Trying to predict the NHL playoff bracket really is for fools. Remember when TSN's monkey out-predicted all their expert analysts? Learn more about NHL betting for this season.
But it is fun, and the NHL wants you to do have some fun at bracketchallenge.nhl.com
Some sobering information regarding last year's NHL.com Bracket Challenge, courtesy of a NHL Morning Skate press release:
* More than a half-million brackets were submitted.
* Only 3.9% of brackets correctly predicted the Kings to win the Stanley Cup. The Presidents’ Trophy-winning
Bruins had the highest percentage of Stanley Cup votes, with 29.8%.
* There were ZERO “perfect” brackets remaining after the First Round (correctly picking all eight First Round
winners AND the correct number of games).
* Only 1,377 brackets (less than 1%) correctly picked all four teams for the Conference Finals.
* Just 2,731 brackets (less than 1%) correctly predicted the Kings would face the Rangers in the Stanley Cup
Sometimes it pays to listen to the expert analysts. Sometimes there are no better analysts than the sports bookies. Play the odds, right? Sometimes it is best to get your own monkey.
This year is so tough. There is no clear favorite, and no really out-of-it underdog. The clock should strike midnight on a couple of Cinderella teams yet every team in the Stanley Cup playoffs has a legitimate shot to go all the way. Some might be longer odds than others, but with a lucky bounce here or an unfortunate injury there anything can happen.
My fruitless predictions? I am going strictly by gut feel. Here we go, but remember I don't pick the number of games, just the winner of each series:
Vancouver beats Calgary
Anaheim beats Winnipeg
Chicago beats Nashville
St. Louis beats Minnesota
Montreal beats Ottawa
NY Rangers beats Pittsburgh
Washington beats NY Islanders
Tampa Bay beats Detroit
Anaheim beats Vancouver
Chicago beats St. Louis
Montreal beats Tampa Bay
NY Rangers beats Washington
Chicago beats Anaheim
NY Rangers beats Montreal
New York Rangers beats Chicago
I say this with absolutely no certainty and had no fun doing it! Fill out your bracket at bracketchallenge.nhl.com
NHL.com staffers have picked their own brackets. Here is the NHL.com staffers consensus.
Anaheim beats Winnipeg (11 votes to 3)
Vancouver - Calgary - No Consensus (7-7)
Chicago beats Nashville (12-2)
St. Louis beats Minnesota (8-6)
NY Rangers beats Pittsburgh (13 votes to 1)
Montreal beats Ottawa (8-6)
Tampa Bay beats Detroit (14-0)
Washington beats NY Islanders (11-3)
The NHL.com staffers only picked the first round, but they do also predict who will win the Stanley Cup:
Chicago (7 votes)
New York Rangers (5 votes)
Montreal (1 vote)
Anaheim (1 vote)
ESPN.com staff predictions can be found here. Five of their 13 participants like Chicago to win it all. Four like NY Rangers. St. Louis, Anaheim, Minnesota and Tampa Bay all get single votes.