It’s official, we’re onto the next round. All and all it was a pretty good first round, even though only two series went 7 games. Fucking Blues, let’s go baby. I was only 5/8 on my picks in the first round (https://gardenswebsite.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/stanley-cup-playoff-preview-1st-round/) so I just probably just stop hockying
#1 Washington Capitals vs. #2 Pittsburgh Penguins
Ahh, the only Eastern Conference matchup that outside fans have actually been looking forward to. These are clearly the two best teams in the Eastern Conference and whoever wins this series will be moving onto defeat in the Stanley Cup finals.
Bit of a poopy pants at the end for the Caps. Not saying I’m concerned that they only scored 2 goals in 3 games against Michael Neuvirth but I’m concerned that they only scored 2 goals in 3 games against Michael Neurvirth. They seriously looked dead on offense those last few games and they’re lucky that Oshie is okay after taking a dirty hit from Brayden Schenn. The explosiveness we saw all year looked like it was gone in the last few games but Holtby saved them.
On the other end, Pittsburgh looked great against the Rangers, especially in the last 3 games of the series. After NYR tied it up at 1-1, I saw a lot of weaknesses tighten up for the Pens especially defensively. Crosby and Malkin are still really fucking good, that’s confirmed. Letang and Daley are playing A1 on the back end and there looks to be no signs of trouble without Fleury. Matt Murray is looking prettay, prettay, pretttay good between the pipes.
Does bad boy Murray have it in him for another series?
Pittsburgh in 7 games
#2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. #4 New York Islanders
Both of these teams are feeling good and coming out of pretty similar series’. Both the Lightning and Isles had to grind out every win, except the Isles loved closing the games out it in OT. Took TB 5 games to close, took NYI 6.
For Tampa Bay, looked like it didn’t matter at all they were missing Stamkos which is a really good sign for them. Kucherov, Johnson and Killorn played as good as any trio in the first round and they’re showing that the Lightning still produce a lot of electricity. 😉 KIM that the Red Wings suck ass though so the series was pretty subjective. Still liked what I saw and Ben Bishop always seems to play his best this time of year.
There’s something really really special about this Islanders team. As everyone knows, this was the first time the Isles won a playoff series since 1993, that’s pretty damn exciting. Greiss has looked really good, even when his back has been against the wall. So many fucking times in OT the Panthers were peppering him and he was a brick wall. John Tavares is an absolute stud as everyone knows. He has that ‘it’ factor about him, like Patty Kane has, where you know he can takeover for your team when you need him to. This guy is going to win a Cup in the near future. This is going to be a very tough series for the Isles.
New York Islanders in 7 games
#1 Dallas Stars vs. #2 St. Louis Blues
Both of these teams are real dangerous, and I think the winner of this series is going to be your Stanley Cup champs, which if you don’t know I picked the Stars.
My Dallas pick is looking pretty sketchy right aboooot now because they looked like shit at the end of their series against Minnesota. Gave up 9 goals in the last two games, and nearly blew a 4 goal load in Game 6. Everything that scared me about Dallas came true last series. They go through patches where they give up lots of goals and can’t seem to find an answer when they need it. Having said that, they also played that series w/o Seguin- who nobody is really sure exactly when he’ll be back. He should be good by Game 1 assume. Talk about stars (nice) though, Jaime Benn is a god damn monster who posted 10 points in 6 games. Old Man Spezza played great too posting 9 points. If Spezza plays that same way next series w/ Seguin back- the Stars are A-OK.
St. Louis will be coming off a nice high in which they finally got the better of their rival Hawks. The Blues megastar in Tarasenko also affirmed to the world that he is one of the best playmakers in hockey right now. Him and the 20 year old Robby Fabbri came up big in situations where the Blues needed it and certainly look like they’ll be one of the more dynamic young duos to come. Defensively, the Blue boys are going to put a lot of pressure on the Stars stars and they’ll lean on nobody more than Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk.
This will be a hard fought series but Dallas is going to get to that next-level goal scoring ability once Seguin is back in the lineup. Blues need to take advantage if Tyler sits out a game or two.
There is nothing better than when old school Spezza is playing like old school Spezza.
Dallas in 7 games
#3 San Jose Sharks vs. #4 Nashville Predators
What an interesting turn of events this Western conference semi turned into. From two of the largest western conference markets in Anaheim and Los Angeles to fucking San Jose and Nashville.
Now look, I said all along that my Sharks were legit and can make a deep run in this tournament. Even though for a large portion of the first round, I thought they were outplayed by LA, they still got it done in a quick 5 games. The play they get from their centers with Pavelski andCouture and is as good as you’ll see and Brent Burns is showing that he’s one of the best defenseman in hockey.
On the flip side, Nashville’s Shea Weber also showed last series why he’s considered a top defenseman in the game, picking up a team tying 5 points in the series. The big question for the Preds is if they’ll be able to continue to close out these close games.
I think the Sharks win, and I think they win pretty quick in their quest to get Ole’ Joe a Cup
San Jose in 5 games