NHL Playoff Bracket 2015: Complete 1st-Round Schedule and Series Predictions

April 14th, 2015 by Sterling Xie Leave a reply »

Unlike in the NBA, where a seven-game series typically allows the better regular-season team to emerge victorious, the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs are as unpredictable as any team sporting event.  A team seeded sixth or worse has made the Final in three of the past five seasons, and with recent powerhouses like the Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins either limping into the postseason or missing out entirely, the championship field is as wide open as any in recent memory.

Apart from the Winnipeg Jets crossing over to the Pacific Division bracket to face the Anaheim Ducks, the first round will consist entirely of familiar division rivals, just as the NHL envisioned things after realignment last season.  With most matchups having already occurred four times during the regular season, we have a nice sample size to analyze each of the eight series.

Full first-round dates, times and TV information can be found via NHL.com, while the 16-team bracket sits below.  Making predictions for each series, let's highlight three of the closest matchups and dissect what factors could make the difference.

Read Full Article at Bleacher Report - NHL
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