadiens to top the Bruins in the first round. (Photo By Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
It’s that time of year again – the time when The Hockey News’ editorial department unveils our individual first-round selections for the Stanley Cup playoffs. (We’ll do the same thing again prior to each subsequent round).
In addition to all of our writers and editors, even our art department (Art Director Jamie Hodgson and Designer Matt Filion) is getting in on the fun. And don’t worry about keeping tabs on us; we’ll summarize everyone’s prognostication success at the conclusion of every round.
Below THN staffers’ picks are predictions from all 30 of our NHL correspondents.
Adam Proteau, THN.com Columnist
Montreal over Boston 4-2 – Beating the Bruins won’t be a cakewalk for the limping Canadiens.
Pittsburgh over Ottawa 4-1 – Penguins are healthy. Sens are a mess. This could get ugly.
Washington over Philadelphia 4-2 – Biron out-dueled by Huet in high-scoring series.
New Jersey over Rangers 4-3 – Rangers’ offense completely collapses; Devils eke out four one-goal wins.
Detroit over Nashville 4-1 – Preds put up a valiant effort, but Red Wings are just too good.
San Jose over Calgary 4-3 – Sharks are the complete package; Flames’ inconsistencies finally do them in.
Minnesota over Colorado 4-2 – Gaborik, Burns power Wild over rickety Avs. Special teams a deciding factor here.
Anaheim over Dallas 4-3 – Ducks lucky to emerge from physically punishing showdown with Stars.
Mike Brophy, Senior Writer
Montreal over Boston 4-1 - I'll give the Bruins one win because I just can't see Montreal beating them 12 straight times.
Washington over Philadelphia 4-2 - The Capitals are this year's team of destiny.
Rangers over Devils 4-3 - This one could go to OT in Game 7.
Pittsburgh over Ottawa 4-1 - Sid and Co. will put the Sens out of their misery.
Detroit over Nashville 4-2 - The Predators did well to get this far.
Colorado over Minnesota 4-2 - Provided Forsberg is healthy and Theodore stays on the mark.
San Jose over Calgary 4-2 - The Sharks are the NHL's hottest team at the right time.
Anaheim over Dallas 4-1 - The best defense in the league will suffocate the Stars.
Ken Campbell, Senior Writer
Montreal over Boston 4-0 – The Bruins can’t beat Montreal in the playoffs at the best of times…and these aren’t the best of times.
Ottawa over Pittsburgh 4-3 – The Penguins still have to suffer one more monumental playoff collapse before becoming a true Stanley Cup contender.
Washington over Philadelphia 4-1 – The Capitals are riding the wave of momentum and have the best player in the game. The Flyers have been posers all year.
New Jersey over Rangers 4-2 – That old Devils playoff magic will return, fuelled by Martin Brodeur’s brilliance.
Detroit over Nashville 4-1 – Some people think the Wings are vulnerable, but let’s get serious here.
Colorado over Minnesota 4-3 – It pains me to say Peter Forsberg has been brilliant. Just keep him away from busy intersections.
San Jose over Calgary 4-3 - Big Joe and Nabokov will be the difference in this series.
Anaheim over Dallas 4-1 – Without Sergei Zubov, the Stars won’t get enough offense to knock off the suffocating Ducks.
Brian Costello, Senior Special Sections Editor
Montreal over Boston 4-2 – Bruins about to be nailed in a speed trap.
Ottawa over Pittsburgh 4-3 – Not sure about Pittsburgh’s gumption just yet.
Philadelphia over Washington 4-2 – Ovie’s adrenaline can’t last forever.
Rangers over New Jersey 4-1 – It’ll be surprisingly easy for the Rangers.
Detroit over Nashville 4-0 – Predators are the great pretenders.
Calgary over San Jose 4-3 - Flames win one for the Kipper.
Colorado over Minnesota 4-3 – Forsberg’s only Foote issue is with Adam.
Anaheim over Dallas 4-2 – Ducks are just now getting into gear.
Jason Kay, Editor
Montreal over Boston 4-2 – This will be closer than most think; just 10 points separated the two in the regular season.
Pittsburgh over Ottawa 4-1 – The ailing, flailing Sens are simply overmatched.
Washington over Philadelphia 4-2 – Special teams will decide it; Philly spends too much time in the box.
Rangers over New Jersey 4-3 – Rangers owned the Devils, but all the games were vacuum-sealed.
