Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

Second Round Playoff Predictions

The first round of the playoffs concluded today and my first round predictions did well.  I picked seven of the eight first round series correctly.  My mistake was picking Colorado over Minnesota.  When a series goes to overtime in a seventh game, all you can really conclude is that the two teams were well-matched and either could have won the series.

As for a 7-1 record in the first round, I did very well.  It requires a combination of luck and hockey knowledge to do that well.  Ironically commenter redxblack quickly criticized my picks because apparently I did not pick enough upsets.  When he made his own picks he went 2-6.  So I guess he lived by his idea of picking upsets but he didn't make himself look like much of a hockey expert.  I have coins that can do better.

Onward to my second round predictions.

Chicago Blackhawks defeat Minnesota Wild.  The defending Stanley Cup champions had a scare when they lost their first two games to St Louis but they seem to have found their groove.  I think Minnesota is the weakest team that made it through the first round and Chicago should be able to dispatch them.

Los Angeles Kings defeat Anaheim Ducks.  Los Angeles definitely survived a scare when they fell behind 3-0 against San Jose.  I think the Sharks are a better team than Anaheim and if the Kings could beat the Sharks, they should be able to beat Anaheim.  My biggest worry for the Ducks is goaltending.  They attempted to use rookie Frederik Andersen in the first round and he didn't do well.  Will Jonas Hiller be able to do better?  Los Angeles doesn't have that problem as Jonathan Quick is a proven playoff goalie.

Boston Bruins defeat Montreal Canadiens.  I think Boston looks the team to beat in the East.  They may be the NHL's first elite team in seven years.  Let's see how they respond to some tougher playoff challenges to see how elite they are.  Montreal looked good in their first round sweep, but they don't have the talent Boston has.

Pittsburgh Penguins defeat New York Rangers.  The worry with Pittsburgh is that Marc-Andre Fleury has not proven himself to be a reliable playoff goalie.  At any moment he may self-destruct.  Henrik Lundqvist should be a reliable goalie for the Rangers, but he didn't have a great first round.  Pittsburgh's advantage comes from front-line talent.  Sidney Crosby is the best player in the world.  He may not have clearly shown that in the first round, but even with a lacklustre first round he scored at point per game rate.  You are a superstar if people criticize you for under-performing while you score a point per game.  Pittsburgh has depth beyond Crosby.  Evgeni Malkin is also a better player than anyone the Rangers can offer.  Pittsburgh is too deep offensively for the Rangers.

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Comments

Rdwings28's avatar

three of the top five regular season point getters-done

Posted by Rdwings28 on 05/01/14 at 07:21 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Hawks in 4
Kings in 6
Pens in 6
Bruins in 5

Posted by MoreShoot on 05/01/14 at 08:15 AM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

i am soooo taking the Habs and Price. no question about it

Posted by Rdwings28 on 05/01/14 at 08:59 AM ET

SnLO's avatar

Ironically commenter redxblack quickly criticized my picks because apparently I did not pick enough upsets.  When he made his own picks he went 2-6.

I don’t really think this is irony; but I do laugh for you calling someone out for calling you out. Welcome to the game.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 05/01/14 at 09:19 AM ET

Avatar

I have coins that can do better.

SICK BURN! LOL another Wings fan gets owned!

Posted by redwingshomersLOL on 05/03/14 at 11:20 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Didn’t realize I was called out by name here, but okay. I guess I should have explicitly said that I took my picks with absolutely zero seriousness. Oh wait, I did. I said it was wishful thinking, but don’t let that stop you.

So looking back, how are your coins doing at picking? How has playing the vegas odds and the top seed worked out?

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 05/14/14 at 10:57 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.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

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