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The 2022 Canes Country Playoff Pick ‘Em: First Round

Oh yes, we’re back.

Tampa Bay Lightning Victory Rally & Boat Parade Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

There have been a lot of things that have been different over the past two NHL postseasons: first, the 2020 playoff bubble and expanded field, then last year a sprint through the divisional playoffs with no wild cards and a reseeding in the third round that made it nearly impossible to do a bracket or any sort of contest.

Well, this year the playoffs are finally back to normal, and after a two year absence, the Canes Country Playoff Pick ‘Em is also making its triumphant return.

If you’re new here or this is your first time participating, the Pick ‘Em is a Canes Country tradition that stretches back to the 2013 postseason. Prior to every round, we’ll post an article similar to this one, and you make your picks for that round in the comments. I track them all in a spreadsheet and update the scores after each round. The top score at the end of the Stanley Cup Final wins the contest. (Don’t get any ideas about getting rich from this; bragging rights are the only prize on offer.)

Here are the rules:

  • Make a selection for each first round series in the comments of this post: who wins, and in how many games.
  • In the first round, you’ll get one point for each winning team you correctly pick. The points double for each successive round, so two for the second, four for the conference final, and eight for the Cup final.
  • If you pick both the correct team and the correct series length, you’ll also get five bonus points. The five bonus points will stay constant throughout the contest; the points for picking the winners will increase in each round.
  • You get zero points if you don’t pick the correct team to win, even if you get the series length correct. There are no overtime loss points to be had here. You gotta earn it.
  • The maximum score, if you get every single winner correct and nail the length of each of those series, is 107 points. You will not get 107 points. If you get even half of that, you have a good chance of winning the contest.
  • All picks must be entered by the start of the first playoff game, which is Monday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m. The comments will close at that time. Entries must be posted in this comment thread; we will not include any entries in the comments on any other article.

Please post your picks in the following order (it makes it way easier to enter into the spreadsheet if they’re all in the same order):

Metro
(1) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (WC1) Boston Bruins
(2) New York Rangers vs. (3) Pittsburgh Penguins

Atlantic
(1) Florida Panthers vs. (WC2) Washington Capitals
(2) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (3) Tampa Bay Lightning

Central
(1) Colorado Avalanche vs. (WC2) Nashville Predators
(2) Minnesota Wild vs. (3) St. Louis Blues

Pacific
(1) Calgary Flames vs. (WC1) Dallas Stars
(2) Edmonton Oilers vs. (3) Los Angeles Kings

If you have any questions about the contest, post them below or email us.

Good luck!


As promised, we here at Canes Country are here to share our own predictions for the first round, as well as our Stanley Cup Finals forecast:

2022 Canes Country Playoff Predictions

Writer Hurricanes vs. Bruins Rangers vs. Penguins Panthers vs. Capitals Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Avalanche vs. Predators Wild vs. Blues Flames vs. Stars Oilers vs. Kings Stanley Cup
Writer Hurricanes vs. Bruins Rangers vs. Penguins Panthers vs. Capitals Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Avalanche vs. Predators Wild vs. Blues Flames vs. Stars Oilers vs. Kings Stanley Cup
Alec Hurricanes in 5 Rangers in 6 Panthers in 6 Lightning in 7 Avalanche in 4 Wild in 5 Flames in 5 Oilers in 7 Avalanche over Panthers
Alex Hurricanes in 6 Penguins in 6 Panthers in 5 Maple Leafs in 7 Avalanche in 6 Blues in 7 Flames in 5 Oilers in 6 Flames over Panthers
Andrew Hurricanes in 7 Rangers in 6 Panthers in 5 Lightning in 6 Avalanche in 5 Wild in 7 Flames in 4 Kings in 6 Avalanche over Lightning
Brian Hurricanes in 5 Rangers in 7 Panthers in 6 Maple Leafs in 7 Avalanche in 4 Wild in 6 Flames in 5 Kings in 6 Wild over Panthers
Cody Hurricanes in 5 Penguins in 7 Panthers in 6 Maple Leafs in 7 Avalanche in 5 Wild in 7 Flames in 6 Kings in 5 Panthers over Avalanche
Kaydee Hurricanes in 5 Rangers in 6 Panthers in 5 Lightning in 5 Avalanche in 4 Wild in 6 Stars in 7 Oilers in 6 Hurricanes over Avalanche
Matt Hurricanes in 5 Penguins in 5 Capitals in 7 Lightning in 7 Avalanche in 4 Wild in 7 Flames in 6 Kings in 6 Hurricanes over Flames
Ryan Hurricanes in 6 Rangers in 7 Panthers in 5 Lightning in 5 Avalanche in 4 Wild in 7 Flames in 6 Kings in 5 Lightning over Flames
Zeke Hurricanes in 5 Rangers in 6 Panthers in 4 Lightning in 6 Avalanche in 4 Wild in 6 Flames in 5 Oilers in 7 Panthers over Avalanche

Some notes about our staff predictions:

  • Only two first-round series have unanimous winners amongst the nine staff members here: the Hurricanes beating the Bruins and the Avalanche beating the Predators.
  • The Wild, Flames and Panthers all have just one staff member picking against them in the first round.
  • With nine staff members making selections, it’s kind of wild that we have six different cup winners and no team selected more than twice: Colorado (2), Carolina (2), Florida (2), Calgary, Minnesota and Tampa.
  • Of our 72 combined first-round selections, we have just eight series ending in a sweep. Colorado over Nashville is six of those eight.