NHL playoff predictions: Who wins Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe? Experts weigh in on best bets.

Even after the Boston Bruins had a spectacular season, they have one thing working against them.

Teams that win the Presidents' Trophy usually don't win the Stanley Cup. The 2008 Detroit Red Wings and 2013 Chicago Blackhawks were the only ones to do it during the salary cap era. The 2015 New York Rangers are the only Presidents' Trophy winners to even reach the third round since the Blackhawks' win. The Bruins were ousted in the second round in 2014 after finishing with the top regular-season record.

But this year's Bruins had a record 65 wins and 135 points and won 15 of their final 16 games. Can they carry that momentum to a Stanley Cup title? USA TODAY Sports' NHL experts weigh in on this year's finalists, champion and Conn Smythe winner.

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Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) celebrates a goal with teammates.
Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) celebrates a goal with teammates.

Stanley Cup picks

► Stanley Cup Final: Bruins vs. Avalanche

Champion: Bruins in six. The fact that the Bruins kept winning down the stretch while resting players shows their incredible depth. They'll have a tough path, especially since most of the Eastern Conference loaded up at the trade deadline. But the Bruins did, too, and it will be enough to get through that gauntlet and past the Avalanche, who are missing key players from last year's championship team.

Conn Smythe winner: David Pastrnak, Bruins

— Mike Brehm

Stanley Cup Final: Stars vs. Rangers

Champion: Stars in six. The Bruins ran roughshod over the NHL this season, but the playoffs mark a different, often more unfair, season. Stars goalie Jake Oettinger is capable of powering a run, while the defense is stingy. Dallas also has a collection of high-end talent and a mix of veterans and youth that should serve it well in the grueling playoffs.

Conn Smythe winner: Jason Robertson, Stars

— Jimmy Hascup

Stanley Cup Final: Bruins vs. Golden Knights

Champion: Bruins in five. Boston's aging 2011 champion forward core (Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci) desperately needs to add a second Stanley Cup to their legacy after Finals losses in both 2013 and 2019. They've been unbeatable all season, especially at home. Former Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy will do his best to rally Vegas, but the juggernaut Bruins are the team of destiny.

Conn Smythe winner: Pastrnak

— Richard Morin

► Stanley Cup Final: Oilers vs. Bruins

Champion: Bruins in six. It’s hard to predict any team other than the Bruins considering just how dominant they’ve been. Boston was just too clinical of a team during the regular season and that looks to continue into the playoffs. The Oilers have a real chance to make it out of the West this year if Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl can continue their dominance.

Conn Smythe Winner: Pastrnak

— Mary Clarke, For The Win

► Stanley Cup Final: Oilers vs. Bruins

Champion: Bruins in five. Boston just completed the greatest regular season of all time by wins and points and I refuse to be scared away from picking them by the ghost of the 2019 Tampa Bay Lightning. The Oilers, meanwhile, have lost only three times since they acquired defenseman Mattias Ekholm at the end of February and boast the league's best offense. McDavid just finished an offensive season the likes we haven't seen since Mario Lemieux and I think he goes supernova these playoffs. In the end, though, I don't think his efforts will be quite enough against Boston's total team game.

Conn Smythe winner: Pastrnak

— Jace Evans

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NHL playoff picks: Stanley Cup predictions, best bets, MVP winner