The NHL Playoffs start today at 5PM Eastern! Playoff hockey!! It is finally here after one of the best NHL seasons we have seen in quite some time. You had two 100 assist players in Connor McDavid and Nikita Kucherov. A 69 goal scorer in Auston Matthews, as well as three other 50 goal scorers. Lots and lots of career highs were set this season. So much was happening that you almost forgot that Connor Bedard was in his rookie season, he says sarcastically.

After all of that though, the players do not care about that anymore. All they care about is getting their names etched on the Stanley Cup. 69 goals and 100 assists does not matter anymore. All that matters is who will show up to play in the playoffs. Some of the Area 51 NHL staff took a look at the matchups this year and created brackets of who they think they will go far this year. Take a look!

Braden’s Bracket – @IstaceBraden

Jack’s Bracket – @JackTDion

Matt’s Bracket – @Matt_Parks1995

James’s Bracket – @JamesETomlin

Bailey’s Bracket – @BaileySpeirs

Do you agree with any of the brackets? Some share similar picks, some are a little outside the box. The common theme was the first round of the west playoffs. Which makes sense considering all the match ups. The obvious breakers would be the Avalanche and Golden Knights on the left side of the bracket.

In the East is where there was a lot of different outcomes. Florida obviously a favorite, but the Hurricanes and Rangers match up is where it got a little interesting. Also the split votes in the Toronto/ Boston series was interesting to see. If you were to tally all the votes of the brackets above, you would get the bracket down below.

So this means Area 51’s official pick for the Stanley Cup is the Dallas Stars! Do you agree with our brackets and picks? If so let us know on twitter at @Area51SportsNet. If not also let us know at @Area51SportsNet on twitter! Either way this will be an amazing playoffs and will be super entertaining to watch!

Stay tuned to Area 51 Sports Network through the NHL Playoffs!