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2019 Stanley Cup playoffs predictions: Confidence high in Jets, Lightning again

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Tampa Bay is a near unanimous pick to win the Stanley Cup.

Winnipeg Jets v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images

The Stanley Cup playoffs start Wednesday night.

The Capitals look to duplicate their biggest rival, the Penguins, accomplish by repeating as Stanley Cup champions. If Washington does, it would mean four straight years of either Pittsburgh or Washington hoisting the Stanley Cup.

The Lightning will try to become the first Presidents’ Trophy team under the current playoff format to get to the conference final. The 2013 Blackhawks were last Presidents’ Trophy winner to also hoist the Cup. People forget that.

There will be eight teams trying to be the first Western Conference team to hoist the Cup since the 2015 Blackhawks. The Flames earned the West’s top seed, while the reigning conference champion Golden Knights are the No. 3 seed from the Pacific Division.

Here are SCH’s preseason picks:

Brad: Maple Leafs over Jets

Brandon: Jets over Lightning

Dave: Sharks over Lightning

The trio isn’t sticking with their exact preseason picks.

SCH’s 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs predictions

Voter TB v CBJ BOS v TOR WSH v CAR NYI v PITT CAL v COL SJ v VGS NSH v DAL WPG v STL East champion West champion Stanley Cup Conn Smythe
Voter TB v CBJ BOS v TOR WSH v CAR NYI v PITT CAL v COL SJ v VGS NSH v DAL WPG v STL East champion West champion Stanley Cup Conn Smythe
Brandon TB BOS CAR NYI CAL VGS NSH WPG BOS WPG WPG Mark Scheifele
Dave TB TOR WSH PITT CAL SJ NSH WPG TB WPG TB Nikita Kucherov
Matt TB TOR CAR PITT CAL SJ NSH WPG TB WPG TB Andrei Vasilesky
Shalyn TB TOR WSH PITT CAL VGS NSH WPG TB WPG TB Nikita Kucherov
Shepard TB BOS WSH PITT CAL VGS NSH WPG TB VGS TB Brayden Point
Brad TB TOR CAR NYI COL SJ NSH WPG TB WPG WPG Patrik Laine