March Madness - NHL Edition (All Teams)

NCAA Men's Final Four - Previews
NCAA Men's Final Four - Previews / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

With March Madness upon us and brackets being filled, I'm reminded of just how silly the NHL seeding is now. While the traditional seeding of the past wasn't perfect, I am wondering if maybe the collegiate model isn't the way to go.

In this experiment let's keep in mind that this hybrid model is just for fun and shouldn't be picked apart by "hey pittsburgh is a couple of hundred miles further away etc" as I seeded them based on their current play and how they should finish the season going into the "tournament".

I regioned them in a traditional manner as well and did the best I could arranging them for regional matchups. Obviously the Canadian teams I wanted to split up so they (unlike the bubble) could possibly meet in a championship game.

Keep in mind this is a 1 game winner advances tournament now, so while the better team typically advances in a 7 game tilt.... This isn't that at all! First off, there isn't home ice as there will be designted arenas for the tournament. Secondly, if a hot goalie for a lower seed goes into the tourney ready than you could see some big upsets. It's a win or go home scenario, this should be fun!

Let's see how my bracket layed out and whom I predict would win in BOLD. I want to hear whom you would have picked in the twitter feed.

East Region:

1. BOS vs 8. MTL

2. NJ vs 7. PHI

3. NYR vs 6. OTT

4. NYI vs 5. WAS

Second Round Matchups:

1. BOS VS 5. WAS

2. NJ vs 3. NYR

Regional Final: 1. BOS vs 3. NYR

Prediction: The top seeded Bruins advance out of the East region as their depth, experience and goaltending prove too much to overcome.

South Region:

1. CAR vs 8. AZ

2. DAL vs 7. STL

3. TBL vs 6. FLP

4. COL vs 5. NSH

Second Round Matchups:

1. CAR vs 4. COL

3. TBL vs 7. STL

Regional Final: 3. TBL vs 4. COL

Prediction: The South is an absolute gauntlet and I think that the Lightning ride on through on the back of their ability to comeback in any situation and fight their way to a final 4.

West Region:

1. VGK vs 8. SJS

2. LAK vs 7. ANA

3. SEA vs 6. VAN

4. EDM vs 5. CGY

Second Round Matchups:

1. VGK vs 5. CGY

2. LAK vs 3. SEA

Regional Final: 3. SEA vs 5. CGY

Prediction: The west truly was the wild west with a ton of upsets. Ultimately the young Kraken roster didn't know that shouldn't win the region, and did just that!

Midwest Region:

1. TOR vs 8. CBJ

2. MIN vs 7. CHI

3. WPG vs 6. DET

4. PIT vs 5. BUF

Second Round Matchups:

1. TOR vs 5. BUF

2. MIN vs 6. DET

Regional Final: 1. TOR vs 6. DET

Prediction: In what is likely the easiest region, the top seeded Leafs prevail.


East Champion (1) BOS vs South Champion (3) TBL

West Champion (3) SEA vs Midwest Champion (1) TOR

In the inaugural March Madness NHL Edition it will be the Tampa Bay Lightning cutting the nets!

In this fun exercise, to which I'm sure many have differing opinions (why it's fun!), I couldn't ignore the balance, coaching, determination, and goaltending of a team that has reached 3 straight finals appearances. In a win or go home scenario I'm not sure another team could beat them for one 60 min evening. Congrats to the champs!

Whom would you have in this bracket? Post in the twitter feed!