Polka’s 2021 NHL Playoff and Awards Predictions

Here is my annual sacrifice and proof that I get many things incorrect when it comes to guessing a players and teams intestinal fortitudes (stealing a quote from one Mr. Tony Schoivani in the glorious WCW days when the Four Horsemen were barely hanging on and the NWO ran wild). I do get a few right also, and this year was tougher than expected when picking which four teams from each division would make the playoffs. Just remember, I did get it right last year as the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup.

East Division                                        Central Division

Boston Bruins                                                                Carolina Hurricanes

New York Rangers                                                         Florida Panthers

xPhiladelphia Flyers                                                    Columbus Blue Jackets

Washington Capitals                                                     xTampa Bay Lightning

I had a hard time sitting Pittsburgh and Buffalo in the East, but the Pens are too long in the tooth and injury prone for my liking, and Buffalo needs to show me first.  Same goes for Dallas and Nashville in the Central. The Stars have young talent on defense, but their core group is a little fragile. Mostly it’s the return of Ben Bishop after surgery that has me most concerned, and which Anton Khudobin decides to show up. The Blue Jackets have shown me enough as they have a lot of talent across the roster and hopefully they will put it all together this year. They need to prove they can score better and grow from it, and after last seasons 27th ranked offense, the only way to go is up.

West Division                                        North Division                                                                           

Arizona Coyotes                                                               Calgary Flames

xColorado Avalanche                                                     Edmonton Oilers

St. Louis Blues                                                                  xToronto Maple Leafs

Vegas Golden Knights                                                     Winnipeg Jets

In the West it’s Colorado and Vegas that stand out among the rest, and I’m putting both in the Conference Final should it fall that way. As a Red Wings fan it’s my blood right to absolutely hate Colorado, so I will, but I admit I will enjoy watching them play this season.  In the North “Canada” Division, I sat Vancouver in lieu of Edmonton. Oscar Klefbom going down made that call even tougher, but the fact the Oilers possess two of the best scorers on Earth swayed me in their favor.

Being unsure as to which divisions will match up in the playoff’s I put my pick one from each Division in BOLD print above to be my Final Four and Cup Winner, and I'm selecting the Tampa Bay Lighting again. Sure they’ll play all season without MVP Nikita Kucherov, but he will be back for the playoffs...hopefully. This is a still young team and they should have plenty of legs left by the time the Playoffs start, and they’ve been here before and know what to do. Andrei Vasilevskiy is the goalie I trust most, even though Toronto added forwards and defensive depth, the goalie Frederick Anderson still hasn’t made me a believer yet. Who the Lightning play is a mystery still, but regardless, I’m really excited for picks again!

If we had a regular East/West Conferences, my West final would be Vegas vs. Colorado and Tampa Bay vs Toronto. We still may, the NHL hasn’t said anything yet beyond the division alignments. 

NHL Player Awards and Fantasy Predictions 

Hart Trophy – Nathan MacKinnon/Colorado

Nathan Mackinnon, Colorado Avalanche

Art Ross – Conner McDavid/Edmonton

Norris – Alex Pietrangelo/Vegas  

Calder – Owen Tippet/Florida

Rocket – Auston Matthews/Toronto

Selke – Anthony Cirelli/Tampa Bay

Vezina – Carter Hart/Philadelphia

Jack Adams – Jared Bednar/Colorado

NHL Fantasy Awards 

MVP – Nathan MacKinnon/Colorado

Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues

Best Defenseman – Zach Werenski/Columbus

Best Goalie – Jordan Binnington/St. Louis

Sleeper – Tyler Johnson/Tampa Bay

Biggest Breakouts – Vincent Trocheck/Carolina (tie) Gabriel Landeskog/Colorado

Comeback – Jake Guentzel/Pittsburgh

Biggest Letdown – Patric Hornqvist/Florida

Do Not Draft - P.K. Subban/New Jersey



Have Your Say