The 2019-2020 season was halted on March 12, 2020. Gary Bettman had a plan to resume hockey. 24 qualifying teams, 12 from the western and eastern conference, were invited to play in Toronto and Edmonton. Starting August 1st the NHL qualifying round will begin with 8 best of 5 matchups.
The Penguins and Canadiens aren't evenly matched, the Pens have a clear advantage. The Pens won 9 more games then the Canadiens in the regular season. The only thing good for Montreal is Carey Price. I have PIT winning in 4.
Although the Hurricanes traded for Sami Vatanen, Brady Skjei and Vincent Trocheck I don't see them stopping Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanjad. Also the Rangers goaltending is much better than the Hurricanes. NYR win the series in a hard fought 5 games.
In the offseason the Panthers spent big by signing defenceman Anton Stralman and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky had a disappointing season while, Semyon Varlamov and Thomas Greiss both had great years. The Islanders win the low scoring series in 3.
The Maple Leafs were one of the best goal scoring team during the seaon while, the Blue Jackets were better defensively. The regular season series was tied at 1 a piece but TOP out scored CBJ 7 to 5. I'm giving the series win to TOR in 4.
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The Oilers have Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl which is enough to win 37 games. EDM signed Mike Smith who surprisingly had a good season while, CHI goalie Corey Crawford had a bad season. McDavid and Draisaitl can easily carry the team to the first round. The Oilers win in 5.
The big factor in this series is if Pekka Rinne can a good series. I don't think he will but, I do think Darcey Kuemper will because he was one of the best goalies this year until he got injured. I think Darcey Kuemper will have great games while Taylor Hall, Phil Kessel and Clayton Keller have great series. The Coyotes win in 4.
Vancouver is a young team with many of their players never playing in the playoffs while Minnesota is experienced. VAN has the better goalie in Jacob Markstrom and overall better players. The young Canucks will win the series in 4.
In the qualifying round the Flames will be without Travis Hamonic who is one of their best defenders. David Rittich of the Flames had a good year but, Connor Hellebuyck had a great year. Also, the Jets are better offensively and defensively. The Jets win in 5.