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PHT’s first round playoff predictions, featuring the Random Thing Picker

The Pittsburgh Penguins are ready to defend their title as they face Columbus Blue Jackets in the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Predictions are hard.

And in a league that prides itself on parity, predictions are really hard.

That’s what your fearless PHT staffers -- me, Brough, O’Brien, Gretz, Tucker and Alfieri -- are faced with heading into Wednesday, when Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs officially get underway.

The field is tight. Per online oddsmaker Bovada, 10 of the 16 entrants have better than a 17/1 shot at winning it all, and the lone “longshot,” St. Louis, is still only at 33/1.

In playoffs past, to prove the randomness of NHL postseason predictions, we’ve enlisted the services of a coin -- one real, one digital. Both flipped their way to glory, often doing a better job of prognosticating than their sentient, animate counterparts. (The ’72 Eisenhower Dollar so thoroughly embarrassed the humans that it was chucked into the ocean as punishment.)

This year, we’ve turned the job over to the Random Thing Picker -- which, as the name suggests, picks random things. You give the Random Thing Picker two things, and it’ll pick one. It’s perfect for the job.

On to the predictions...

Washington Capitals versus Toronto Maple Leafs (Stream here)

Brough: Capitals in 5
Halford: Capitals in 7
O’Brien: Capitals in 6
Gretz: Capitals in 5
Tucker: Capitals in 5
Alfieri: Capitals in 6
Random Thing Picker: Maple Leafs

Pittsburgh Penguins versus Columbus Blue Jackets (Stream here)

Brough: Penguins in 7
Halford: Penguins in 6
O’Brien: Penguins in 7
Gretz: Penguins in 6
Tucker: Penguins in 6
Alfieri: Blue Jackets in 7
Random Thing Picker: Penguins

Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers (Stream here)

Brough: Canadiens in 5
Halford: Canadiens in 6
O’Brien: Canadiens in 7
Gretz: Rangers in 7
Tucker: Canadiens in 7
Alfieri: Canadiens in 7
Random Thing Picker: Rangers

Boston Bruins vs. Ottawa Senators (Stream here)

Brough: Bruins in 6
Halford: Senators in 7
O’Brien: Bruins in 6
Gretz: Bruins in 6
Tucker: Senators in 7
Alfieri: Senators in 6
Random Thing Picker: Senators

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators (Stream here)

Brough: Blackhawks in 6
Halford: Blackhawks in 6
O’Brien: Predators in 7
Gretz: Blackhawks in 6
Tucker: Blackhawks in 6
Alfieri: Blackhawks in 7
Random Thing Picker: Predators

Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues (Stream here)

Brough: Wild in 6
Halford: Blues in 7
O’Brien: Wild in 6
Gretz: Wild in 7
Tucker: Blues in 7
Alfieri: Wild in 6
Random Thing Picker: Blues

Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames (Stream here)

Brough: Ducks in 7
Halford: Ducks in 5
O’Brien: Flames in 7
Gretz: Ducks in 5
Tucker: Ducks in 6
Alfieri: Ducks in 6
Random Thing Picker: Ducks

Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks (Stream here)

Brough: Sharks in 7
Halford: Oilers in 7
O’Brien: Sharks in 6
Gretz: Sharks in 5
Tucker: Oilers in 7
Alfieri: Oilers in 7
Random Thing Picker: Sharks

Add in your picks below!