Before the commencement of the NHL’s postseason, I offered up some predictions. I am going to do the same for round two, but let’s recap round one first.

ROUND ONE RECAP

Western Conference

Predators/Avalanche
My Prediction: Nashville in 5
Actual Result: Nashville in 6
Colorado was able to snag one more win than I initially gave them credit for. Good for them for putting up somewhat of a fight, even if the result was never in doubt.

Jets/Wild
My Prediction: Jets in 6
Actual Result: Jets in 5
I was a game off, again. This time in the other direction. I didn’t think the Wild had what it takes to beat the Jets, but I didn’t think they would bow out this easily. Either way, the Jets move on and complete my predicted Preds vs Jets match-up.

Golden Knights/Kings
My Prediction: Kings in 6
Actual Result: Golden Knights in 4
Ok… Wow… So I botched this one. Clearly, I doubted the Knights, and now they have all this extra time off to laugh in the doubters’ faces (like mine). They become the first NHL team ever to sweep their first playoff series during their inaugural season. They also held the Kings to just 3 goals all series.

Ducks/Sharks
My Prediction: Ducks in 4
Actual Result: Sharks in 4
Yeah, I kinda got this one way wrong as well. I had the sweep right, wrong team, though. The Sharks impressed me a lot, almost too much. They are going to put me in a tough prediction situation with their upcoming series against Vegas.

 

Eastern Conference

Lightning/Devils
My Prediction: Tampa in 5
Actual Result: Tampa in 5
Finally an exact match. Tampa looked to be in top postseason form for this series, despite dropping all three regular season contests against New Jersey. They looked poised to make a run at the Cup, too, most likely, no one’s surprise.

Bruins/Leafs
My Prediction: Bruins in 7
Actual Result: TBD – Series tied 3-3
So maybe I wrote this recap a little early due to time constraints. However, this is the only series I predicted to reach game seven, and that prediction holds true. I chose the Bruins and I’m gonna stick with it. After leading 3-1 in the series, Boston allowed Toronto to climb back in and tie things up. However, the Garden will be too much for Toronto to handle in a winner-take-all, and I still think the Bruins move on.

Capitals/Blue Jackets
My prediction: Caps in 5
Actual Result: Caps in 6
Washington had me worried! Fortunately enough, they recovered nicely. The Capitals dropped the first two games at home to fall down 2-0 early, but after rattling off four straight victories, they have secured a second round match-up. However, it won’t be easy.

Penguins/Flyers
My Prediction: Penguins in 6
Actual Result: Penguins in 6
The two-time defending champions may have lost a couple games in this series, but they looked good anyway. Like, real good. The Flyers were able to put up a little bit of a fight, but I’m not sure this one was ever in doubt. Penguins got the Caps next.

 

ROUND TWO PREDICTIONS

 

Western Conference

Predators/Jets
This is going to be a very fun series to keep an eye on. The fast, finesse-style composition of the Predators facing off with the big and burly Jets will contain just about everything and anything a hockey fan could hope for. The Jets will almost certainly look to impose their will physically. Watch for P.K. Subban to be involved in more than a handful of post-whistle skirmishes, making his size known as well. I think Nashville outlasts Winnipeg and this is the only series that doesn’t reach seven games. Predators in six, 4-2.

Sharks/Golden Knights
I may finally be getting over myself. I have been sick of the Golden Knights, because there’s nothing to be said that hasn’t already been said, but I’m starting to acknowledge what is being accomplished here, and how far this team can actually go. With that being said, the Sharks were impressive in round one, and they look like a team that’s ready to ruin someone’s dream season. This series should be an exhilarating one; one we want Doc Emrick announcing. I’m picking Las Vegas in seven, 4-3.

 

Eastern Conference

Capitals/Penguins
YES! Crosby and Ovechkin in the playoffs. For the fourth time. Crosby has won the previous three and will now be seeking a four-series sweep of the russian sharp-shooter. It is very hard to deny the skill level that the Penguins are playing at right now, and fresh off two straight Cups doesn’t hurt either. They are deep and they know what it takes to win. Sometimes, though, the champ must fall. I think this is that time. Ovechkin is more determined now more than ever, and facing his nemesis in Sidney Crosby will add fuel to the fire. The Capitals scrape by in seven, 4-3.

Lightning/Leafs or Bruins
I know Boston and Toronto haven’t played their game seven yet, but I also don’t think that it matters. Regardless of that series’ winner, it will be a team who just slugged out seven games in a bitter rivalry against a Lightning squad in tip-top shape on some rest. Vasilevsky shows no sign of slowing down in net. I think Tampa takes it in seven, no matter their opponent, 4-3.

 

Let us know how those beards are lookin’! We’ll see you again at the Conference Finals.

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Zach MacLachlan

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