We’re ready for round 2 of the NHL playoffs, time to hone in on what we learned and what remaining angles we can take advantage of. Here are some rapid fire thoughts and NHL picks for what we could see in this 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2.
2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2 Predictions
The Ducks versus Oilers series promises to be a physical one. Both teams have some large athletes who are bound to throw their weight around. But while everyone is excited at the amount of firepower and offensive acumen in this battle, I believe that these games won’t go according to script.
Look for a surprisingly low-scoring series. Cam Talbot is playing the best hockey of his career right now for Edmonton, while the Ducks have a very stingy D. Star scorer Conor McDavid scored shorthanded and in other unconventional ways in round one – and that is what it will take here again for the Oilers to advance. My pick? Anaheim in 6.
The Blues and Predators has all the appeal of a Maury rerun. I don’t think I’ll watch a minute of this series. But I do think that it’ll be close and very bruising. In the end, it’ll come down to goaltending and I just trust Pekka Rinne more than Jake Allen. So give me the Predators in 7.
Another year and another chance for the Capitals to get out of the second round, finally. But facing the defending champion Penguins is not a fun option. Still, this is a deep Washington team that passed a very critical test in the first round against the Leafs. That series was kind of like the movie Rocky Balboa, where Mason “The Line” Dixon was cocky but got surprisingly tested by the aging vet Rocky. Yet he survived and lived through Baptism by Fire. With no Letang on D for the Pens, the Capitals offense will simply be too much. Give me Washington in 6.
This series should be over quickly but we’ve been wrong before. The Rangers are getting all world goaltending from Lundqvist and timely scoring from their forwards. They should be ready to smash the Sens. But the wave of emotion for the return of Clarke Macarthur and the health concerns of Craig Anderson’s wife have really galvanized the Senators.
This series will be tougher than many think. If Erik Karlsson plays to his incredible capabilities then I see it going the distance. But I do think New York is the better team and has the experience to draw on as well. Give me the Rangers in 7 – in overtime!
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Follow him @MatthewWords.