What a way to start off the playoffs. Five out of the eight series went to game 7. Outside of the Colorado/Nashville series, everything else was very competitive and was back and forth. You could make an argument that the first round was one of, if not the best opening rounds in NHL playoff history. We are now down to eight teams. I went 8-0 in the predictions for the 1st round, but only got one correct series including games and that was Carolina in 7. You don’t tend to see that many games in a round go to seven, but that’s hockey and you got to love it. I think the next round will be just as good, if not better.
Florida vs Tampa Bay
The battle of Florida. What a rivalry this has turned into the past two seasons. The Lightning are coming off a very had fought long series against the Leafs, while the Panthers took care of the Capitals in 6. While Tampa Bay owns the edge of the series this season winning 4 out of 7, I can’t go against my Stanley Cup future winner. The quest for a 3-peat ends this series. It will be long series for both squads.
-Panthers in 7
St. Louis vs Colorado
I think this will be a better series than what most people think. Most people will assume that Colorado will continue their dominance from the first round and I think it will be much tougher. The Blues are very capable of beating the Avalanche. Colorado won 2 out of 3 in the regular season series. The Blues are one of, if not the deepest teams in the playoffs, but I believe the Avalanche are going to be too much for them.
-Avalanche in 6
New York vs Carolina
Both teams are coming out of series that went 7 games, but Carolina is getting back a key piece toward their run to the cup. Frederik Anderson looks like he will be making his return to this round and if thats the case, that’s a huge boost. Hurricanes won 3 out of 4 in the regular season series against the Rangers. Carolina is the deeper team in this series and will prove it. Last series wouldn’t have went 7 if Anderson was healthy, and they will prove it in this series.
-Hurricanes in 6
Edmonton vs Calgary
The Battle of Alberta. Many hockey fans wanted this series and we got it. Both these teams hate each other and they are right down the road from each other. Both teams went 7 games in their previous series, but if we are being realistic, they shouldn’t have. The Oilers won the regular season series winning 4 out of 7, but two of those four came within the first two weeks of the season and Calgary is a different team from then. Would love to see this series go 7 and I think thats what we get. It will be back and forth the whole series. This series will come down to goaltending where the Flames have the bigger advantage and will come out on top of the series.
-Flames in 7
-Ryan Veal(@TheVealmobile on Twitter)
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