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Pressing question: Could this be the year of the upset?

Apr 16, 2014, 2:05 PM EDT

Gustav Nyquist, Tuukka Rask AP

One of PHT’s 10 pressing questions in advance of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs…

Here’s hoping the answer is yes, because I picked all four lower seeds to win in the West.

The thing is, I doubt I’d feel any less uncertain (and I feel quite uncertain) if I’d done the complete opposite. To illustrate, let’s quickly run down all four series involving top seeds versus wild-card teams:

Ducks (1) versus Stars (8): Dallas has the superior possession stats, plus Anaheim will probably have a rookie in goal.

Avalanche (2) versus Wild (7): Colorado has terrible possession stats, plus Matt Duchene is out to start the series.

Bruins (1) versus Red Wings (8): Boston’s gone the distance in its last three first-round series, and now it gets a Detroit side that almost certainly would’ve finished higher in the standings if not for all its injuries.

Penguins (2) versus Blue Jackets (7): In my opinion, this would be the biggest upset if it were to happen. But is anybody all that bullish on Pittsburgh this year?

In reality, the potential for a massive upset doesn’t actually exist anymore in the NHL. It’s not like back in the day when there was no salary cap and only five out of 21 teams missed the playoffs.

The Miracle on Manchester, now that was an upset. The Kings finished the 1981-82 season with a 24-41-15 record and knocked off Wayne Gretzky and the Oilers, who finished 48-17-15.

Three decades later, when the No. 8-seed Kings beat the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Canucks in the first round, nobody was all that shocked. In fact, a lot of people had predicted it would happen, based on the possession stats.

Earlier today, I published a fun post called “Why your team won’t win the Stanley Cup.” (OK, commenter wtfkwp, a real hit at parties, didn’t think it was so fun: “I’m not sure how you get paid for takes like that.”) But it really wasn’t that hard to write. There isn’t a single team without significant concerns heading into the postseason.

All of which is to say, thanks for reading PHT’s first-round predictions. But we really have no idea what’s going to happen, so you’ll have to watch the games.

For more Pressing Playoff Questions, click here.

  1. JoeAvg - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Never count out the Wings

    • thegreatmorpheos - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      The Great Morpheos agrees.

      The Great Morpheos is not particularly a Wings fan, but they are a talented bunch when they are healthy and is anyone more fun to watch than Datsyuk? He can dangle the puck like no one since Jagr in his prime. Check out the Datsyuk highlights on YouTube; he’s incredible.

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        Wings and Wild are two low seeds I wouldn’t want to play against in the first round.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        watching hockey via youtube? yet you’re all-knowing? strange.

      • hockey412 - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        Right….thanks for the head’s up, we’ve never actually seen the guy play.

      • thegreatmorpheos - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        ibieiniid, you fail to comprehend. I don’t watch via YouTube, but it is your only option, hence my suggestion.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        I think you’re underestimating the PHTers while I’m overestimating them. no need to step back in time for MOST of us. we watch him currently and have been for years. but I guess your comment was aimed toward the newbies tuning in for the playoffs. apologies.

  2. pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    Is it puck drop yet? Cause I wish it was already!

  3. toiletclown - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Bye bye Bruins!!!

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      Won’t take two guesses what toiletclown is full of.

      • toiletclown - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        Don’t underestimate the power of the Wings.

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:34 PM

        I don’t underestimate them. I just suspect that they could be playing Buffalo and you’d still pick Buffalo to win.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bvitGMXEBnM/UDUsDNfpwzI/AAAAAAAAQ6U/MviTqfHGE9I/w800-h800/38740_29069_63316.jpeg

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:35 PM

        http://media.giphy.com/media/SedMCzMp4uecM/giphy.gif

  4. mega1480 - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Picked Detroit to win in my bracket, they did go 3-1 in the regular season over Boston

    • stratomaticfan - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:50 PM

      A 4 game regular season series is a great way to pick the series {note: sarcasm}. Forget that B’s had better statistical numbers on offense, defense, special teams, goaltending, wins, points, and basically everything else. Not to say the Wings can’t win, but not the likely outcome.

      • mega1480 - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:10 PM

        Don’t care about either team, gotta pick a winner in a bracket somehow, seems like a good upset pick. Would you suggest darts or pin the tail on the winner to fill out my bracket in the future? {note: sarcasm}

  5. 4buckiz - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    Jackets need to keep pounding the pens

  6. wtfkwp - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    “There isn’t a single team without significant concerns heading into the postseason.”

    Of course the “concerns” in your article aren’t. I pointed to REAL concerns you somehow missed in your week attempt.

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