NHL Playoff Predictions Round 2

So, it looked a bit shaky there for a while, but I ended up going a stirling 7 – 1 in the first round. The second round, however, is going to be a lot harder to predict, especially in the East.

Eastern Conference

Pittsburgh versus Ottawa Correct
Boston versus Rangers Incorrect

As I’ve said before, I’m a fan of the Senators, and they have a much stronger defensive team and much better goaltending than the Islanders did. So they could give the Penguins some trouble. If Fleury was in goal, based on the first round it would be an overpowering offense with a porous defense against a weak offense with an overpowering defense. But Vokoun played well in the last two games, and Ottawa just doesn’t have the offense to keep up with Pittsburgh. If Spezza can play, then that might help, but in the end it comes down to the two goaltenders … but Vokoun only has to not lose the series for his team to win, while Anderson probably has to steal it. Anderson is capable of stealing it, but again Pittsburgh’s offense is just too strong and they will capitalize on the mistakes that the Senators will make. It’ll likely be close, and it breaks my heart to say it, but I think, in the end, it’ll be Pittsburgh.

There really isn’t much to choose between these two teams either. Both teams went to 7 games against an opponent that probably shouldn’t have taken them that long. They’re close in regular season record. Both had to come back a bit to get their win, although Boston’s was more dramatic (and they almost blew the series). I don’t know the full injury report for the Rangers, but I know that the Bruins are banged up, especially on defense. Lundqvist seems to be on his game again based on the last two, and while Rask has played reasonably well he seems more vulnerable. Again, another close series, but the Rangers likely have the depth and experience to pull it off.

Western Conference

Chicago versus Detroit Correct
LA versus San Jose Correct

Detroit has a never say die attitude and pulled off a seven game victory over Anaheim, but Chicago is a stronger and more experienced team. Again, another series that’s likely to be close, but Chicago will probably pull it out.

LA are the defending champions. They got down 2 – 0 in the series with the Blues and pulled it off. They have plenty of rest and the Sharks have been off since an uneventful sweep of a badly underperforming Canucks, meaning they might start a bit rusty. The Kings should be able to take this series.

Overall record: 10 – 2

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