Last week Mark Huss offered up the first post in the series we at Union and Blue are calling; Early Playoff Predictions – Who Is In, Who Is Out! Each member of the U&B team will give their opinion on the Eastern Conference playoff picture. At some point during the season, we will take a look back at these predictions and see how they turned out.
Before I present my predictions, let’s review the new NHL playoff structure:
The Stanley Cup Playoffs will still consist of 16 teams, eight in each conference, but it will be division-based and a wild-card system has been added.
The top three teams in each division will make up the first 12 teams in the playoffs. The remaining four spots will be filled by the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference, based on regular-season points and regardless of division. It will be possible, then, for one division to send five teams to the postseason while the other sends three.
The seeding of the wild-card teams within each divisional playoff will be determined on the basis of regular-season points. The division winner with the most points in the conference will be matched against the wild-card team with the fewest points; the division winner with the second-most points in the conference will play the wild-card team with the second fewest points.
To the predictions we go!