For the record, this isn't Shawn Alder (or Nolan Schwartz, aka Sean Balder), this is cha boi Pat McGroin getting my NHL 1st Round picks (to win the series) on the record before the pucks drop.
Philadelphia Flyers (-240) vs. Montreal Canadiens - 2 units
Unless Carey Price stands on his head, I don't think this one will even be close.
Calgary Flames (+120) vs Dallas Stars - 1 unit
Here's your in-depth analysis: I think Calgary is a better hockey team than Dallas.
Chicago Blackhawks (+210) vs Vegas Knights - 1 unit (buyer beware: I'm a huge homer)
There's a thousand different ways the Knights win this series, but Johnny Toews & Co look rejuvenated after the long break and despite having the youngest roster in the playoffs have the veteran leadership and experience (three cups in the last 9 years, how ya doin?) to make a deep run. Bet your life savings on this one*! *if your life savings is 1 unit.
Carolina Hurricanes (+130) vs Boston Bruins - 1 unit
Rod Brind'Amour has Carolina buzzin' and Boston looked horrible in the meaningless round-robin. I think Boston eventually figures it out and the series goes to 7 games, but I think Carolina eeks this one out.
Columbus Blue Jackets (+185) vs TB Lightning - 1 unit
This might be an iffy one, but +185 is enticing versus a Tampa team missing Stamkos and Hedman. Any doubters that Torts and the Jackets can't pull off this upset might want to take a look at last year's playoffs.
New York Islanders (+160) vs Washington Capitals - 1 unit
This might be another iffy one that makes me look like a dumb-dumb, but Barry Trotz has the Isles playing good hockey and, oh yeah, I think he might know a thing or two about Washington.
And again, if these picks do horribly, remember this is your boy Shawn Alder!