The NHL Playoffs are here! The 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs will get underway on Saturday afternoon. It’ll kick off a long journey as 16 teams vie for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
This year is a bit different with four teams from each division making the playoffs. The teams only played their divisional opponents during the regular season, giving us a good read on the matchups. The winners of the divisional tournaments, so to speak, will advance to the final four.
Make sure to bookmark our NHL Picks page for picks for every game this postseason!
As always, odds are via PointsBet.
NHL Playoffs Predictions: West Division
#1 Colorado Avalanche vs. #4 St. Louis Blues
NHL Playoffs Series Schedule
Monday, May 17, 10 p.m.: Blues at Avalanche | NBCSN, SN1, TVAS, ALT, BSMW
Wednesday, May 19, 10:30 p.m.: Blues at Avalanche | CNBC, SN360, TVAS, ALT, BSMW
Friday, May 21, 9:30 p.m.: Avalanche at Blues | USA, SN360, TVAS, BSMW, ALT
Sunday, May 23, TBD: Avalanche at Blues | TBD
*Tuesday, May 25, TBD: Blues at Avalanche | TBD
*Thursday, May 27, TBD: Avalanche at Blues | TBD
*Saturday, May 29, TBD: Blues at Avalanche | TBD
Regular-Season Series Summary
The Blues are one of the teams that the Avalanche struggled against the most this season. Colorado went 5-3-0 against St. Louis, which was their second-worst head-to-head record (4-3-1 vs. Vegas).
The Blues beat the Avalanche 3-1 in their opening game before Colorado bounced back with a huge 8-0 win two nights later. The two teams then didn’t play each other again until April, when they met six times.
The Avalanche won two one-goal games at home to begin the month, then won the first two of a four-game set in St. Louis after the trade deadline. However, the Blues closed out the season series with a pair of wins in the next two games.
In total, the Avalanche won five of the eight meetings and outscored the Blues 26-21.
NHL Playoffs: Avalanche vs. Blues Prediction
The Blues may have experience on their side as they won the Stanley Cup just two years ago, but the Avalanche are the odds-on favorite to win the Stanley Cup this year.
The Avalanche are for real. They won five straight and eight of nine to close out the season. Colorado went 26-5-2 in their final 33 games of the season from March 10th onward. That’s an insane clip.
The Blues finished out rather strong in their own right, going 8-1-3 in their final 12 games. However, from March 22nd onward, they were just 11-10-4.
Colorado has been a bit banged up late in the season, but Nathan MacKinnon is back and won’t let anyone stop him in the playoffs. MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog lead a formidable forward group, but it’s the Avalanche’s defense that is truly impressive.
St. Louis might give Colorado a scare in a game or two, but this is the Avalanche’s year. They won the Presidents’ Trophy and will easily win this series.
Avalanche vs. Blues Bet: Colorado to advance -350
#2 Vegas Golden Knights vs. #3 Minnesota Wild
NHL Playoffs Series Schedule
Sunday, May 16, 3 p.m.: Wild at Golden Knights | NBC, SN, TVAS
Tuesday, May 18, 10 p.m.: Wild at Golden Knights | NBCSN, SN360, TVAS, ATTSN-RM, BSN, BSWI+
Thursday, May 20, 9:30 p.m.: Golden Knights at Wild | NBCSN, SN360, TVAS, BSW+, BSWI, ATTSN-RM
Saturday, May 22, 8 p.m.: Golden Knights at Wild | NBC, SN360, TVAS
*Monday, May 24, TBD: Wild at Golden Knights | TBD
*Wednesday, May 26, TBD: Golden Knights at Wild | TBD
*Friday, May 28, TBD: Wild at Golden Knights | TBD
Regular-Season Series Summary:
The Golden Knights struggled mightily against the Wild this season. The Wild were the only team they went under .500 against with a 3-4-1 record and an even goal differential of 24-24. Only one of their three wins was in regulation.
Vegas won the first two meetings of the season at home on March 1st and 3rd. Then, the Wild won five straight meetings. The Wild swept a two-game set at home, a two-game set in Vegas, and finally, the two teams split their last two-game set of the season in Minnesota.
If there was a matchup that the Wild wanted in the playoffs, it’s this one.
NHL Playoffs: Golden Knights vs. Wild Prediction
This series could get, well, wild.
Minnesota held their own this season against Vegas but are limping into the playoffs. They got outscored 37-30 in their final nine games of the season, going 4-3-2 with only one of those four wins coming in regulation. Granted, they rattled off seven straight wins prior to that, but all of those games came against non-playoff teams.
Vegas, on the other hand, won four of their last five, five of their last seven, and went 15-3-0 from April 9th onward. They had their struggles against the Wild in the regular season, but they’ll exorcise those demons here.