Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

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Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby longtimefan on Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:31 pm

It's been a wasteland around here! The Pens start playing real games tomorrow, and you've got two days of wall to wall hockey coming. I know the calendar says August, but after no sports for about four months, you'd expect some pent up demand. It's not like you have unlimited options in a world still largely shut down. So what's everybody think for the preliminary round?

East

Pens/Canadians- A sweep. Many are adverse to picking sweeps, and those will account for a lot of 4 game picks. The only way I see it going 4 is if Murray implodes. The Habs only have a handful of strong players. Th depth unravels pretty quickly. They traded pieces at the deadline. They can be irritating, but they just aren't in the same class as the Pens.

Canes/Rangers- The Rangers in 4. They swept the Canes 4-0 this season. They also have what looks to be a decisive advantage in net with Shesterkin as opposed to the Canes choosing between Mrazek and Reimer. The Rangers were on the rise, and are one of the teams that the reprieve may benefit the most. They likely would have missed the playoffs, but won like 16 of 20 before the shutdown. They are worth keeping an eye on.

Isles/FLA- Isles in 4. The Isles are who they are. Not as good as last season, but Trotz has them playing that boring defensive style that produces W's. They mentioned on their telecast the other day that not many teams are more comfortable in one goal games. The Panthers are a mess for some reason. They have the coach and several big time players. And a $10M underachieving goalie. They lost their exhibition 5-0 to TB, and don't look ready.

Leafs/Jackets- Leafs in 5. As much as we hate Torts, he gives the BJ's a huge advantage behind the bench. As their team has disintegrated through free agents and win now trades, Torts has somehow kept them competitive. They swept the Lightning last season, and were up 2-0 on the eventual champion Caps the season before. But the Leafs have by far the more talented roster. Matbe they get a home rink bounce along the way people can complain about.

West

Oilers/Hawks- Hawks in 5. This is a terrible 5/12 matchup for the Oilers! The Hawks are one of the youngest teams in the league, and are porous in many respects. But they've got a couple of stars in Toews and Kane, and Kane is still a true game breaker. The Oilers should win, but I've got a hunch after watching the trounce the Blues in the exhibition. Kubalik has been a real find. I just have a hunch the Hawks are going to get the upset. Then the Oilers can get another first overall pick. :D

Preds/Coyotes- Preds in 4. Poor Tocchet. The franchise is in disarray just as he has a chance to compete in meaningful games. I'm anxious to hear the full Chayka story. The Preds aren't what they were when the Pens played them, but there's too many distractions for the Yotes.

Canucks/Wild- Canucks in 4. The Canucks are a young and upcoming team. The Wild are a work in progress. Even if they were only one point apart. Ordinarily, a young group like the Canucks might be ripe for the taking, but I just don't see anything Minny has that gets me excited.

Flames/Jets- Jets in 5. A battle of disjointed underachievers. A lot of talent on the ice. Just something missing. In the end, Hellybucyk tips the scales.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby pressure=9Pa on Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:19 pm

My prediction: A goaltender that is unknown or viewed to be average, or maybe even a backup, gets unexplainably hot for a month and wins the Conn Smythe.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby no name on Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:25 pm

I do agree with your picks, but I am calling an upset if you want to call it that. Canes over the Rangers.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby 100565 on Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:15 pm

East

Pens/Canadians- Pens in 4..guess I am one of the many.

Canes/Rangers- Canes in 5.

Isles/FLA- Isles in sweep.

Leafs/Jackets- Leafs in 5.

West

Oilers/Hawks- Oilers sweep.

Preds/Coyotes- Preds in 4.

Canucks/Wild- Canucks in 4.

Flames/Jets- Jets in 5.

For no statistical reason, I feel it will be the Oilers year to lift the Cup.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby Penspal on Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:46 pm

Pens in 5. Mistakes everywhere, I'm a expecting sloppy sloppy sloppy.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby Sigwolf on Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:52 pm

Penspal wrote:Pens in 5. Mistakes everywhere, I'm a expecting sloppy sloppy sloppy.


