Which of your playoff predictions would you like to take back now that the Game 1s of each series have been played?
Greg Wyshynski, senior NHL writer: That the Boston Bruins wouldn't be the Eastern Conference representative in the Stanley Cup Final.
I'm allergic to chalk, so I picked the Tampa Bay Lightning as the Eastern Conference champion instead of the Bruins, the team most of the ESPN experts selected. I still think that pick has merit, as the Bolts showed off their offensive depth in that Game 1 win against the Devils. But the Bruins just look rock solid.
The Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak troika basically pantsed the Maple Leafs' best defenseman, Morgan Rielly, to the tune of a minus-26 in Corsi at 5-on-5. Meanwhile, David Krejci's line with Rick Nash was all over the ice, the defense was active and smothering, and Tuukka Rask ... well, he didn't really have to do all that much. But let it be said that he's a fantastic netminder.
It's one game, and the Leafs aren't going to just wilt away. But -- hoo boy -- do the Bruins look like a team built for the long haul, built for the playoffs and built to hoist a Stanley Cup when this marathon breaks the tape.
Who will be made or broken in NHL playoffs
ESPN's Greg Wyshynski lists the players -- and coach -- who have the most to gain or lose in this year's playoffs.
Emily Kaplan, national NHL reporter: I should've known better. Really, I should just get out of the business of forecasting anything related to the Vegas Golden Knights. But assuming that the Los Angeles Kings would easily win their first-round series against the Knights seems foolish now. Sure, some of my newfound skepticism comes from the Drew Doughty suspension. Los Angeles has been a terrific defensive team, but Doughty (No. 2 on my Norris Trophy ballot) has been a huge part of that; so too has Jake Muzzin, who was out for Game 1 and is still wearing a no-contact jersey in practice.
But the Golden Knights showed me something in Game 1, as well. A team that has been so explosive offensively grinded out the kind of performance that carries teams far in the playoffs. And of course, there was Marc-Andre Fleury shouldering 30 shots without letting one in. Vegas blocked shots and boxed out guys in front of the net with the intensity you usually see late in playoff series. My only hesitation with fully sprinting onto the Vegas bandwagon (and likely spraining an ankle along the way) is that it seemed as if the Kings found a way to slow down the Knights' top line -- which had been Vegas' ace card all season. It's a long series; we'll see whether William Karlsson & Co. can get it going. But from now on, I'll make a request to my editors: Please don't make me predict anything involving the Golden Knights ever again.
Crosby says Pens can improve despite rout
Sidney Crosby says the team isn't looking too much into its 7-0 win over the Flyers in Game 1 and explains how the Penguins can improve moving forward.
Chris Peters, NHL prospects writer: Picking the Maple Leafs in seven was always kind of a shot in the dark. It still could happen, but watching the way Boston dismantled Toronto in Game 1 -- and with the Leafs likely looking at missing Nazem Kadri for some time because of his hit on Tommy Wingels on Thursday night that will likely draw a multiple-game suspension -- things look a little bleak for the Leafs.
I'd assume there will be some adjustments made, but Toronto's lack of depth on the blue line was badly exposed in Game 1. Rielly was an astonishing minus-26 in 5-on-5 shot attempts against. Toronto can't be that far underwater when one of its very best defensemen is on the ice.
There's no doubt that the Bruins have an exceptional team. I knew that when I made the Maple Leafs pick. I just thought Toronto might be able to get its top line going and do some damage on the power play with all of that high-end skill within its top six. You have to have the puck to score, though. Boston absolutely owned the Leafs in possession, and, if that trend continues, it's going to be a short series. Maybe Toronto was just a deer caught in the proverbial headlights for the first game -- many of the Maple Leafs' best players are still quite young -- but that was an incredible flop to start the series.
Sachin Chandan, ESPN The Magazine researcher: I took a few L's on my picks during those Game 1s, but I wasn't expecting the Pittsburgh Penguins to drop a touchdown on the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers' problems went beyond the 7-0 final score, as they were on their heels from the very start of the game. Neither goalie, Petr Mrazek or Brian Elliott, looked good, as the Penguins were able to get many shots off deep in the zone. The Flyers' offense was stalled, too, and the worst stat for me was that Philadelphia did not get off a single shot on the power play despite having four chances with the man advantage. Sidney Crosby's line dominated on the ice, as evidenced by Crosby's hat trick, while Philadelphia's Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier combined for only three shots on goal. It's early, and anything can happen in a rivalry series, but this pick is on shaky ground.