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Round One Predictions

Playoff predictions are a fine art. You can put dozens of hours into statistical analysis and go oh-fer, and another year ignore the standings altogether and win your bracket based on jersey colours alone.

Me, I’m going somewhere in-between. Stirring a wee bit of gut instinct in with hardcore hockey knowhow, I’m pretty sure I’ll bat roughly .500 in my ROUND ONE PREDICTIONS:

It’s hard to bet against Carey Price, but the New York Rangers have a stronger roster and better coaching. Give it to the blueshirts: Rangers in six.

Despite his imressive World Cup of Hockey tourney earlier this year (and a hat trick here against the Canucks a few weeks back), Brad Marchand will never get my vote. The Senators, on the other hand, have Craig Anderson and Erik Karlsson. Sens in seven.

John Tortorella may have scared Columbus into contention through the season, but it’s hard to believe he can conjure serious playoff mojo — especially when Crosby & Co. are skating the other way. Make it five series in a row for Pittsburgh. Pens in five.

Minnesota Wild fans have some wonderful things to cheer for this year, and may just get some playoff payoff sometime soon, but the Blues are just too dangerous to ignore. Tarasenko scores six goals and threatens many, many more times than that. Blues in six.

There`s been little more exciting this year than Connor McDavid`s emergence as the league`s premier scoring threat. Edmonton, after so many years of pathetic play, is finally more than just happy to be here. Still, San Jose has too much to work with at both ends of the ice; their goaltending is the difference. Sharks in seven.

Like McDavid, Auston Matthews is fantastic. However, Leaf Nation will need another couple of years before they can turn playoff towels into playoff wins. Alex Ovechkin, on the other hand, might just win his Cup this year. (Can`t you just taste that White House visit, you Big Russian?) Caps in five.

Nashville always plays Chicago hard, and Pekka Rinne can steal a few games for the Predators at any moment. I would love to see PK Subban go a few rounds just to snub the idiot Habs for trading him away. That said, the Blackhawks are still the class of the league on paper, and they`ve got enough Cup pedigree on the roster to preclude any bets for those ugly yellow shirts across the hall. Hawks in six.

Calgary should just stay home. Ducks in five.

EA Predicts a 3-0 week for Vancouver Canucks

EA Predicts a 3-0 week for the Vancouver Canucks

By Jake Hall

If video games have taught us anything, it's that video games can't teach us anything. EA Sports NHL 13 predicts a 3-0 week for the Vancouver Canucks. Image ripped unapologetically from the internet.
If video games have taught us anything, it’s that video games can’t teach us anything. EA Sports NHL 13 predicts a 3-0 week for the Vancouver Canucks. Image ripped unapologetically from the internet.

It’s been a tough few weeks for Canucks fans. Injuries to stud Ryan Kesler and stalwart Kevin Bieksa, coupled with lacklustre play from the rest of the boys, have helped the Canucks plummet from the league stratosphere they’ve enjoyed for a couple of seasons now. They’ve won just three games in their last 12, and more often than not are fighting to tie games up in the last few minutes just to gain a measly Bettman point.

It’s OKy, though, because the next game is an easy matchup against Columbus…. Wait they’ve won five straight, including one against Vancouver? A world where the Canucks arenʼt leading the Northwest Division and the Blue Jackets beat Detroit twice in three tries is a world I donʼt want to live in.

Well, it is safe to say that it won’t be an easy week for the struggling Canucks. After Nationwide Arena tonight, the boys head home to Rogers Arena to host Shea Weber and the Nashville Predators, followed by the always-dangerous and eternally deep Red Wings.

Which Canucks team will show up? Luckily, you don’t have to guess which half of the Vancouver Jeckyll-and-Hyde Show will strap on skates for these three games. We at Pucked in the Head have enlisted EA Sports to prognosticate for us. I’ll attempt to make the roster as authentic as possible (i.e Kesler hurt, Ebbett back, Schroeder sent to minors, Luongo starting against Columbus). Also included are my predictions for this week’s lines (Burrows centering the 2nd, Kassian with the Twins, etc.)

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