We’re back! The second round of the playoffs is finally completely upon us, and man has it been a weird journey so far already. Were we wrong in some of our first round predictions? Absolutely, but that’s all we’re going to say on the matter, thank you very much. And we’re back now and ready to take another crack at these playoff predictions. Let’s hope it goes a little better this time around, yeah?
Maddie: In my heart of hearts, I think the Bruins really should be able to run straight through the Islanders, but the Islanders just always seem to find a way to stay in the mix. I do think the Bruins take this one, but this one is probably going to be closer than I would like. Bruins in 6.
Steve: This has already been a tight series, and it is likely going to continue being tight. Ultimately, the more-talented Bruins should win out over the Islanders, but Isles gonna Isle. Bruins in 7.
Eamon: In a battle of two of the better defensive teams in the league, I’d usually side with the group with the better finishing talent; in this case, that’s clearly a Boston roster fielding Taylor Hall, David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand. However, this series is a bit more complex than that thanks to the insertion of a red hot goalie (Ilya Sorokin). I have a feeling this one goes to seven, but I’ll take Barry Trotz’s ragtag band.
Kelly: For some reason it took this year’s playoffs to make me realize that the East Division/Mostly Metro is a crashing bore of dinosaur teams that have no shot against a team like the Avalanche. How fun! Stupid Bruins in 6.
Ryan Q.: In a strange way, I’m actually kind of “rooting” for the Bruins to win this series, and I think they will. The Islanders are just such a terribly boring team to watch, and I do not want anything to do with them beyond the second round. Boston’s depth is solid and I think they’ll get the edge in the goaltending department. Something tells me this will be a long series, so I’ll take Boston in seven.
Thomas: I would love nothing more than the Islanders to get embarrassed and leave the playoffs hopeless, but we all know that isn’t going to happen. My heart is telling me Bruins, but my head is saying Isles in six.
Maddie: I really like the Hurricanes, but the fact that Nashville gave them as much trouble as they did, well, it worries me. Maybe if they get their goaltending situation back on track, they can steal this one, but I think Tampa’s really looking like the better team here. Lightning in 6.
Steve: With all apologies to the glory that is the “Bunch of Jerks”, I think Tampa Bay and their cap free bunker full of MVP level talent is just going to be too much for the Hurricanes at the end of the day. I underestimate the ‘Canes a lot and I love Rod the Bod, but this just screams Lightning in 6 to me.
Eamon: With my newly acquired lust for the destruction of everything that Carolina fans hold dear, I’ll pick them in six games in this series. Why? Because I either get the satisfaction of being correct, or I get to cackle maniacally as they writhe in pain beneath the boots of Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevsky.
Kelly: I too did not expect the Preds to give the Canes so many fits. Tampa Bay is just so stupid good, their front office gamed the system so they’ve got a roster that costs $20m more than anyone else’s, and their goaltender seems locked in. That said... screw it, my bracket is already trashed: Canes in 7.
Ryan Q.: As much as I love watching the Hurricanes, I just don’t think they have much of a realistic shot at beating Tampa. The Lightning are just so well coached and have way too much star power right now. Tampa in five.
Thomas: I am going to go blindly into this one and forget how dominant the Lightning have been all postseason. I do not need that negativity in my life, so it’s going to be Carolina in six. They are just too good to pass up and I’m banking on Sebastian Aho making a fool of Luke Schenn.
Maddie: The Golden Knights are good, but man, the Avalanche are really just looking like they’re on a whole other planet with their play right now. I do think Vegas can pull off at least one win, even if just by pure dumb luck, but the Avalanche are almost certainly taking this one. My prediction is Avalanche in 5, but I’m almost kind of hoping for Avalanche in 4, because if Game 1 was any indication of how ugly this series is going to get... closing this one out in four feels safer for all parties involved.
Steve: Yikes, that first game was ugggglyyyyyy. Colorado is just too good. The Knights might steal a game or two, but this series is the Avs’ to lose. Avalanche in 5.
Eamon: The Golden Knights are a good team, sure, but they lack the mobility and skill to keep up with Colorado. The equalizer is Marc-André Fleury, who has been electric in his postseason run thus far (please don’t look at my comments ahead of Wild vs. Knights), but I don’t think he’ll be able to keep the levy from breaking. Avs in five.
Kelly: lol Avs go bbrrrrrrr. This team might never lose again. Avs in 4.
Ryan Q.: Vegas is so good, but the Avs are one of the best teams I’ve seen in years. Colorado in five. Maybe six if Vegas gets a few lucky bounces.
Thomas: Vegas is not good and I will not pay attention to anything else anyone says. They deserve a sweep.
Maddie: I hate this matchup. I hate everything about it. This one mostly feels like a toss-up to me, but I think I’m going to take the Habs here, just because Carey Price is doing Carey Price things again. Canadiens in 6. Don’t talk to me about this matchup ever again.
Steve: Every NHL fan outside of Winnipeg and Montreal wanted Oilers-Maple Leafs. McDavid vs. Matthews could have become the new Crosby vs. Ovechkin! But instead we’ve got whatever this matchup is. Good grief. The Canadiens’ luck has to run out against a superior opponent, right? Jets in 5...hopefully...
Eamon: The Habs are a good match for Winnipeg, as this is a Jets team that’s still quite weak defensively. For Montreal’s sluggish, borderline archaic offensive approach (letting Shea Weber and Ben Chiarot trudge into the zone before yeeting the puck), this is ideal. Winnipeg possesses better high-end skill, but the young nucleus of Suzuki, Kotkaniemi, and Caufield have proven their mettle so far in high pressure situations. I’ll take the Habs winning in six on the back of another Herculean effort by Carey Price and Montreal’s superior depth.
Kelly: As the two smart youths above me have pointed out, Carey Price is doing Carey Price again. It’s very annoying that he can be average for very long swaths of time and then just decide to be amazing again. The Jets are the better team on paper but Montreal are surely feeling themselves right now. That coupled with a brick wall in their net? I’m going to say Habs in 6.
Ryan Q.: Give me Winnipeg in five! I know they’re not really all that good, but it would be so much fun to see them go on a deep run and perhaps put together some sort of Cinderella story.
Thomas: Carey Price has returned to some clutch performances, but the Jets’ offense is just too tempting to decide this one. It’s going to be tight, honestly, so I’ll squeak this one and say Habs in seven. They’re too loveable and have the nicest jerseys in the sport.