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2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs: PHT’s Round 1 picks

Apr 30, 2013, 8:00 AM EST

2013 playoffs

The ProHockeyTalk staff is comprised of myself (Mike Halford), Jason Brough, Joe Yerdon, James O’Brien, Ryan Dadoun and Cam Tucker.

We write about hockey for a living, though that might not be evident by the end of this.

Regardless, here are our fearless picks for the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. Be sure to add yours in the comments section — if you do really well this round, we might invite you to try again in Round 2 (or, come up with a better incentive to participate.)

Western Conference

No. 1 Chicago vs. No. 8 Minnesota

Halford: Blackhawks in 4

Brough: Blackhawks in 5

Yerdon: Blackhawks in 5

O’Brien: Blackhawks in 5

Dadoun: Blackhawks in 5

Tucker: Blackhawks in 5

No. 2 Anaheim vs. No. 7 Detroit

Halford: Ducks in 7

Brough: Red Wings in 6

Yerdon: Red Wings in 7

O’Brien: Red Wings in 6

Dadoun: Ducks in 6

Tucker: Red Wings in 7

No. 3 Vancouver vs. No. 6 San Jose

Halford: Canucks in 6

Brough: Canucks in 7

Yerdon: Canucks in 7

O’Brien: Canucks in 7

Dadoun: Sharks in 7

Tucker: Canucks in 7

No. 4 St Louis vs. No. 5 Los Angeles

Halford: Blues in 7

Brough: Kings in 6

Yerdon: Kings in 6

O’Brien: Kings in 6

Dadoun: Blues in 6

Tucker: Blues in 6

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. No. 8 New York Islanders

Halford: Penguins in 6

Brough: Penguins in 5

Yerdon: Penguins in 6

O’Brien: Penguins in 6

Dadoun: Penguins in 5

Tucker: Penguins in 5

No. 2 Montreal vs. No. 7 Ottawa

Halford: Canadiens in 6

Brough: Senators in 6

Yerdon: Canadiens in 7

O’Brien: Canadiens in 6

Dadoun: Senators in 7

Tucker: Senators in 6

No. 3 Washington vs. No. 6 New York Rangers

Halford: Capitals in 7

Brough: Rangers in 6

Yerdon: Rangers in 7

O’Brien: Rangers in 7

Dadoun: Rangers in 6

Tucker: Capitals in 6

No. 4 Boston vs. No. 5 Toronto

Halford: Bruins in 6

Brough: Bruins in 5

Yerdon: Leafs in 7

O’Brien: Bruins in 6

Dadoun: Bruins in 6

Tucker: Bruins in 7

  1. LampyB - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    Wow good to see strong support for the Rangers. My vote goes to Caps in 7 but I’d rather see NYR take it.

    • basedrum777 - Apr 30, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      I hope the Rangers win b/c if they do and the other matchups hold form then Pitt would have to play either Mont or Bos but not both. Rangers have a recent habit of folding like tents to Sid and the Pens.

  2. hockeywithdrawal - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    I would have thought the Leafs would get a few more votes, given Boston’s trouble recently.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      i think the fact that most think its going to six or seven games is credit enough for toronto. i dont think they make it past game 5. not enough experience and goaltending hasnt been great, theyve been giving up 4 or 5 goals to teams like wash, tb, nyi, mtl down the stretch here in april.

  3. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    If Ottawa plays a very physical game I like their chances of beating the Habs. They need to run their D men. Markov is tired, Dias is small, Georges will cough up the puck when pressured. Bouillon is the only sure D man back there. Will Tinordi play? Yemelin is out…. Look for the Sens the out shoot les Canadiens.

    Rangers over Caps is a very good pick. Still would be nice to see another head to head between Crosby and Crazy 8.

  4. jkay1818 - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Chicago in 5
    Anaheim in 7
    san jose in 6
    st louis in 6
    Pitt in 5
    Rangers in 6
    toronto in 7
    senators in 7

  5. bennywuh - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    With Schneider hurt, you really think Luongo can top the Sharks??

    • r4n6er - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      He didn’t have a problem last time they fought in the western conference finals…

      • bcisleman - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        But SJS dominated the season series and Luongo has looked awful recently.

