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Second Round Playoff Predictions

The first round of the playoffs is over with two series playing back-to-back games six and seven in the last two days and the second round set to start on the next day.  The NHL's "hurry up" season due to the lockout continues into the playoffs.  It will be interesting to see if this increased rate of games will make a difference as the playoffs continue. Should I be picking against teams that go to game sevens in the future?

My first round predictions went pretty well.  I picked six right and missed two.  The series i missed are the first and last to complete.  I picked Vancouver and Washington to win in the first round.  I think that a 6-2 result in the first round is about as good as can be expected.  Anyone doing better than that (and that includes me in earlier years) required some good luck as well as good predictions.

Here are my second round predictions:

Pittsburgh Penguins defeat Ottawa Senators.  I am impressed with the number of rookies making a contribution with the Sens.  The team is also strengthened by the return from injury of stars Erik Karlsson, Craig Anderson (and possibly Jason Spezza in this round).  That does make Ottawa a stronger team now than they have been at any point this season but they are still not strong enough to beat Pittsburgh.  The Pens have too many stars led by Crosby, Malkin, Letang and Iginla.  I don't see how Ottawa can match that.  They also appear to have solved their Achilles heel in goal by turning to Tomas Vokoun.  I think Pittsburgh should look better against Ottawa then they did against the New York Islanders.  They have too much talent not to dominate.

Boston Bruins defeat New York Rangers.  This is a match-up of the teams the won game sevens today.  The Rangers biggest strength is Henrik Lundqvist in goal.  Boston's Tuukka Rask is one of the few goalies in the league who may be able to match him in a seven game series.  Boston has the offensive advantage with Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Milan Lucic all playing well.  The Rangers supposed offensive stars in Brad Richards and Rick Nash have not lived up to expectation so far.  Boston also has Zdeno Chara to anchor their defence and he is probably the best defenceman in hockey today.  This makes Boston the team to beat in this series.

Chicago Blackhawks defeat Detroit Red Wings.  Chicago is the first place team in the league.  They have unmatched depth with Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp at forward and Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook on defence.  Detroit will be hard pressed to match it.  The weakness in Chicago is goaltending.  Corey Crawford is not likely to steal a series, but is Detroit much better here with Jimmy Howard in their net?  Chicago is the team to beat this year and Detroit post-Lidstrom won't be able to do that.

Los Angeles Kings defeat San Jose Sharks.  This is a battle of California.  The defending Stanley Cup champions are facing an aging Sharks team that is probably in their last cup run with this core.  Despite a Stanley Cup hangover, the Kings finished with two more wins than the Sharks.  I think Los Angeles should be the stronger team in this series.  Jonathan Quick should be on his game and ready to outplay Antti Niemi, the most improbable Vezina Trophy nominee in years.

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Comments

Zqto's avatar

I had 5-3 on first round…  Not bad for a Brazilian, I guess!  lol

Here goes for second round:

OTT 4 x 3 PIT
BOS 4 x 2 NYR

LA 4 x 2 SJ
DET 4 x 1 CHI   ( I can dream, right? )

Posted by Zqto on 05/14/13 at 08:23 AM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

I NOW consider the Bruins Stanley Cup contenders.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 05/14/13 at 08:48 AM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

Crosby gets hurt again. Pens lose

Posted by Rdwings28 on 05/14/13 at 08:52 AM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

I see the Pens getting upset. You think they are going to look better against Ottawa???!!?? Explain how they look better playing against a team with a far and away better goalie than NYI.

“but is Detroit much better here with Jimmy Howard in their net?”

So you didn’t watch any of the Det v. Anh series? Howard looked more than great in net.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 05/14/13 at 09:46 AM ET

TKShreve's avatar

Thought I saw an article which suggested that the pens have not yet chosen their starter for this series. Maybe I’m wrong.

Posted by TKShreve from East Uptown on 05/14/13 at 10:01 AM ET

SnLO's avatar

Pittsburgh Penguins defeat Ottawa Senators.

I’m not so sure aboot this prediction. The Sens have the future Hall of Famer Sergei Gonchar on their back-line. His level of defensive prowess should dominate the offensive flair of the Pens. Couple that with the pens instability in net points to a much closer matchup that could potentially result in Sens series win.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 05/14/13 at 11:12 AM ET

Avatar

I find it strange that Red Wings fans ridicule TPSH for thinking the D with the third best numbers in his generation has a hall of fame future, considering they’ve long (and somewhat hilariously) argued that the goaltender with the 45th best save percentage of his generation should be in.

Posted by larry on 05/14/13 at 12:44 PM ET

LiteWork's avatar

I’m not so sure aboot this prediction. The Sens have the future Hall of Famer Sergei Gonchar on their back-line. His level of defensive prowess should dominate the offensive flair of the Pens. Couple that with the pens instability in net points to a much closer matchup that could potentially result in Sens series win.

Posted by SnLO from the sub-great white north on 05/14/13 at 11:12 AM ET

I LOLed pretty hard.

I find it strange that Red Wings fans ridicule TPSH for thinking the D with the third best numbers in his generation has a hall of fame future, considering they’ve long (and somewhat hilariously) argued that the goaltender with the 45th best save percentage of his generation should be in.

Posted by larry on 05/14/13 at 12:44 PM ET

I assume you mean Osgood .How many Red Wing fans are we talking about? Three or four? Neither Osgood or Gonchar deserve to be in the HOF and I highly doubt they will get in anyway.

Posted by LiteWork on 05/14/13 at 08:54 PM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

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