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Awards & Recognition

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: First Place (Daniel Anthony, Opinion Category); Fifth Place (Brendan Jubulis, Sports)

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)
Student Keystone Press Awards Honorable Mention (Website)

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)

NHL 2024 Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions

NHL 2024 Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions

Another NHL regular season has come to an end, and with that the playoffs are about to begin. Eight teams in the Eastern Conference are looking to make the trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Here is how I think the first round of playoff games in the Eastern Conference will play out.

Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Prediction: Florida wins the series in 6 games

The Panthers have been destroying just about everything in their path since the playoffs last season. No one expected them to beat the Bruins, but they did. They went all the way to the Final before they lost to the Golden Knights. With that being said, Florida is a young team that is hungry for another trip to the Final after a disappointing end last season. Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Reinhart have to be leaders for the team to go on another deep playoff run. Not to discount the Lightning, who have also been on a roll these last few months. The Lightning are a team that have veterans who have won Stanley Cups and a bunch of young players who want to feel the same success. Nikita Kucherov has led the Lightning with a possible MVP performance for the regular season, with 44 goals and 144 points. I could honestly see the Lightning playing a very defensive game to try to counter the explosive offense of the Panthers. This should be a very hard-fought series between the two rivals and should be very entertaining to watch.

Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Prediction: Boston wins the series in 7 games

This is the series that I am most looking forward to watching. Toronto and Boston have a deep hatred for each other that goes back to the 1940s. I could honestly see this going either way, but I think that Boston will come out on top in the end. Boston has had scoring problems all year long, mostly because they lost David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron in the offseason. David Pastrnak has led the team all season, finishing with 47 goals and 110 points. Pastrnak and Brad Marchand will need to lead the team in the postseason after an embarrassing exit last year. Toronto still has a fighting chance. Auston Matthews has been scoring goals all season, finishing with 69 goals and 107 points. In order for Toronto to overcome their hated adversary, they need Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, and John Tavares to really show that they are worth what they are getting paid.

New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals

Prediction: New York wins the series in 5 games

I do not think this series will really be close at all. The Rangers have just been steamrolling team after team this year. They have Artemi Panarin, who registered 49 goals and 120 points, to lead their offensive talent into the postseason. The Rangers have been comfortable all season long. The same cannot be said about the Capitals. For the last month of the season, Washington was in a 5-team race for the last two playoff spots, a race which Washington won on a tiebreaker. The Capitals do not have any young talent that can lead the team, just veterans like T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin. The Capitals will need a lot of luck on their side to pull out in front of the Rangers stellar roster.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders

Prediction: Carolina wins the series in 5 games

Like the Rangers-Capitals series, I do not think that this will be very close at all. After a rough few games to start the season, Carolina have really improved to an extraordinary level of play. Sebastian Aho has been leading the team with 36 goals and 89 points. While not as high a point total as other teams, that is not something that the Hurricanes should worry about. All four lines are capable of scoring goals when they need to. Carolina has a great set-up of not over relying on one player to always score the big goal they need. The Islanders have had really bad scoring issues all season, which will probably prove to be fatal for them in this series. I cannot find a way that the Hurricanes can lose this series, but stranger things have happened before, so you never really know.

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About the Contributor
Dominick Scarpino
Dominick Scarpino, Managing Editor
Dominick is the managing editor for The Rambler. This is his second year being on the staff. He enjoys watching sports, reading, and writing. He is planning on attending Penn State Behrend for a 4-year English degree.
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