I just want to avoid the worst case scenario... Pens beat Montreal, thereby "make the playoffs", lose this years 1st round pick, Pens lose round 1 of the actual playoffs (probably to the stinking Flyers), said pick draws 1st overall, which becomes Minnesota property.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby pens_CT on Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:59 pm

Sigwolf wrote:
Penspal wrote:Pens in 5. Mistakes everywhere, I'm a expecting sloppy sloppy sloppy.


I just want to avoid the worst case scenario... Pens beat Montreal, thereby "make the playoffs", lose this years 1st round pick, Pens lose round 1 of the actual playoffs (probably to the stinking Flyers), said pick draws 1st overall, which becomes Minnesota property.


Can't happen that way. If Pittsburgh beats Montreal then they're no longer in the draft lottery picture.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby FLPensFan on Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:58 pm

I just see too many variables to make any solid predictions. Talking about the Penguins - Canadians series specifically:

- The Penguins series gets the 8pm ice time. How the ice holds up with multiple games being played on it per day remains to be seen. If the ice is sloppy, that doesn't help the Penguins cause. Sullivan had talked about the Penguins altering their game to account for this if needed, but....will the players do it? Because this is a group that has been over-fancy on many occassion the past few seasons, to a fault at times.

- Losing game 1 can wildly alter the series. A Penguins loss in game 1, unless it is a close game, will have everyone looking at Sullivan to see if he makes a goalie switch.

- On paper, this team should really crush the Canadians. I saw a graphic today that in terms of even-strength goals, the Penguins have SIX players who are all at a Goals Above Expected rate (ie, they score at a higher rate than expected) over the Canadians. Domi was the Canadians player with the highest rating here. Crosby, Malkin, Rust, Guentzel, Hornqvist, and McCann all rated higher. McCann was about even with Domi....the other 5 were far and away much better.

- Maybe it was just a "not worth showing your cards" type of thing, but the team didn't really impress me against Philly. I didn't think they were bad, but, I didn't see this "fire and drive" that I've heard about in camp. Again, I can easily see it as....there's no reason to expend a lot of effort or go all out in this game against Philly. But, it could also be a small cause for concern.

-5 game series are a different beast. Losing the 1st game is hard to come back from. Winning game 1 and then losing game 2, where the series is tied at 1-1, I think, is a lot easier to overcome and deal with. Just so much uncertainty.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby FLPensFan on Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:05 pm

And an interesting note is, the hockey twitter analytics guys that all have their own prediction models on who will win each series....only 2 of the 6 models have the Penguins beating the Canadians:

Image
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby littlemoonboot on Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:21 pm

I just don't like the Pens and the Habs. I know a lot of people think the Habs are supposed to get stomped but I don't know. The Pens don't always play them particularly well.

Sorry for the long absence everyone. I'm still just trying to get my mind around playoff hockey in AUGUST.

HABS AND PENS! LAFRENIERE BOWL! LET'S GOOOOOOOO
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby Hatrick on Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:34 am

Sigwolf wrote:
Penspal wrote:Pens in 5. Mistakes everywhere, I'm a expecting sloppy sloppy sloppy.


I just want to avoid the worst case scenario... Pens beat Montreal, thereby "make the playoffs", lose this years 1st round pick, Pens lose round 1 of the actual playoffs (probably to the stinking Flyers), said pick draws 1st overall, which becomes Minnesota property.

only the losers of the qualifiers are eligible for the lottery, so it would be the Canadians pick if you think of either us or them getting the lottery ball.

But yes winning the qualifying round and losing the next series is the worst possible combo. Best is of course cup, second best imo is losing to montreal but then having the lottery ball bounce the right way. (in which case the rest of the league would go nuts)
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby Hatrick on Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:44 am

General predictions: lots of upsets in both the qualifying round and first round. The teams who do survive the qualifying round will be more ready after going through a series rather than a round robin.

