The Stanley Cup Playoffs are now just a few short hours away from kicking off and most fans have already made up their minds regarding who they believe will take each of the respective series in the opening round of the playoffs. If anyone's perspective could sway your opinion at the final hour however it probably would be that of a well respected player in the National Hockey League, and throwing his hat into the ring at that aforementioned formal hour is none other than New Jersey Devils star defenseman P.K. Subban.
Subban released a pair of videos over the weekend in which he broke down his predictions for both the Eastern Conference playoff bracket as well as in the Western Conference playoff bracket. We've already covered the Eastern Conference playoff predictions in a previous article, and this time around we'll be giving you a summary of Subban's thoughts on the series that will play out in the West.
Edmonton Oilers vs Chicago Blackhawks.
"We know that [Connor] McDavid and [Leon] Draisaitl are going to do their thing. We know [Patrick] Kane and [Jonathan] Toews are gonna do their thing. I think goaltending is gonna be big because both teams are really good on the powerplay, so special teams is gonna be huge. Both Penalty kill and powerplay, I think that is where the difference is gonna be. When we played the Chicago Blackhawks in the playoffs and we swept them the special teams was huge. That is where we really, in my opinion, took a lot of the confidence away from the Blackhawks."
"I think this is going to be a funny series to watch, I think it is going to come down to special teams, and when it comes down to it very difficult to bet against Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. Very, very, difficult to do that."
I will add one extra note here because I thought this was particularly interesting, Subban admits that in spite of his own brother currently playing for the Blackhawks his instincts tell him the Oilers will walk away with this one.
"I guess I could say my heart is with Chicago but my mind tells me that McDavid and the boys are gonna figure it out."
Nashville Predators vs Arizona Coyotes.
"I'm picking the Nashville Predators."
Subban didn't really break down this series other than to say that he believes Predators captain Roman Josi deserves the Norris, and expressing a great deal of confidence in his former teammates. Perhaps it is fair to suggest there was a lot of bias here.
Vancouver Canucks vs Minnesota Wild.
"I know [Kevin Fiala] is frothing at the mouth to get going. I expect him to have a huge playoffs, they are going to have to contain him. He is very, very skilled and he's fast... Minnesota is going to be a tough team to beat. Minnesota has always been good defensively too.
"If I am gonna pick a team I think I'm gonna go with Minnesota... I'm gonna go with Minnesota because of veteran presence. I think Minnesota have a good mix of veterans and youth, but I think Minnesota's got size and I think it's gonna be physical. I think they are good defensively and I also think though that it is gonna come to goaltending and special teams. When you've got a guy like Suter on the backend that can log big minutes and play that way, you've got a defense core there that is experience and been together, Dumba with the big shot, I like Minnesota's team going into this series.
Calgary Flames vs Winnipeg Jets
"Tough series, tough series. I think it's going down right to the wire."
"I think if you're picking a team I don't think you can not pick Winnipeg in this situation."
"In a short series, Gaudreau gets hot, Calgary's goaltender gets hot, who knows? But Winnipeg you got Hellebuyck in net, you got the defense that they got, you got firepower up front, you got Paul Maurice coaching, I'm going with Winnipeg."
What do you guys think? Subban's predicting what would in theory be some upsets on this side of the bracket, do you like his picks? For his full comments check out the clip below.