      • r4n6er - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:00 AM

        Lou doesn’t look good when Van lets all their starters have the night off. Also, if the regular season mattered in the playoffs the Kings wouldn’t have won the cup last year…

      • minskyboy - May 1, 2013 at 3:52 AM

        Chicago in 6
        Anaheim in 7
        Vancouver in 7
        St Louis in 7
        Pittsburgh in 4
        Washington in 6
        Toronto in 7
        Montreal in 7

        Yes, I’m being conservative with my stupid picks (aren’t these predictions all stupid?), but I think many of these will all be hard-fought matchups. I have the luxury of seeing the result of the 1st day of play already, and the Blues & Ducks did look good. I’m really not so sure about the SJ-Van, Ottawa-Montreal, and Boston-Toronto matchups. They are so unpredictable. I read all your comments about the Canucks & Sharks, but I side with Van due to Luongo being solid despite recent play w/out many starters playing, and I have the current news that either of them is healthy to start. Besides, I’m both a Pens & ‘Nucks fanThe most exciting 1st round series to watch is for sure the Caps-Rangers one. And, BTW, NO ONE can stop the Pens, with or without Croz, but I think there’s a good chance he’ll be cleared play tomorrow anyway, to further electrify the process of the brutality heaped upon the poor Islanders. Look for Tavares to do slightly better (because it’s playoff hockey), but not do well enough for anything to matter, than soil his pants at the sight of the Penguins stepping onto the ice!

  6. raleik - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    Chicago in 6
    Anaheim in 6
    San Jose in 5
    St Louis in 7

    Pittsburgh in 6
    Ottawa in 6
    New York in 7
    Boston in 7

  7. steelpenbucs87 - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    Chicago in 6
    Detroit in 7
    Vancouver in 6
    LA in 5
    Pittsburgh in 5
    Montreal in 7
    Washington in 7
    Boston in 5

    MVP of the first round: Patrick Kane – I think he’s going to tear up Minnesota, might take a run at 10 pts.
    Vezina of the first round: Braden Holtby – the kid is getting better and better as the season goes on, and I think he turns it up another notch here in the playoffs.
    LVP of the first round (or “good player to not play up to snuff”): Karlsson – more to do with knocking rust off of because of the injury than anything else – I also think Therrien will send the house at him on the forecheck.
    Best Series: Caps-Rangers – Ovi, Backstrom, Nash, Richards, Holtby, Hank… outside of my own rooting interests this is the series I am most excited to watch.

    Stanley Cup Playoffs are here. Can’t. Wait.

    • tfaltin - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      LA in 5 over the Blues?! Wow.

      • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        Call it visions of 2012 still running through my head :)

  8. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    How will the team chemistry and playoff armosphere be affected with the pending investfations againist Nathan Beaulieu and his father on assault charges? Habs should send the kid home to avoid all disruptions.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:18 AM

      meh, none. they got bigger fish to fry right now.

  9. ibieiniid - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    wow, Halford calling the only sweep. i think MIN can win at least a game.

  10. tfaltin - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Chicago in 5 – Too much front end skill, bottom 6 grit, back end talent, and consistent goaltending.
    Detroit in 6 – Momentum! Detroit really came together and has their defense playing much more consistently. The Ducks hot start may have led to some inconsistent play. Now that Detroit is healthy, I trust Pav, Z, Franzen, Kronwall, Filpulla, and Howard to get it done.
    Sharks in 6 – Vancouver just is not built for playoff hockey, and the Sharks have a nice corps committed to a good system. Niemi in net is the x-factor.
    Blues in 7 – St Louis will “want it” more than the Kings. It’s time for their young talent to rise to the top. Sky is the limit for St Louis if they play the right way, and they will in this series that could very likely be decided by a little bit of puck-luck.

    Pittsburgh in 5 – Tavares can will the Isles to one win at home, but does anyone think the Islanders can win in Pittsburgh?
    Senators in 6 – Montreal is sputtering, and Erik Karlsson completely changes the dynamic of the Senators. The young kids stepped up all year, and now they’re as healthy as they’ll get. Their system is too strong for Montreal.
    Rangers in 6 – Can’t wait for these games, could be the most entertaining series. Edge to the Rangers for defensive depth, and goaltending. If the Rangers let the Caps PP on the ice, they’re toast, but I dont see that happening. Lets see what playoff Rick Nash can muster.
    Bruins in 7 – I would love to see Kessel light up the Bruins for how badly he’s spoken of up here. I still think the Leafs are a year away though. I trust Tuukka over Reimer, and the Bruins go to next gear in the playoffs.

