Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge – 2021 playoff NHL predictions
It’s mid May 2021 which means that due to our insane, new world of Covid19 Calamity – it is time for the National Hockey League playoffs to BEGIN (not end)! Which also means the return of the equally silly seasonal fridge game known as the Hodge Podge Clip and Laugh NHL Playoff Predictions. Maintaining a silly tradition repeated ridiculously for some 30 years now – this amusing little game is simple to play. I foolishly predict the upcoming Stanley Cup outcome. You cut out this page, stick it on your fridge with some sort of tacky magnet, and then periodically glance at it and laugh at my complete silly suggestions.
Covid has forced an adjustment in the various NHL divisions creating the new, exciting Canadian Division. Many hockey fans in our country have longed to see more games between Canadian teams and now we have it. This means a guarantee that one Canadian team will be among the final four clubs in the playoffs.
So here’s how I predict the newly aligned four divisions and playoffs will finish:
The North (or Canadian) Division will see first place Toronto defeat Montreal in a six game, tightly fought series while Edmonton will take down Winnipeg in six as well.
The Western division regular season standings are not decided yet but I predict Colorado and Vegas will advance to the second round defeating St. Louis and Minnesota in the process.
Colorado Avalanche are formidable with McKinnon and Makar ready to have top shelf playoff years. McKinnon may the playoff MVP. Colorado probably number one contender to win the Cup.
Central Division action should see some close matches. First place Carolina will bounce Nashville in five games while Florida will surprise Tampa Bay in six.
In the East Washington and Pittsburgh will both win their bouts in seven games – Pittsburgh eliminating the Islanders and Washington scraping past Boston in a game seven overtime goal by Ovechkin.
The final four teams in the Cup battle will be Toronto, Colorado, Washington and Carolina.
Logic says the Stanley Cup final will be between Colorado and Washington with Colorado winning the cup. However I’m going with my heart which screams that my beloved Leafs will win it all.
Mitch Marner will win the eventual Conn Smythe as playoff MVP.
As stated last year my Leaf prediction is based on the fact that I believe God is a hockey fan, and more than that, a Leaf fan. The lack of Cup victories since the early 1960’s was merely punishment for the club allowing the evil Harold Ballard and the Smythe clan to take control of the team for so long. Now, however, it seems the club’s years of abandonment and suffering are over and players like Auston Mathews and Marner are poised to play Moses returning the club out of the wasteland.
Further proof that God is a Leaf fan is found by acknowledging the Great Architect of the Universe’s sense of humour. Only the Maple Leafs could win the coveted Cup after more than 50 years and not be able to hold a victory parade or have fans allowed into the arena to cheer on the team.
So there you are. Grab your scissors and a magnet!