With the third round of the NHL playoffs kicking off tonight, it’s time for our BSB Conference Final predictions. We all nailed the Rangers in 6 during our 2nd round previews, which was the only prediction we all got right. We all nailed Florida and Edmonton, though JL is the only one who got the number of games right for both. I was the only one who had Dallas moving on as well.


Dave: Rangers in 6. Florida is a better on-ice matchup than Carolina and nowhere near as fast. Carolina’s speed and man coverage gave the Rangers fits at 5v5. Florida plays more zone which will give the Rangers more room to operate. Given the goalie improvement from Carolina to Florida, more room to operate is critical for the Blueshirts.

Rob: Rangers in 7. I just can’t pick against them now. The Rangers feel like a team of destiny, and now they have to prove it. They’ve set themselves up well by getting through the first two rounds in 10 games, with plenty of rest. The key to this series will be neutralizing Aleksandr Barkov. If the Rangers can even play the Panthers to a draw when he’s on the ice, that bodes well. Still, hard to see this one not going the distance, and let’s be honest: the Rangers are due to play a Game 7.

Nick: Rangers in 7. This series is going to come down to how well the Rangers can slow down Barkov. If they’re able to contain him and his line, the Rangers have more than enough depth to overcome the Cats. I also like the Rangers bottom six matchups against Florida’s and the Rangers overall blueline depth trumps that of Florida’s. It’ll be hard fought but I feel a SCF appearance for the Rangers on the other side.

Will: Rangers in 6. My brain tells me this one goes to 7, but I am going with my gut here. The Panthers are similar to the Canes but with truly elite pieces at forward. That said, I think the Rangers have the advantage in forward depth, as the Panthers’ bottom six does not seem overly impressive. To me, the big difference maker will be the advantage having Igor in goal provides over playoff Bobrovsky. The game model will be the same as it was vs the Canes: coin flip at 5v5, shut down their powerplay, and bank on Igor not letting in more than 3 goals.

JL: Rangers in 7. Vibes are high. We ball.


Dave: Stars in 6. Dallas has always been my team out of the West. They are the most complete team with the best remaining goalie in the West. Edmonton’s offense will carry them through two wins, but this is Dallas’ series to lose.

Rob: Stars in 5. Edmonton’s star power and special teams can only get them so far. Their defense and goaltending are suspect at best. Meanwhile, Dallas is the better, deeper team and they have home ice advantage. I do expect close games, but Dallas will make more plays than Edmonton, grabbing both at home before stealing an OT win in Edmonton and setting up a close out game in Dallas.

Nick: Dallas in 6. The injury to Hintz will hurt for sure but Dallas is deeper and they clearly have the better goalie in this one. McDavid and Draisaitl are going to do what they’re going to do but you can’t let them takeover which is easier said than done. Vancouver gave you a blueprint on how to slow down 97 but someone on Dallas has to be JT Miller and be willing to sacrifice some offense to stop 97. All in all, Dallas has the better roster and goaltending and that’ll get us to a Stars-Rangers SCF.

Will: Stars in 6: The Stars have been my clear favorite in the Western Conference all season and I would be shocked if they lose this series. McDavid and Draisatl will likely pull off a couple wins but the Stars are simply too deep. When you factor in Oettinger’s return to form, there are too many obstacles for the Oilers to overcome.

JL: Dallas in 6. Edmonton will finally meet their maker.

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