NHL analysts are confident the Wild wins its first round series. The results beyond the opening round are mixed.
A round-up of Stanley Cup Playoffs predictions show the majority of hockey minds picked the Wild to defeat St. Louis and former coach Mike Yeo in the first round. ESPN’s John Buccigross picked the Wild in six games and Barry Melrose has the Wild winning in seven.
Eight of the 12 ESPN employees surveyed picked the Wild over the Blues.
Scott Cullen of TSN has the Wild winning in seven games. He wrote “The Wild were humbled in March, going from the top of the Western Conference to the second seed in the Central, but they shouldn’t be written off either. They still have a solid, if not spectacular, group of forwards and might have even a little bit better depth than St. Louis.”
Cullen, however, picked Chicago to oust the Wild in the second round.
Greg Wyshynski and Sean Leahy of Yahoo Sports favor the Wild in the first round.
NHL.com polled 21 of its staff members and nine picked the Wild to advance past the first round. Two picked the Wild to advance to, but lose in the Stanley Cup Finals.
NHL Network’s Jamie Hersch, the former Fox Sports North employee, picked the Wild to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals and fall to Washington in her NHL Bracket Challenge. NHL Network analyst Pete Jensen has the Wild advancing to the Western Conference Finals, but losing to Edmonton in the series.
Former Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi picked the Wild to win the Western Conference Finals in her bracket, but lose to Washington in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Brian Lawton, the former player, agent and general manager turned NHL Network analyst, has the Wild going home after the first round.
The Pro Football Talk Twitter account picked the Wild as the Western Conference champion, but losers to Pittsburgh in the Cup finals.
There is still time to fill out your NHL bracket.
More predictions to help you make your picks:
Barry Melrose, ESPN: Capitals, Penguins, Rangers, Bruins, Blackhawks, Wild, Ducks, Oilers
John Buccigross, ESPN: Capitals, Penguins, Rangers, Bruins, Blackhawks, Wild, Ducks, Sharks
Linda Cohn, ESPN: Capitals, Penguins, Rangers, Senators, Blackhawks, Wild, Ducks, Oilers
Pierre LeBrun, ESPN: Capitals, Penguins, Canadiens, Senators, Blackhawks, Blues, Ducks, Oilers
Greg Wyshynski, Yahoo Sports: Capitals, Penguins, Canadiens, Bruins, Predators, Wild, Ducks, Oilers
Sean Leahy, Yahoo Sports: Capitals, Penguins, Canadiens, Bruins, Blackhawks, Wild, Ducks, Sharks
Scott Cullen, TSN: Capitals, Penguins, Canadiens, Bruins, Blackhawks, Wild, Ducks, Sharks