2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Division semifinals predictions

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It’s that wonderful time of the year. The puck drops on the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday.

It seems like only yesterday that I was picking the Tampa Bay Lightning to beat the Dallas Stars in the 2020 Stanley Cup Final. Why does it seem like yesterday? Because it was last September.

This season didn’t get going until January. It was a 56-game season. It was all divisional games, which made for some nasty hockey. And the first two rounds of the playoffs will be divisional. The nastiness will continue.

The playoffs will be stress-free for me, since my Philadelphia Flyers went downhill starting in March to easily miss the postseason. I would rather be stressful than stress free.

Some of the interesting matchups will be Boston against Washington, as the Bruins face former teammate Zdeno Chara. Montreal and Toronto will meet in the playoffs for the first time since the 1979 quarterfinals, when the Canadiens swept the Maple Leafs. And the two Florida teams, the Panthers and Lightning, meet for the first time in the postseason.

And now, here are my picks for the division semifinals.

EAST DIVISION

Pittsburgh vs. N.Y. Islanders Pittsburgh in 5

Washington vs. Boston — Boston in 6

CENTRAL DIVISION

Carolina vs. Nashville — Carolina in 5

Florida vs. Tampa Bay — Tampa Bay in 7

NORTH DIVISION

Toronto vs. Montreal — Toronto in 5

Edmonton vs. Winnipeg — Edmonton in 6

WEST DIVISION

Colorado vs. St. Louis — Colorado in 5

Vegas vs. Minnesota — Vegas in 5

Categories: Parting Schotts

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