After a wild first round, as is tradition, we are onto round 2. We had two game 7’s, one sweep, and a bunch of hot action in between. When the dust settled, I was 5-3 and only nailed the correct number of games in 1 of 8 series in the first round. Not my best, but 5-3 ain’t bad.
Last year, I was famously 4-4 and hit the games in 3/4 series in round 2. Looking for a repeat — maybe even an improvement — this time around.
The Rangers/Caps and Ducks/Flames get underway tonight, so let’s get these predictions in, grab a few cold ones, sit back and watch my witchcraft prove itself.
Very, very tough one to call here. Chicago has the experience and the top-end talent, but Minnesota is absolutely reeling right now. They were the best team in the NHL from mid-January on. They also just trumped the Central Division champ St. Louis Blues (arguably the toughest division in the league) in 6 games.
It’ll be a close one. There will be a fun amount of scoring. Tempers will be flaring. But in the end, Minnesota will pull this off in Chicago.
WILD in 7
RESULT = Hawks in 4 (lol)
Well I hilariously predicted that the Jets would upset the Ducks in the first round. I called Anaheim overrated and said they wouldn’t make it more than 6 games with Winnipeg. They swept Winnipeg and have been hanging out in southern California waiting for a challenge for about a week now.
Although Calgary is coming off prevailing from a tough western Canadian battle with foe Vancouver, I think Anaheim is too much for them. The Ducks are deep, they are fast, and they just keep coming.
DUCKS in 6
RESULT = Ducks in 5
Many experts talked all season long about how Montreal only stood near the top the Eastern Conference for one reason: Carey Price. He’s phenomenal and has had an incredible season between the pipes. Good for him.
But Tampa has had Montreal’s number all year. In 5 games, the Bolts were 5-0-0 against the Habs during the regular season. They’re coming off an emotional comeback win against Detroit, after stealing game 6 in Hockeytown then holding on in a wild game 7 in Tampa.
It’ll be fun. It’ll be emotional. It’ll be Tampa’s.
LIGHTNING in 6
RESULT = Lightning in 6
Washington plays with a lot of emotion. And, like Tampa, they too will be coming in hot off a dramatic game 7 win. That’s neat.
But the Rangers are your Presidents Trophy winners. They were the best team in the regular season and, from everything we’ve seen so far, they are the best team right now. They’re deep, they’re defensive, they have fantastic goaltending, and they score when they need to score.
RANGERS in 6
RESULT = Rangers in 7
Whoop, there it is. Don’t be afraid to pull up these predictions, call your bookie and bet the farm. I’m undefeated in second round predictions in my career. It’s a lock.