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M&G Writers Playoff Pool 2016 (Round 1)

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Each round, our writers will get together and pick the winners of each series along with the games played. The winner at the end will receive a pat on the back.

Who will it be in 2015-16?
Who will it be in 2015-16?
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The regular season is done and the playoffs are beginning without the Flames this season. We here at Matchsticks decided to create our own playoff pool to lighten the somber mood and create a some sort of competition for us to focus on. The winner of this pool at the end will receive bragging rights usable one time over the offseason.

The pool is set up in which we pick one round at a time each series' winner, and the game amount with bonus questions added in. For this round they are who will be Stanley Cup champion, and who will be the leading scorer after Round 1.

Here's the points system for this round:

  • Correct series winner gets you 4 points
  • Correct game amount gets 2 points
  • Correct Cup Champion prediction gets 10 points
  • Correct leading scorer gets 6 points

The table below shows our predictions for this round followed by a very short piece from each writer on why they think each team will win their respective series.

Matchsticks and Gasoline Writers Playoff Pool 2016
Writer FlamesMM TraciKay BizzleJ markparkinson14 jshanny14 HockeyGoalieEh
PHI vs WSH Flyers in 6 Capitals in 6 Capitals in 5 Capitals in 6 Flyers in 7 Caps in 5
NYI vs FLA Panthers in 6 Islanders in 5 Panthers in 6 Panthers in 5 Panthers in 6 Panthers in 5
NYR vs PIT Penguins in 6 Rangers in 7 Penguins in 7 Penguins in 6 Penguins in 6 Penguins in 6
DET vs TB Lightning in 6 Wings in 7 Wings in 6 Wings in 7 Wings in 6 Lightning in 7
MIN vs DAL Stars in 5 Stars in 5 Stars in 5 Stars in 5 Stars in 5 Stars in 4
NSH vs ANA Ducks in 5 Ducks in 6 Preds in 4 Ducks in 5 Ducks in 5 Ducks in 5
CHI vs STL Blues in 7 Hawks in 6 Hawks in 6 Hawks in 7 Hawks in 6 Blues in 7
SJ vs LA Sharks in 6 Sharks in 6 Kings in 7 Kings in 7 Kings in 6 Kings in 6
Cup Champion Ducks Blackhawks Blackhawks Kings Stars Ducks
Leading Scorer (RD1) Tarasenko (STL) Ovechkin (WSH) Kane (CHI) Ovechkin (WSH) Ja. Benn (DAL) Ovechkin (WSH)

FlamesMM: 1. (PHIvsWSH) Can't justify this other than a gut feeling, and the fact that the Caps haven't played a meaningful game in 3 weeks 2. (NYIvsFLA) Islanders inexperienced goaltending falters in the lights of playoffs 3. (NYRvsPIT) Crosby will have a big series and Pens stay hot 4.(DETvsTB) Lightning overcome injuries with strong goaltending 5. (MINvsDAL) Stars will overpower the Wild in a highscoring series 6. (NSHvsANA) Ducks are simply too strong and experienced with a hunger for the Cup. 7. (CHIvsSTL) The Blues finally break their first round jinx in the best series of the first round off star performances from Brian Elliott. 8. (SJvsLA) Sharks will use their superior road play to oust the Kings.

TraciKay: 1. (PHIvsWSH) It's the Capitals year, they've finally got a coach that brings out the best in each player. 2. (NYIvsFLA) Luongo will take a dive 3. (NYRvsPIT) The Rangers ALWAYS win. 4.(DETvsTB) Another surprise series in that the Wings will worked harder than expected and the Lightning will cave without Stamkos. 5. (MINvsDAL) Stars offensive unit will turn it on high. 6. (NSHvsANA) The Ducks will start playing physical and the Preds won't keep up. 7. (CHIvsSTL) Because it's Chicago and they always win when I don't want them to 8. (SJvsLA) Surprise when Sharks steal the series

BizzleJ: 1. (PHIvsWSH) Holtby is a beast, Ovi and Kuznetsov are on fire right now 2. (NYIvsFLA) Luongo may well be a sieve again in the playoffs but Jagr's experience shall reign 3. (NYRvsPIT) Pens are coming in hot winning 14 out 16, so I'll go with Pens 4.(DETvsTB) With Tampa's injuries to Stamkos, Stralman, and perhaps Johnson, give the edge to Detroit. 5. (MINvsDAL) I do not care about this series whatsoever but as a Flames fan I'll take Dallas 6. (NSHvsANA) Going straight up with the Preds because I HATE THE DUCKS 7. (CHIvsSTL) Two reasons for the 'Hawks 1. Kane 2. Crawford 8. (SJvsLA) Reimer's recent outstanding play made this choice difficult but Quick, Kopitar, Doughty and others make me stick with LA.

markparkinson14: 1. (PHIvsWSH) The teams split the season series but I just don't see the Flyers knocking off the best team in the league. 2. (NYIvsFLA) The Panthers mix of youth and veterans will help them prevail. The Jagr train isn't slowing down. 3. (NYRvsPIT) The Pens handled the Rangers this season winning 3/4 and the numbers dictate the matchup for me. 4.(DETvsTB) A very even match up that goes the distance with Detroit on top. 5. (MINvsDAL) A mismatch on paper and on the ice. 6. (NSHvsANA) Nashville, thanks for playing. Anaheim is just too big and physical. 7. (CHIvsSTL) This will be a fantastic series and the Hawks will continue their trend of eliminating the Blues in the playoffs. 8. (SJvsLA) Has the possibility to be one of the best series of the playoffs, and it'll go 7 games but LA's experience will win out.

jshanny14: 1. (PHIvsWSH) Philly rides their winning streak into the postseason to upset Washington 2. (NYIvsFLA) Florida's mix of youth and veterans will eliminate the Isles 3. (NYRvsPIT) Pens fire-power helps them survive their goalie issues and advance 4.(DETvsTB) Too many key injuries for the Lightning. 5. (MINvsDAL) Dallas has been lethal all season and will no trouble with Minnesota 6. (NSHvsANA) The Ducks will simply be too much for Nashville as they ride their successful second half of the season into Round 2. 7. (CHIvsSTL) Chicago is too experienced in the playoffs to fall to the Blues. 8. (SJvsLA) Kings use their experience and potent scoring threats to knock off the Sharks.

HockeyGoalieEh: 1. (PHIvsWSH) The teams are close except in net where Holtby will be the difference 2. (NYIvsFLA) Florida is just slightly better than the Islanders at all aspects of the game which adds up to a Panthers win. 3. (NYRvsPIT) Pens are torrid hot while Rangers are playing pedestrian hockey right now 4.(DETvsTB) Tampa is down Stamkos but still looks better than Detroit. 5. (MINvsDAL) Dallas is terrific everywhere except in net, but their offense will make up for that. 6. (NSHvsANA) I loathe the Predators. 7. (CHIvsSTL) The Blackhawks aren't the same team they were a year ago and the Blues are playing better at the moment. 8. (SJvsLA) The Kings on paper are just too good to lose.

M&G Trends:

  • The Stanley Cup will stay in the Western Conference
  • We all agree that the Stars will beat the Wild
  • Ovechkin is the favorite for the round's scoring leader
  • Panthers, Pens, and Ducks are 5/6 favorites from us
  • We are all completely guessing and have no real idea what's going to happen

Those are our individual picks for this round and our Stanley Cup champions. Feel free to comment who you think will win each round, discuss our picks, tell us who you agree most with, and remember to vote for your Stanley Cup favorite in our poll below.

Happy Playoffs Everyone!