Detroit over Nashville 4-3 – The Wings had their toughest games against Central foes.
San Jose over Calgary 4-2 – San Jose deeper all-around.
Minnesota over Colorado 4-2 – These Avs look good on paper…in 2001.
Anaheim over Dallas 4-2 – ‘Big D’ will be done in by the other big ‘D’ – Niedermayer, Pronger, Schneider, Beauchemin…
Ryan Dixon, Writer/Copy Editor
Montreal over Boston 4-1 – Most one-sided rivalry in hockey.
Pittsburgh over Ottawa 4-2 – Sid ain’t kiddin’ around.
Philadelphia over Washington 4-3 – Sorry Ovie, like the Flyers’ depth up front.
Rangers over New Jersey 4-2 – Lots of playoff pedigree on the Blueshirts.
Detroit over Nashville 4-0 – Preds did well just to get here.
Calgary over San Jose 4-3 – Jarome over Joe, Kipper over Nabby.
Colorado over Minnesota 4-2 – One last dance for Sakic, Forsberg.
Anaheim over Dallas 4-1 –Ducks mean business this time of year.
Ryan Kennedy, Writer/Copy Editor
Montreal over Boston 4-1 - Habs owned Bs, return of Bergeron won't help.
Pittsburgh over Ottawa 4-2 - No Alfie, no Fisher makes Sens a dead team.
Washington over Philadelphia 4-3 - Can't bet against the force of nature that is
Rangers over New Jersey 4-3 - No more than three goals scored in any game.
Detroit over Nashville 4-2 - Wouldn't be surprised if Preds upset, though.
San Jose over Calgary 4-2 - Flames can't win on the road.
Minnesota over Colorado 4-2 - Avs too old and injury-prone.
Anaheim over Dallas 4-3 - If Stars had Zubov, I woulda picked them.
Edward Fraser, THN.com Editor
Montreal over Boston 4-2 – Speed kills and the Bs will find out why.
Pittsburgh over Ottawa 4-2 – Too late for Sens to right the ship.
Philadelphia over Washington 4-3 – Caps can’t match the Flyers’ depth.
Rangers over New Jersey 4-3 – All seven games may be 1-0 in OT.
Detroit over Nashville 4-1 – Winged Wheel way too much for thin Preds.
San Jose over Calgary 4-1 – Flames simply a stepping-stone for eventual Cup champs.
Minnesota over Colorado 4-2 – Avs one injury away from disaster.
Dallas over Anaheim 4-3 – Series will turn out to be the best of the bunch.
Rory Boylen, THN.com Content Specialist
Montreal over Boston 4-1 – Bergeron return too little, too late.
Pittsburgh over Ottawa 4-1 – Pens have grown up; Sens have grown down.
Washington over Philadelphia 4-2 – Red Sea in the morning, Flyers take warning.
Rangers over New Jersey 4-2 – The Rangers’ skilled vets will step up when it counts.
Detroit over Nashville 4-1 – Cinderella missed her ride to the ball.
San Jose over Calgary 4-3 – Nabokov has more big games in him than Kiprusoff.
Colorado over Minnesota 4-2 - The Avs are back to the future.
Anaheim over Dallas 4-1 – Ducks have too much success and momentum on their side.
Jamie Hodgson, Art Director
Montreal over Boston 4-1 – 8-0 regular season record? Come on...
Pittsburgh over Ottawa 4-3 - No Alfie, no Fisher. Spezza and Heatley will step up, but not enough.
Washington over Philadelphia 4-3 – Can’t mess with the mojo that is Washington, yet.
New Jersey over Rangers 4-3 – Seven overtime games, seven goals scored. Brodeur over King Henrik.
Detroit over Nashville 4-1 – Wing machine will roll through first round.
San Jose over Calgary 4-1 – Big Joe will dominate on his way to Conn Smythe.
Colorado over Minnesota 4-2 – One more kick at the can for the veteran Avs.
Anaheim over Dallas 4-3 – Back and forth series will end with Ducks gaining momentum.
Matt Filion, Designer
Montreal over Boston 4-0 – Best team in the East for a reason.
Ottawa over Pittsburgh 4-2 – Ottawa, like Stella, will get its groove back.
Washington over Philadelphia 4-3 – Ovechkin to Ovechkin, over to Ovechkin, Ovechkin scores!
New Jersey over Rangers 4-2 – Just a hunch.