    These are my thoughts, spare the thumb downs and tell me why it will be different! These are the best hockey discussions so keep it informed and polite please.

    • jl9830 - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      I think the Islanders can win in Pittsburgh. They’ve done it before, including a drubbing earlier this year. I could actually see an upset there- Tavares shines the most on the brightest stages. This is his time.

      • tfaltin - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        I think it’d be awesome if they did, I’d root for it, but Pittsburgh is a tough place to play, and if playoff experience means anything, the Isles are in trouble. The Pens should also have a chip on their shoulder after last years debacle.

      • jpelle82 - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        a 4-1 win early in the year compared to being outscored 16-5 in the other 4 games. he has 2 pts against the pens this year. please give me some evidence of him “shining on the brightest stages”…after all this will be his first post season experience. this year he has been pretty average in big games…he shines against weak opponents in games they should win anyway. at 22 he hasnt won a thing, no art ross, no hart, no rocket, no cup, no olympics…the only thing he has won was a gold with a stacked team canada in the u20 worlds where cody hodgson scored more points than him. i’m a tavares hater though, and i’ve watched him play quite a bit with the islanders so i think i can have an opinion on it- he has 13 pts and is -17 in 22 games career against the pens – its his least favorite team to play and he has the worst production against them than any other team in the east. outshined by the brighter stars on the biggest stage in my book.

    • salmon90 - Apr 30, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      Vancouver not built for playoff hockey…..Hmmmm. We all know they haven’t yet achieved the ultimate goal but to claim they’re not ‘built for playoff hockey’ is a bit ignorant no? Let’s have a look at the past 4 seasons (If I’ve missed any of these recent teams that are ‘built’ for playoff hockey let me know.

      2008/09 – 2011/12

      Number of PLAYOFF series WINS.
      Boston – 6
      Pittsburgh – 5
      Chicago – 6
      Vancouver – 5
      LA – 4
      St. Louis – 1
      Washington – 3
      NYR – 1
      SJ – 4
      St. Louis – 1

      • salmon90 - Apr 30, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        Pardon me Wings and Flyers fans:
        Detroit – 5
        Flyers – 5

  11. bcisleman - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    Good to see most of you giving Isles some credit. The CW that Pens-Isles will be a blowout ignores some things. Only two of the regular season games were blowouts and one of them was won by the Isles. Only one game was played after the Isles turned their season around in March which the Pens won 2-0 only because Vokoun stood on his head. Finally, the goaltending matchups will be critical. Nabby has a good career playoff sv% while Flower over the last three seasons has a sv% of .875. If Isles can get to him early and Nabby can stand on his head, this could be a very different series than anyone thinks.

    • zico25 - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      People tend to attribute the horrible first round by Fleury last year as a poor individual effort, instead of a poor team effort. Fleury had a bad series due to the team in front of him. The team defense was atrocious. Read any report about it, all Pens players own up to it. They left Fleury out to dry. And even if Fleury still struggles in both game 1 and 2, expect Vokoun in net.

      As for the earlier season blowout by the Isles, that was well before the Pens found their own groove and consistency. I actually attended that game. Pens didn’t play well on any front;offense, defense, special teams, or goaltending. They’re a MUCH different team than the one that played Jan 29th.

  12. pariseinminnesotabichez - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Sharks in 5 mon guys the Sharks have fed it to the Canucks all year!

  13. rebekah319 - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Not really shocking towards these predictions however anything can happen in these rounds so these predictions do not always come true.

  14. fonz1080 - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Hawks in 5.
    Red Wings in 7.
    Canucks in 7.
    Kings in 7.
    Pens in 4.
    Canadiens in 7.
    Capitals in 7.
    Bruins in 6.

  15. jonkchar - Apr 30, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Pens in 5
    Sens in 6
    Caps in 6
    Bruins in 6

    ‘Hawks in 6
    Ducks in 7
    Sharks in 6
    Kings in 6

  16. luciddream7 - Apr 30, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Hawks in 5
    Ducks in 7
    Sharks in 6
    Kings in 5

    Pens in 5
    Ottawa in 7
    Rangers in 6
    Bruins in 7

    Although I’m hoping the Isles can give the Pens a tougher fight than 5 games. A part of me thinks they will.

  17. thewaytonever - Apr 30, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    I can’t wait to see how many of these are wrong.

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