NHL Playoffs Predictions: Canadiens, Rangers, Wild, and Ducks

NHL Playoffs Predictions: Habs, Ducks, Rangers, Wild in Second Round

Let’s take a look at our bracket. We got the entire Eastern Conference right, and we’ve made profit on the first round of the NHL Playoffs again. We got five of the eight and missed the Minnesota Wild taking out the Blues and the Calgary Flames taking out the Canucks. Honestly, if Shea Weber doesn’t go down I think the Nashville Predators had a great chance at knocking off the Chicago Blackhawks. All in all, not a bad round. Our Finals picks are still alive, and we were low confidence on a couple of those losses. We won money in the first round, and now, with a better grasp of the NHL playoffs field, we look to build on it. Here’s my picks for the NHL Playoffs second round where I’ve got the New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks, and Minnesota Wild advancing.

New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals

I don’t trust the way Holtby looks right now, but more troubling for the Washington Capitals is how poor the offense looks. I don’t think anyone would say the Isles were a good defensive team down the stretch, but the Caps made them look legitimate. I think the New York Rangers, rested and suited for a series like this one, will win a few grinding games and keep control of the series
- NYR in five

Montreal Canadiens vs Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning scare me. They have an explosive offense and a goaltending that just shut out the Red Wings in Game Seven. They’re capable. I think they’ll lose this series, though, because I think the Montreal Canadiens are the more complete team. The Habs have Carey Price, who I think is the best goalie in the NHL right now. The defense has a legitimate top pairing that the Lightning cannot match. Ultimately, this one comes down to offense versus defense, and I think the Canadiens’ defensive edge trumps what the Lightning can do offensively – especially if they continue to struggle like they did against Detroit.
- Habs in 5

Anaheim Ducks vs Calgary Flames

Calgary looks great right now, but let’s look at who they beat before we give them too much credit. The Flames took out a team with no goalie, no depth, no consistent scoring. The Anaheim Ducks have found a goalie who can stay hot, the best offense in the playoffs in my opinion, and defensive depth. Calgary will give them a fight, but I think the Ducks will prevail.
- Ducks in 7

Chicago Blackhawks vs Minnesota Wild

This is the only series where we had neither team advancing. I thought the Blues were the better version of the Minnesota Wild, but Dubnyk emerged as an incredibly hot goalie and took over the series. I thought the Preds would win, but their captain and best player went down and Rinne could not keep the Chicago Blackhawks down alone – though he tried. Here, I think goaltending will be enough to win again. Dubnyk is hot, and the Chicago Blackhawks are dysfunctional between the pipes. Low confidence here, but I think Minnesota can steal another series.
- Wild in 6

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