Detroit over Nashville 4-1 – Fewest goals against per game in the league. Third in goals for per game.
San Jose over Calgary 4-3 – Big Joe brings big game.
Minnesota over Colorado 4-2 – Age and injuries will be a factor.
Dallas over Anaheim 4-3 – I don’t see a repeat.
Caroline Andrews, Publisher
Montreal over Boston 4-1
Pittsburgh over Ottawa 4-0
Washington over Philadelphia 4-3
Rangers over New Jersey 4-2
Nashville over Detroit 4-3
San Jose over Calgary 4-2
Colorado over Minnesota 4-3
Anaheim over Dallas 4-2
*The following predictions were made during the week of March 21. SCW = Stanley Cup winner; SCF = Stanley Cup Finalist; ECF = Eastern Conference finalist; WCF = Western Confernce finalist; 1st Rd. Upset = team most likely to be upset in opening round.
|TEAM||SCW||SCF||ECF||WCF||Conn Smythe||Top Scorer||1st Rd. Upset|
|ANA/DW||DET||NJD||MON||CAL||N. Lidstrom||H. Zetterberg||Ottawa|
|ATL/CC||ANA||PIT||NJD||DET||J-S- Giguere||A. Ovechkin||Montreal|
|BOS/ML||ANA||NYR||MON||SJS||R. Getzlaf||A. Kovalev||Pittsburgh|
|BUF/JV||SJS||NYR||MON||ANA||E. Nabokov||C. Drury||Pittsburgh|
|CAL/RS||ANA||PIT||NJD||SJS||S. Niedermayer||S. Crosby||Ottawa|
|CAR/LD||SJS||NJD||CAR||DET||E. Nabokov||E. Staal||Colorado|
|CHI/TS||SJS||NJD||MON||ANA||J. Thornton||J. Thornton||Ottawa|
|COL/AD||DET||NYR||NJD||SJS||N. Lidstrom||P. Datsyuk||Anaheim|
|CLB/AP||ANA||MON||NYR||SJS||C. Pronger||R. Getzlaf||Ottawa|
|DAL/MH||ANA||NJD||MON||SJS||J-S Giguere||J. Thornton||Pittsburgh|
|DET/AK||DET||NJD||PIT||SJS||N. Lidstrom||P. Datsyuk||Dallas|
|EDM/RT||SJS||MON||OTT||DET||J. Thornton||J. Cheechoo||Pittsburgh|
|FLA/BB||ANA||NYR||PIT||DET||R. Getzlaf||B. Shanahan||New Jersey|
|LAK/RH||ANA||PIT||MON||SJS||J-S Giguere||S. Crosby||Detroit|
|MIN/MR||SJS||MON||PIT||COL||E. Nabokov||J. Thornton||Anaheim|
|MON/HZ||DET||PIT||NYR||SJS||S. Crosby||E. Malkin||Ottawa|
|NSH/JG||SJS||NJD||CAR||DET||E. Nabokov||H. Zetterberg||Montreal|
|NJD/RC||SJS||OTT||PIT||DET||E. Nabokov||D. Alfredsson||Anaheim|
|NYI/PB||ANA||PIT||NYR||SJS||J-S Giguere||E. Malkin||Montreal|
|NYR/LB||NJD||DAL||MTL||SJS||M. Brodeur||E. Malkin||Pittsburgh|
|OTT/BG||SJS||NJD||PIT||ANA||E. Nabokov||J. Thornton||Detroit|
|PHI/WF||ANA||NJD||MON||SJS||J-S Giguere||B. Gionta||Carolina|
|PHO/JG||PIT||DET||MON||SJS||E. Malkin||E. Malkin||Minnesota|
|PIT/JS||ANA||PIT||MON||DET||C. Pronger||E. Malkin||New Jersey|
|STL/JR||SJS||NJD||---||---||J. Thornton||J. Thornton||Detroit|
|SJS/DP||ANA||NJD||OTT||SJS||M. Brodeur||R. Getzlaf||Minnesota|
|TBL/DC||NYR||DET||MON||SJS||B. Shanahan||P. Datsyuk||New Jersey|
|TOR/MZ||SJS||PIT||OTT||ANA||E. Nabokov||J. Thornton||Dallas|
|VAN/EP||SJS||NJD||PIT||COL||E. Nabokov||J. Thornton||Detroit|
|WSH/PK||SJS||MON||PIT||DET||E. Nabokov||J. Thornton||Carolina|