2024 Stanley Cup Playoff Bracket Predictions:
Here’s the surprise: my playoff predictions.
This is what it looks like in the Eastern Conference:
Carolina Hurricanes Vs Pittsburgh Penguins (WC1)
New Jersey Devils Vs New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs (Presidents Trophy) Vs Buffalo Sabres (WC2)
Tampa Bay Lightning Vs Florida Panthers
The Atlantic Division will be fierce. Last year’s playoff teams remain formidable, and they’ve added some fresh talent. The Maple Leafs, for example, have boosted their forward lines with Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi. Meanwhile, the Panthers are doubling down on the crew that made it to the finals.
However, don’t count out the Bruins. Yes, they’re not in the playoffs for me. Yet, despite the absence of Patrice Bergeron. They still rock a stellar defense and top-notch goaltending. On the flip side, the Lightning face a major hurdle with Vasilevskiy sidelined, not to mention their depth issues at forward and defense.
Now, when we look at Detroit, Ottawa, and Buffalo, the Sabres seem like the ones to watch. They’ve been steadily improving, and I love watching goaltender Devon Levi. The Senators might face some blueline questions, and while the Red Wings will put up a fight, I don’t see them topping the other squads.
Aside from the Canadiens being at the bottom, everything else is up in the air.
Here’s what things look like in the Western Conference:
Colorado Avalanche Vs Seattle Kraken (WC1)
Dallas Stars Vs. Minnesota Wild
Edmonton Oilers vs Calgary Flames (WC2)
Los Angeles Kings vs Vegas Golden Knights
The Central Division might not have the same star power as others, but it’s not without its interesting storylines. At the top, Stars and Avalanche are battling it out for supremacy. Last year, Colorado narrowly clinched the Central title, but with the Stars adding Matt Duchene, they’re looking like top contenders.
Now, keep an eye on the Wild. Filip Gustavsson’s emergence last season was a game-changer for Minnesota, and he’s set to own the crease this year. Can they finally get over the first-round hump?
The Predators are making moves, like saying goodbye to Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen and bringing in Ryan O’Reilly. However, it all concerns how far Juuse Saros can take them.
The Jets are coming off a rollercoaster season. Their culture is concerning. They had locker room issues last season, and coach Rick Bowness called out players. If they don’t fix this, it could hurt them. Yet if they unite, they can”Jet”. Signing goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and forward Mark Scheifele to 7X$8.5 AAV million extensions help.
Kevin Hayes is a good addition for the Blues, but they might not be contenders yet. As for the Blackhawks, all eyes are on rookie sensation Connor Bedard, but it’s still a building year. The Coyotes show signs of rejuvenation, but they might find themselves at the division’s bottom when the dust settles.
The Pacific Division is shaping up to be quite interesting. Can you believe the Oilers haven’t won their division with McDavid and Draisaitl? That might change this season. The Kings, with Dubois, Kopitar, and Danualt, have fantastic center depth. And don’t count out the reigning champion Golden Knights. The Kraken flexed their might by reaching the second round last season. I think they’ll keep improving.
The Flames could surprise us with a rejuvenated spirit under new coaching. Losing Toffoli hurts, but there’s talent with Lindholm, Kadri, and Huberdeau. And watch out for Jacob Markstrom in goal. I’m expecting Calgary back in the postseason.
The Canucks might progress under Rick Tocchet, but they lack the firepower to compete. The Ducks continue their rebuild. As for the Sharks, enjoy lottery land!