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National Hockey Now’s Play-in Predictions

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Credit: "Spongebob Squarepants"

Shed a tear for San Jose Hockey Now, the only National Hockey Now site not covering Return to Play. Thanks, San Jose Sharks.

But it doesn’t mean we can’t have fun! The NHN staff — along with Rob Simpson, who’s helping with NHN coverage during the playoffs — have made their play-in picks.

I’ve also added some outside-looking-in comments.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Sheng Peng’s San Jose Hockey Now round robin standings: 1. Vegas Golden Knights; 2. Dallas Stars; 3. St. Louis Blues; 4. Colorado Avalanche

Jimmy Murphy’s Boston Hockey Now: 1. COL; 2. VGK; 3. DAL; 4. STL

Adrian Dater’s Colorado Hockey Now: 1. STL; 2. COL; 3. VGK; 4. DAL

George Richards’s Florida Hockey Now: 1. COL; 2. VGK; 3. STL; 4. DAL

Christian Arnold’s NYI Hockey Now: 1. STL; 2. VGK; 3. COL; 4. DAL

Dan Kingerski’s Pittsburgh Hockey Now: 1. VGK; 2. COL; 3. STL; 4. DAL

Rob Simpson: 1. COL; 2. STL; 3. VGK; 4. DAL

Sheng’s thoughts: Oilers in 4. I’m not crazy about the chances of either top-heavy team to do much damage in the playoffs. Could be the highest-scoring play-in series.

Coyotes in 4. Arizona has been a sleeper team for me the entire season, I think their depth is underrated.

Canucks in 5. I’m counting on Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller to take over this series.

Flames in 4. Can likely Vezina Trophy winner Connor Hellebucyk keep it up? If he does, Winnipeg stands a chance, but instead, I’m betting on Calgary’s superior depth to win out.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Sheng Peng’s San Jose Hockey Now round robin standings: 1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Philadelphia Flyers; 3. Boston Bruins; 4. Washington Capitals

Jimmy Murphy’s Boston Hockey Now: 1. TB; 2. WSH; 3. BOS; 4. PHI

Adrian Dater’s Colorado Hockey Now: 1. PHI; 2. TB; 3. BOS; 4. WSH

George Richards’s Florida Hockey Now: 1. TB; 2. BOS; 3. PHI; 4. WSH

Christian Arnold’s NYI Hockey Now: 1. BOS; 2. TB; 3. PHI; 4. WSH

Dan Kingerski’s Pittsburgh Hockey Now: 1. WSH; 2. TB; 3. PHI; 4. BOS

Rob Simpson: 1. WSH; 2. TB; 3. BOS; 4. PHI

Penguins in 3. For all the hype, Carey Price had a decidedly average season. He’s certainly capable of turning it on, but I’m counting on a superior Pittsburgh squad to steamroll Montreal.

Hurricanes in 5. A deeper Carolina team can overcome the potential loss of Dougie Hamilton and uninspiring goaltending.

Islanders in 3. It just isn’t Sergei Bobrovsky’s year.

Maple Leafs in 5. In what promises to be the tightest and most entertaining play-in series, I think Toronto’s high-flying attack ekes it out.

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