Problem is picking which upsets will happen
Pens in 4, I would go three based on the matchup on paper but rust will be the theme in all these series. I think the long layoff effects the pens more than montreal so they manage to win one game, and keep a couple of the losses very close.
Rangers in 5
Isles in 4
leafs in 5

Im also predicting at least two of the teams in east who win the qualifying round beat the round robin team they play in the second round.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby murphydump55 on Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:58 am

Pens should dominate, but until Sullivan realizes what is blatantly obvious (Sitting Murray and Johnson), the Pens will be behind the 8 ball. As much as Jarry wasn't very good after the all star break, he still deserves the nod to start this series. Johnson doesn't deserve to be on the ice. His play shows it, as do the numbers. The team is FAR worse when he's on the ice and our stars struggle compared to when he's off the ice.

I put money on the Rangers to beat the Canes.
Isles
Leafs

I will still say I wouldn't be surprised to see the Habs beat the Pens. Underdogs, and a coach that seemingly can't figure out how awful the Johnson/Schultz pariing is. Plus they have Carey Price. Sure he hasn't been great by any stretch this season, but a reset could have done him some favours. He has the talent to stonewall a team and give his team a boost.

I still say Pens in 4, but I doubt it's a blowout. Just a hunch.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby penny lane on Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:31 am

So where were we??? :D
I'd love to see the isles lose- upset special, the Panthers in 5.
Canes/Rangers? Rangers
Columbus - TO, Torts isn't a coach of the year finalist for nothing. Jackets in 4 or 5
Oilers in 4
Preds in 3
Canucks- Wild, I'd like Billy Guerin to have some succcess... wild in 5.
Jets Jets Jets in 3

Pens; I don't need to see the bells/whistles/trumpets all tonight. Dominate with space and skating.
Score on the power play.
Ps- don't give up a goal 15 seconds into the game. :twisted:
Pens in 3!
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby Ericf on Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:40 am

Unless the Pens can somehow turn around their PP, which has been bad to mediocre, they’re going to have a hard time beating MTL at even strength. Hopefully they can keep their shooting % conversion rate high. If their conversion rate on shots is not high (whether due to bad luck or Price or their rate from the regular season just averaging out), and their PP is not converting, the Pens will lose this series.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby SubtropicalPenguin on Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:53 am

East

Pens/Canadians- pens in 3, bring it.

Canes/Rangers- canes in 4. Old man in the net for NYR.

Isles/FLA- Panthers in 5, my upset special. This is unlikely, for sure, but I just feel like the Panthers are due, and honestly, the isles roster really isn't that strong. They have been punching above their weight since JT left.

Leafs/Jackets- BJs in 5. Leafs consistently inconsistent.

West

Oilers/Hawks- oilers in 4. Chicago has no business being in the playoffs, but I'll give them a pity game.

Preds/Coyotes- Preds in 4. Arizona is a mess, despite having a couple goal scorers out there now. Franchise stability matters.

Canucks/Wild- Canucks in 3. I think the wild stinks. Nothing to see here apart from some have-beens and a goalie who can shine. Canucks younger, faster, better.

Flames/Jets- Jets in 5. I love the top end scoring talent on the jets, but, man, have they been disappointing. I actually like the flames, too... but I'll go with the best goalie here, and take the jets.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby littlemoonboot on Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:02 pm

LOL Oilers maybe they want yet another shot at a #1 pick
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby RentedMule66 on Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:30 pm

Montreal in 3....cause HCMS is to stupid to play Jarry, Lafferty, etc.....
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby littlemoonboot on Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:22 am

littlemoonboot wrote:LOL Oilers maybe they want yet another shot at a #1 pick


LOL Penguins maybe they want a shot at the #1 pick too. :face:
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby brwi on Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:57 pm

Adios Rangers. No Hamilton or Pesce on the blueline didn't make much of a difference as both Canes goaltenders were way better than King Henri and Shesterkin and Canes depth too much for NYR.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby Pruezy11881 on Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:21 am

brwi wrote:Adios Rangers. No Hamilton or Pesce on the blueline didn't make much of a difference as both Canes goaltenders were way better than King Henri and Shesterkin and Canes depth too much for NYR.

