The NHL has returned and while it’s not technically the playoffs, the qualifying round definitely feels like postseason hockey. Which means upset-watch is in full force.
Fans were asked in the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey who they think is most likely to pull off the upset in the qualifying round. Despite being the last team included in the bubble, the Chicago Blackhawks received the most votes to upset the Oilers. The Coyotes earned the third-most votes with more than 10 percent of fans thinking they will knock off the Predators.
With the Coyotes finishing third in the rankings there are two possibilities. Either fans didn’t think the Coyotes could beat the Predators or they viewed the Blackhawks and Canadiens as bigger underdogs than the Coyotes.
The Blackhawks and Canadiens seemed like easy cannon fodder for the Oilers and Penguins. People argued that neither team deserved to be in the playoffs, while the Coyotes and Predators seemed to be a closer series.
This has proven to be the year of the upset though. The Blackhawks, Canadiens, and Coyotes have all won their series, and the Blue Jackets were a goal away from beating the Maple Leafs.
Fans were also asked who they expect to emerge on top from the seeding games for the top four teams in each conference.
Nearly 40 percent of fans think said the Tampa Bay Lightning will be the top seed in the Eastern Conference, followed by the Flyers, Capitals, and Bruins. The vote was clearer in the west where more than 60 percent of fans think the Colorado Avalanche will be on top. They are trailed by the Golden Knights, Blues, and Stars.
To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.