As the Stanley Cup Playoffs rolled around, we made first round NHL playoff predictions based on a slightly modified version of the power ratings we use for other sports.
Those predictions did fairly well. We disagreed with Vegas on two series, and went 1 for 2 on those picks, which means if you had simply bet on both of the underdogs that we favored, it would have been a profitable first round.
We pegged #3 Phoenix over #6 Chicago while Vegas favored the lower-seeded Blackhawks, but we were incorrect in predicting a #5 Detroit win over #4 Nashville. We — and Vegas — also correctly favored the #6 New Jersey Devils to top the #3 Florida Panthers in the first round, though we thought the series would be over a bit sooner.
Now that the second round is set, we’ve re-calculated the ratings. Here are our forecasts for the upcoming series.
This round features one predicted seed upset — #4 Nashville over #3 Phoenix. The Predators are also favored in Vegas.
Eastern: #1 New York Rangers vs. #7 Washington Capitals
Predicted Winner: #1 New York Rangers (69%)
Most Likely Outcome: Rangers in 5 (21%)
Eastern: #5 Philadelphia Flyers vs. #6 New Jersey Devils
Predicted Winner: #5 Philadelphia Flyers (59%)
Most Likely Outcome: Flyers in 7 (18%)
Western: #2 St. Louis Blues vs. #8 Los Angeles Kings
Predicted Winner: #2 St. Louis Blues (69%)
Most Likely Outcome: Blues in 5 (21%)
Western: #3 Phoenix Coyotes vs. #4 Nashville Predators
Predicted Winner: #4 Nashville Predators (56%)
Most Likely Outcome: Predators in 6 (22%)