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LBC’s 2021 NHL Playoff Predictions Contest: First Round

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Can a new format derail jupiterfins?

Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida Panthers Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Alright Florida Panthers fans, the time has come to make your picks for the Litter Box Cats annual playoff predictions contest.

The contest is done round-by-round and there is an overall winner at the end of the playoffs, so make sure to get in at the beginning if you want to have a chance at ending up top Cat come July.

This year I am changing the format for the first three rounds to a confidence pool set-up.

If you’re unfamiliar with confidence pools, you will select each team to win the series as per usual. There will be point values (8-1) for how confident you are that each team will win. For example, the team you’re most confident in (i.e. Toronto over Montreal) will get 8 points if they win the series, then the team you think has the second-best chance of winning (i.e. Edmonton over Winnipeg) will get 7 points if it wins its series, and so on. The series you think is the toughest to pick (like Florida-Tampa Bay or Boston-Washington) should be your 1-point series. So, a total of 36 points is up for grabs during the first round. Capeesh?

This should add an element of strategy to the proceedings, so let’s see it how goes this year. Can always return to the old format next season if it doesn’t go over well. And maybe. just maybe, this will help one of the rest of us beat jupiterfins, who has won twice in a row,

I am going to keep the bonus point in place for picking the series-winner in the correct amount of games to add a little more variance to the scoring.

Here are the eight series (in case you’ve somehow missed it) for the opening round of the playoffs:

Central Division

Nashville Predators vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers

East Division

New York Islanders vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals

North Division

Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Winnipeg Jets vs. Edmonton Oilers

West Division

St. Louis Blues vs. Colorado Avalanche

Minnesota Wild vs. Vegas Golden Knights

Please enter your picks in the comment section mirroring the example below. The tiebreaker will be the total goals scored in the Panthers-Lightning series. Remember, there is a round-by-round winner and an overall winner at the end, so even if you don’t enter or do too hot in the first round, get or stay in the game. Good luck!

Example Picks (these are not my picks)

8: Penguins (6)

7: Hurricanes (4)

6. Panthers (5) total goals: 33

5: Oilers (6)

4: Maple Leafs (7)

3: Avalanche (5)

2: Golden Knights (5)

1; Bruins (7)

Please get you picks in by the 7:15 p.m. puck drop of the Bruins-Capitals game on Saturday night.