Canes are going to be a tough out. They look fast, hungry, and deep.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby Penspal on Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:14 am

Pruezy11881 wrote:
brwi wrote:Adios Rangers. No Hamilton or Pesce on the blueline didn't make much of a difference as both Canes goaltenders were way better than King Henri and Shesterkin and Canes depth too much for NYR.

Canes are going to be a tough out. They look fast, hungry, and deep.


Agreed, the sweep of the Rangers was never in question.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby longtimefan on Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:25 pm

Penspal wrote:
Pruezy11881 wrote:
brwi wrote:Adios Rangers. No Hamilton or Pesce on the blueline didn't make much of a difference as both Canes goaltenders were way better than King Henri and Shesterkin and Canes depth too much for NYR.

Canes are going to be a tough out. They look fast, hungry, and deep.


Agreed, the sweep of the Rangers was never in question.


It was a real kick in the teeth for the Rangers. They finished the season an a major roll and believed they were ready to take it to another level. I suspect the optimism was brimming among the fan base. Now, not so much. They were confident coming in, having swept the Canes in 4 games this season. A bursted bubble to be sure.

The Canes biggest concern is in net. Mrazek and Reimer don't scream dominance. They have the strangest playoff story as an organization. They haven't made it often, but they go deep when they do. They went to the finals in '02 and lost. The next appearance was their Cup win in '06. The next was a loss to the Pens in the conference final. Then they lost to the Bruins in the conference finals last year. Only their 5th appearance since '02, but they've gotten at least to the conference finals the previous 4. Strange quirk.
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby 100565 on Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:30 pm

murphydump55 wrote:I put money on the Rangers to beat the Canes.


Shall we start a GoFundMe for ya? :lol:

(I am joking. These series are tough to predict!)
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Re: Where's the hockey talk?/Predictions?

Postby brwi on Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:21 pm

longtimefan wrote:It was a real kick in the teeth for the Rangers. They finished the season an a major roll and believed they were ready to take it to another level. I suspect the optimism was brimming among the fan base. Now, not so much. They were confident coming in, having swept the Canes in 4 games this season. A bursted bubble to be sure.
[/]
You can see the bright future the Rags have ahead soon, but they are not quite there yet. Fox looks like a start #1 dman for years to come already and Kakko at 19 really has a ton of promise. The team went through a major rebuild very quickly and successfully but the experience and maturity isn't there yet and depth is not there. Henri looks finished but they have more than capable replacements already.
quote]
The Canes biggest concern is in net. Mrazek and Reimer don't scream dominance. They have the strangest playoff story as an organization. They haven't made it often, but they go deep when they do. They went to the finals in '02 and lost. The next appearance was their Cup win in '06. The next was a loss to the Pens in the conference final. Then they lost to the Bruins in the conference finals last year. Only their 5th appearance since '02, but they've gotten at least to the conference finals the previous 4. Strange quirk.


All those Canes team have one person in common: Rod Brind A'Mour. As HC he definitely has 100% buy-in from everyone and it really helps to have Justin Williams on the roster too. His system is the same as Bill Peters in Carolina when Brind Amour was AC and if you can get the players to commit to it, your puck possession numbers are going to be staggering, and that's really the Canes way. It helps the Canes have more talent now than under Peters but they also don't have players and the HC getting into fist fights and other BS they had from Peters.

Goaltending was also considered to be a real issue each run but rookie Ward looked like anything but a rookie when they won the Cup and the Mrazek/McInhenny pairing last yr took them further than expected. Reimer was incredible yesterday but it's still an area where you wait for the bubble to burst. I kept waiting for it to kill them vs. the caps last year and it didn't. If anything, Mrazek looks better this season but he can still get crazy. Reimer's fine but the question can either hold up on a 7 game series is valid.
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