Colorado Avalanche Roundtable: Playoff Series Predictions

DENVER, CO - MARCH 04: Members of the Colorado Avalanche celebrate a goal against the Nashville Predators at the Pepsi Center on March 4, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. The Predators defeated the Avalanche 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - MARCH 04: Members of the Colorado Avalanche celebrate a goal against the Nashville Predators at the Pepsi Center on March 4, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. The Predators defeated the Avalanche 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Avalanche start their first playoff series since 2014 tonight against the most winningest team in the NHL, the Nashville Predators. Here are MHS staff predictions for the series.

The Colorado Avalanche are not favored to win their series against the Presidents’ Trophy winning Nashville Predators. They barely squeaked into the playoffs as the second wild card. Well, as the old adage goes, once you make it in, anything can happen.

Why, just last year the selfsame Predators were a wild card team, and they ended up challenging for the Stanley Cup. A few years ago the LA Kings were a wild card team, and they won the Stanley Cup. Anything can happen.

The Mile High Sticking contributors and I have addressed some playoff topics as part of our latest roundtable series. Yesterday we examined why the Avs even made it into the playoffs as a reminder that they deserve to be here:

Related Story: Factors to the Avs Making the Playoffs

Now, just a few hours before the action begins, let’s look at some predictions.

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Ross Kleppe, unsurprisingly, doesn’t think the Colorado Avalanche will win the series:

The fan in me thinks anything is possible, that the Avalanche can win this series. The reasonable hockey fan says Nashville will win in 5. The Avalanche should win one of the two home games based on sheer energy and momentum, but the Predators are just too strong. The Avs boast the best line in the series with MacKinnon, Rantanen and Landeskog, but beyond that the Predators have the better depth on forward, certainly on defense, and in net.

Kyle Peters concurs:

As much as I’m rooting for the Avs to upset, I’m going to have to go with the Preds. And that’s okay. This Avs team is young, and considering they’re just coming into their own, it’s amazing they’ve gone this far. Think of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2006-07, or the Toronto Maple Leafs last season — both young clubs that didn’t necessarily go far, but have since come into their own. However, I do think it won’t be an easy series — expect it to go at least 5 or 6, potentially 7 games. I’ll say 7. Don’t underestimate the Avs’ offense.”

Anthony Noga has a delightful reason for voting against an Avalanche win:

My crystal ball shows me bad things for the Avalanche against the
Predators. But, I think it’s drunk. I thought for sure we were heading to
the top of the Rasmus Dahlin sweepstakes this year, and that we were going to be a good bet to make the playoffs last year.

“The Avalanche seem to enjoy spiting me by doing the opposite of what I
expect. So I will gleefully predict a 5 game win for the Predators and
hope that this blind squirrel isn’t about to find a nut.

Yeah, let’s root against that blind squirrel.

Tom Janz is leaning in that direction, too:

My heart says that the Avs can win this series in six. They would ideally steal one of the first two games in TN, and win their three home games. My head says that Nashville has the better goalie and four of the five best defensemen. It will be really tough for the Avs to win more than a game or two. I’m currently on board with my heart. Go Avs!”

The struggle is real between head and heart. Case in point — here’s my bracket:

I’m too superstitious to make a bracket that goes against the Colorado Avalanche. I won’t predict against them here, either. In fact, I think they’re going to go all Minnesota Wild — minus the Matt Cooke Knee Scandal — and be the big upset of the first round.

Next: Why the Avs Deserved the Playoffs

If the 16-seed Baltimore County Retrievers can defeat the 1-seed Virginia Cavaliers, why not the Avalanche. We have an even better shot — after all, we have Nathan MacKinnon.