NHL Playoff Predictions: Round 2

In general and especially in the recent past, the one thing that was going to be certain about the NHL playoffs was that there would be upsets and the key was to pick the right teams to be upset.  That’s why in general I started comparing my success rate to that if you simply picked all the teams with home ice advantage because recent history said that someone picking teams would have a shot at outpicking them.  In the first round, however, home ice advantage went 6 – 2, while I ended up going 5 – 3.  And it looks like I’m not going to outdo home ice advantage in the second round either.

Eastern Conference:

Tampa Bay vs Florida:  It’s hard to choose against the defending Stanley Cup champions, especially for a team that hasn’t had that much success.  However, Tampa Bay was a bit vulnerable against the Leafs in the first round and one of the reasons it’s difficult to achieve the sort of dynasties that we had in the past is that teams that win have to play a lot of hockey with ultimately wears on them.  Tampa Bay will probably have to lose sometime this playoffs, so it might as well be here.

Rangers vs Carolina:  The Rangers almost lost out in the first round to Pittsburgh, who admittedly have a history of playoff success and so of being a tough out.  Still, even though the Rangers ultimately prevailed that might be an indication that they need a bit more seasoning to go on a run.  Sure, Carolina might need that as well but they are probably the better team on paper, at least, so I’ll go with them.

Western Conference:

St. Louis vs Colorado:  Other than having had a long time off due to sweeping their opponents in the first round, Colorado seems to be a very solid team this year and seem ready to take a long run this season.  St. Louis just managed to get past Minnesota.  Colorado probably should win this one.

Edmonton vs Calgary:  Edmonton has Connor McDavid actually going, and they got the goaltending they needed in the first round.  One could choose the superstar player, but even though Mike Smith played well for most of the series I think that Jakob Markstrom is the more reliable goaltender.  Given that, I don’t think that McDavid will outscore the Flames, and the Oilers lack of depth is still an issue.

Summary:

Eastern Conference:

Tampa Bay vs Florida Incorrect
Rangers vs Carolina Incorrect

Western Conference:

St. Louis vs Colorado Correct
Edmonton vs Calgary Incorrect

Overall Record:  5 – 3
Home Ice Advantage Record:  6 – 2

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