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Playoff Predictions Scrum Style

Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay Lightning

The marathon known as the NHL regular season is officially over. All 32 teams all play 82 games to earn a playoff berth. The 32 teams become 16 playing for the best trophy in all sports. The 2023-24 postseason begins today. The 16 playoff teams begin the 8 Round 1 playoff series and the first games start today. Here at The Scrum Sports as you can imagine, we have healthy discussions throughout the season. When the playoffs begin, we kick that up a notch. So, this week, I asked the writers to provide me with their playoff predictions for all Round 1 series. 

I have done annual playoff picks over the last 12 seasons that I have been covering the Lightning. This year, my first as editor in chief, I asked the Scrum writers to submit their playoff predictions to me. Michelle Gordon, Robert Hazou, Mike Smith, Ernie Norquist submitted to me their Round 1 picks. I added my picks along with theirs and here they are by conference. 

Playoff Prediction Eastern Conference

New York Islanders vs Carolina Hurricanes

  • Ernie: Carolina in 5 games
  • Michelle: Carolina in 7 games
  • Mike: NY Islanders in 7 games
  • Robert Carolina in 6 games
  • Dan: NY Islanders in 6 games

Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers 

  • Ernie: NY Rangers in 6 games
  • Michelle: NY Rangers in 5 games
  • Mike: NY Rangers in 7 games
  • Robert: NY Rangers in 5 games
  • Dan: NY Rangers in 5 games

This was the only series in the Eastern Conference where we are all in agreement in our playoff predictions.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins

  • Ernie: Boston in 6 games
  • Michelle: Toronto in 7 games
  • Mike: Boston in 6 games
  • Robert: Boston in 7 games
  • Dan: Toronto in 6 games

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Florida Panthers

  • Ernie: Lightning in 6 games
  • Michelle: Florida in 5 games
  • Mike: Lightning in 7 games
  • Robert: Lightning in 6 games
  • Dan: Lightning in 6 games

Playoff Predictions Western Conference 

Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars 

  • Ernie: Dallas in 6 games
  • Michelle: Dallas in 7 games
  • Mike: Dallas in 6 games
  • Robert: Dallas in 6 games 
  • Dan: Dallas in 7 games

This was the only series in the Western Conference where we are all in agreement in our playoff predictions.

Colorado Avalanche vs Winnipeg Jets

  • Ernie: Winnipeg in 7 games
  • Michelle: Colorado in 6 games
  • Mike: Colorado in 7 games
  • Robert: Winnipeg in 6 games
  • Dan: Winnipeg in 7 games

Nashville Predators vs Vancouver Canucks

  • Ernie: Nashville in 7 games
  • Michelle: Nashville in 7 games
  • Mike: Vancouver in 6 games
  • Robert: Vancouver in 5 games
  • Dan: Vancouver in 7 games

Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers

  • Ernie: Edmonton in 6 games
  • Michelle: Edmonton in 6 games
  • Mike: Edmonton in 5 games
  • Robert: Los Angeles in 6 games
  • Dan: Los Angeles in 6 games

Playoff Predictions Comments

Of course, as writers they all had comments to go along with their picks. As editor, I had to edit some but here are some of their comments about the Lightning – Panthers series. Robert said it will be a defensive series that should come down to goaltending. Mike also thinks it’ll be a goaltending series and that Andrei Vasilveskiy will steal at least one game for the Bolts. Ernie and I think that the Lightning were gelling at the right time and will be too much for the Kitty Cats. Michelle believes as much as she is rooting for the Lightning, the Panthers are a strong team that takes advantage of home ice. 


We are going to do this again for Round 2 with updates to see how each of us did in Round 1. Enjoy the playoffs.

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