At the beginning of each NHL season, every fan wants to see their team reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs whether their team is a true contender or not. The playoffs and seeds are determined after each team plays 82 games a season. This year's playoffs might be one of the most surprising ones yet as there are multiple teams that made the playoffs where no one expected them too. The Avalanche and Devils had two of the worst records in the 2016-2017 season but both made the playoffs this year and are aiming to hoist the Stanley Cup by the time June rolls around.

The Golden Knights, who might be the greatest expansion team ever, also made the playoffs when nobody expected them to. In June 2017, the Golden Knights were given odds of 200:1 to win the Stanley Cup with their odds to reach the playoffs being a bit better. Some teams like the Oilers, Islanders, Stars and others were expected to make the playoffs at the beginning of the season but ended up missing out. Instead, those players who are on teams that didn't make it will be just like all of us, watching the playoffs from their couches. With the playoffs set to be underway today, here are some predictions that I have for the 2018 Nhl Playoffs.

Caps are going to regret not starting Holtby for Game 1

The Capitals have announced that they will be starting Phillipp Grubauer over their $7 million goalie Braden Holtby for Game 1 of the playoffs against the Blue Jackets. In 159 career playoff games (he has started all of them), Holtby has a GAA of 2.00 and a save percentage of .932.

Grubauer has only appeared in two playoff games, starting one of them which was back in 2015. With the playoffs being a different playing scenario, Holtby probably is the better option to start over Grubauer even with Holtby's struggles after the all-star break. With Holtby not starting, I would expect Panarin, Atkinson, Jones, Bobrovsky and Co.

to take advantage of that and come away with the series win which will make the Capitals regret not starting Holtby tonight.

Preds and Lighting win their first series in 4 games

The Predators and Lighting are both really strong teams. They both have strong defensive corps as well as a lethal offense and strong goalies. Both teams are set to square off against teams that weren't expected to make the playoffs at the beginning of the year with the Predators playing the Avalanche and the Lightning playing the Devils. The Predators should be able to handle the Avalanche in four games easily as they are stronger at each position and Avalanche starting goalie Semyon Varlamov is injured and won't be available in the first round.

In the Eastern Conference, the Lightning should be able to beat the Devils in four games as well. Even with star player Steven Stamkos injured, the Lightning are still really good offensively with Nikita Kucherov who got 100 points during the regular season, as well as J.T. Miller, Brayden Point, Tyler Johnson and others. The defense on the Lightning is outstanding as they have star defensive players in Hedman, Sergachev and McDonagh. They also have star goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy who tied for the most wins with 44 and tied for the most shutouts with eight. The Devils don't have much to counter with, as they only have Hall who tallied 93 points in the regular season and almost nothing else other than him.

Vegas gets ousted in the first round

Vegas is going to finish first in the pacific division this season... said no one in the whole world. Vegas just formed a team this year by getting players from teams that wanted to get rid of someone. Most of the players that the team selected were players that most people haven't heard of. With Vegas in its first year, most people expected them to finish dead last and continue a rebuild in order to be a really good team in the future. They proved everyone wrong, as they really did finish first in the pacific division with 54 wins, 24 losses and seven overtime loses which resulted in the Golden Knights finishing the season with 109 points.

The Golden Knights are facing the Kings, who are a wild card team, in the first round of the playoffs.

With most players on the Golden Knights having no playoff experience, the Kings are going to make it past the first round and send the Golden Knights home. The Kings have lots of talent on their team with star defensemen Drew Doughty, Alec Martinez, and Anze Kopitar, who got 92 points this season, Jeff Carter, star goalie Jonathan Quick and others. If you still don't believe that the Kings will beat Vegas in the first round, just remember the 2012 playoffs where the Kings were the eighth seed and ended up winning it all.

Preds and Bolts meet each other in the Finals

Last season, the Predators lost in the Finals to the Penguins. Well, this year they're going to be heading back to the Finals but not against the Penguins.

It will be against the Lightning. The Lightning will cut short the Penguins' aim at a three-peat by beating them in the conference finals. Both the Lightning and the Preds have very good goalies as the Lightning have Andrei Vasilevskiy in the net while the Preds have Pekka Rinne. Both of them registered eight shutouts in the regular season.

Both teams each have very good defensemen as the Lightning have Hedman, McDonagh and Sergachev while the Predators have Subban, Josi and Ellis on the blue line. Both teams also have very good forwards as the Lightning have Kucherov, Tyler Johnson, J.T. Miller, Brayden Point (and hopefully Stamkos can return for the Bolts to help them hoist that Stanley Cup).

The forwards that the Predators posses are Johansen, Arvidsson, Turris and others. Even though both teams are pretty similar, I am predicting that the city of Nashville, which to hockey fans is called Smashville, will be the ones going crazy on the streets in the dark when they win the Stanley Cup and become champions for the 2017-2018 NHL season.