It has now been a few weeks since we’ve last watched any hockey. The likelihood of seeing the regular season resuming is very slim. If we do get to watch hockey again the season it will probably skip right to the playoffs. Both Crosby and Ovechkin have said they feel that is the best option if hockey does resume. Their are a lot of factors to take into consideration but for the sake of this article, let’s say they resume with the start of the playoffs.

This is how the standings would look like:

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division: (1) Boston Bruins,  (2) Tampa Bay Lightning, (3) Toronto Maple Leafs

Metro Division: (1) Washington Capitals, (2) Philadelphia Flyers, (3) Pittsburgh Penguins

Wild Card: (1) Carolina Hurricanes, (2) Columbus Blue Jackets

Western Conference 

Central Division: (1) St. Louis Blues, (2) Colorado Avalanche, (3) Dallas Stars

Pacific Division:  (1) Vegas Golden Knights, (2) Edmonton Oilers, (3) Calgary Flames

Wild Card: (1) Winnipeg Jets, (2) Nashville Predators

First Round 

In the first round I think there will be a few upsets. Since there will be such big gap between games this will allow teams to get healthy. Teams like Carolina and Winnipeg, who have been missing key players all season will benefit the most. Rivalries will re-new in both Pennsylvanian and Alberta. In my last article, I did not think the Flyers would have made the playoffs. They have become one of the hottest teams in the NHL. Climbing their way into second in the metro, which would mean home ice against the Penguins. That will be crucial as I believe they will in the series in seven games.

The battle of Alberta has given such great hockey this season. The Flames and the Oilers have left it all on the ice every time they have met this season, it has been a literal battle every game. We more than likely be treated to seven more games of it. My prediction is that the Flames come out on top.

For the Leafs, I think this is the year they push through the first round. It won’t be easy but a matchup against the Lightning is one they can handle. This season Toronto has done well against Tampa and with the their poor postseason record, I feel Toronto will take advantage of this trend and take the series in six games.

Washington vs Carolina 2-4  / Philadelphia vs Pittsburgh 4-3

Boston vs Columbus 4-0  / Tampa Bay vs Toronto 2-4

St. Louis vs Nashville 4-0 / Colorado vs Dallas 4-3

Vegas vs Winnipeg 1-4 / Edmonton vs Calgary 3-4

Second Round

In the second round, I think the Flyers will continue their run over the Hurricanes. The Leafs will matchup once again with the Bruins. After knocking out the Lighting, I believe the Leafs will finally have the confidence to finish off the Bruins.

In the west there will be two fantastic series. The reigning champion Blues will fall short against a healthy Avalanche team. Calgary and Winnipeg will go the distance with the Flames moving on.

Philadelphia vs Carolina 4-2 / Boston vs Toronto 3-4

St. Louis vs Colorado 2-4 / Calgary vs Winnipeg 4-3

Conference Finals

The Leafs will continue their run and move into the finals with ease. The Flyers will be in tough to compete with a healthy Leafs line-up. The offence the Leafs are capable of will overpower the Flyers. The Leafs will also have and edge with Andersen in net as his experience will have a big impact as this will be Flyers goalie Hart’s first playoff run.

In my article from earlier in the year, I had picked an Avalanche-Flames conference final. I’ll be sticking with that prediction. I have a feeling this would be a series full of overtime finishes. Colorado will take the series in six games.

Philadelphia vs Toronto 1-4 / Colorado vs Calgary 4-2

Stanley Cup Finals 

If any team needed a pause in the season, it was the Maple Leafs. They had been struggling all year and time to re-group will be huge for them. Coming up against the Avalanche will not be easy but I do think they would come out on top. The season series between the two teams was split with both winning on the road. I think we would see more of the same in a finals matchup.

The Leafs would once again have the edge when it comes to offense. MacKinnon will make it very tough for the Leafs top weapons to get anything done but with Keefe’s willingness to change the lines on the fly I think they can still get the upper hand. The Leafs would also have the edge with goalies. Grubauer is a great goalie, but I feel Andersen is much better. Let’s not forget, the year the Capitals won the cup, Grubauer was in net to start the playoffs. The Capitals were on the verge of being knocked out before making the switch putting Holtby in net.

In conclusion, I believe Toronto would take this series in seven games. It is almost too fitting that they would end the drought in a year where they under achieved and almost lost it on countless occasions. It almost writes itself, a struggling team sneaking into the playoffs only to go all the way.

All we can do now is wait and see what the future holds. Stay safe out there and stay positive!