David Campbell’s picks

David Campbell, Staff Reporter

Starting off with no surprise at all, the Predators will sweep the Avalanche in four decisive games. The Predators have way too many weapons on offense and with one of the best defenses in the whole NHL, the Avalanche will be blown out in all four games.

Next up is Winnipeg and Minnesota. Even though I am from Minnesota, I am actually a St. Louis Blues fan, not a Wild fan. Winnipeg has been under the radar all season and it only makes sense for me to pick them. Laine, Wheeler and Hellebuyck will carry them a long way.

Going to the Pacific, I have the Vegas Golden Knights beating the Los Angeles Kings. Vegas has been phenomenal in their first ever season. The brand new team has shocked the world and they will win their first round in six games.

In the other matchup, the Sharks and the Ducks face off in the battle of the west coast. Both teams have been very solid all year and I could see this going either way. However, I have Sharks winning because of their veteran leadership. Logan Couture will most likely have a good series.

Let’s move to the Eastern Conference and the number one overall seed, the Tampa Bay Lightning. With a 100 point season from Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos doing what he does best, the Lightning will fly by the Devils. I didn’t know the Devils were even in the playoffs to be honest.

With the next series, Boston plays Toronto in a matchup the Maple Leafs will want to win bad. Back in 2013, these teams faced off and in game 7, the Maple Leafs were up 4-1 with 11 minutes left in the game. However, they completely fell apart and the Bruins came back to win in OT. The Leafs look to shake the ghosts. I have them winning 7 against the Bruins.

In the Metropolitan Division, the Capitals play the BJ’s. Yes, the Capitals usually find a way to choke and lose but this year is different, for real. Alex Ovechkin is going to go off and Braden Holtby is going to stand on his head to have the Caps win in five.

While in the other series, the Philadelphia Flyers face off against the defending Stanley Cup Champion, Pittsburgh Penguins. Sidney Crosby is back and is not as good as he was last year. The Penguins will still win this though as the Flyers rely on Claude Giroux way too much.

Those are all the first round matchups, let’s move on to the second.

I have Nashville versus Winnipeg in the Western Conference Semifinals. While the Predators are the one seed, I have the Jets taking this one in seven games. Two very evenly matched teams will each look to move on to the Western Conference Finals. The Predators will need to rely on P.K Subban while the Jets will need to rely on Blake Wheeler.

In the Pacific Division finale, I have the Golden Knights and the Sharks. I think the Sharks will take the momentum from the previous series and beat the red-hot Golden Knights in six games. The Sharks will use their age and veteran ability to carry them to the Western Conference Finals.

In the Eastern Conference Semis, Toronto will play Tampa Bay in the battle of the blue. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner will carry the load offensively and propel the Leafs to the the Eastern Conference Finals. The Lightning have played very well this year and Nikita Kucherov might get MVP, but the Leafs are a very solid team with much better depth.

On the other side, the Capitals battle the Penguins in a battle which will go seven games for sure. Sid the Kid vs Ovi, a battle that has gone on for many years and usually, Crosby wins. This time, however, I believe the Caps will get by that difficult 2nd round and beat the Penguins.

Back to the West and the Jets vs the Sharks. Two teams that have been quietly good all year and this series will be exciting to watch. I have the Jets pulling it off in seven with Paul Stastny scoring the OT winner in games one, three, seven. I’m being very specific. Connor Hellebuyck will stand on his head to lead the Jets to their first ever Stanley Cup final.

In the East, the Capitals and the Maple Leafs face off for a chance to go to the Stanley Cup Final. With, Alex Ovechkin playing out of his mind, he will score 10 goals in a seven game battle that will go down to the wire. Ovi is tired of losing and he will take his Caps all the way to the Final.

In this Final, the Capitals will win in a game seven OT. None other than T.J Oshie getting the winner from a pass by Alex Ovechkin. The Caps take the Cup and Washington D.C. will be in hype mode. The Jets have battled hard all year, but it’s Ovi’s time and he is not going to let anyone take it.