We love hockey for its unpredictability come playoff time. We hate hockey for its unpredictability come playoff time. The NHL must be doing something right. We did okay with our first-round predictions, but our second-round guesses were barely passable. We will continue to make the same mistakes, we’re sure, in this third round of prognostication guaranteed to blow your mind … as long as you don’t actually bet any money on this stuff.

We did nail our Dallas Stars prediction to the letter, and we did predict Carolina’s series win, too, although not in the correct amount of games. But we really blew the Toronto Maple Leafs pick, didn’t we? Who knew the Florida Panthers would be doing their best 2012 Los Angeles Kings imitation, though? And shame on us for ignoring the Vegas supremacy, as the Golden Knights reached the Western Conference Finals for the fourth time in their mere six-year existence.

Two extras: We think we were drunk on the idea of a Toronto-Edmonton matchup in the Stanley Cup Finals, because we’d love to see a Canadian team win it all for the first time since 1993. Also, whichever team is in our photo above is certainly doomed after we put Boston and Edmonton on display in our prior two columns here. You’ve been warned! Now, on with the short show here … and again, it’s the beauty and horror of hockey which keeps us coming back. Enjoy.

Dallas vs. Vegas: The Golden Knights have home ice. They’ve played two fewer games than the Stars have to get here. But Dallas was sabermetrically superior during the regular season, while also notching one more win in regulation than Vegas. What we like here as a tiebreak is the Stars’ better scoring differential, though. They were 24 goals better than the Golden Knights, and that is our silly rationale here. Dallas in six games.

Carolina vs. Florida: Do we dare pick against the Panthers again? Nothing on paper suggests they should be here, of course. That’s why the games are played on ice, however … such an old joke. But we know the minute we pick Florida, the team will lose. It always goes that way. So, we have to go with the math, because that’s most often our thing here on the Daily McPlay—for better or for worse. We’re stubborn that way. Carolina in five games.