After a mediocre shot at predicting the outcome in the first round of the NHL playoffs, we'll tee it up again and try to figure out who will make the conference finals in a couple of weeks.
In the Western Conference, I correctly picked three of four series, including the Kings' upset of the President's Trophy toting Vancouver Canucks. My miss was not picking the Predators next opponent, the Phoenix Coyotes, to get past Chicago.
The Eastern Conference was tough for everyone with three series going to game seven. I correctly picked the Rangers advancing and the Devils getting past Florida. I totally blew it on the Pens, who I thought would go to the finals, and even though I predicted seven games for the Bruins-Caps, I did not see Washington beating the defending Stanley Cup champs.
Make the jump for my second round picks...
(1) New York Rangers vs (7) Washington Capitals - Both teams are on equal footing, having just completed tough seven game series. The Rangers have not looked as good in the last couple of months as they did earlier in the season, while the Caps seem to be hitting their stride at this point. It will be a long series (good for NBC) where either team could win on something fluky in game seven but I'm going out on a limb on this one. - Capitals in seven
(5) Philadelphia Flyers vs (6) New Jersey Devils - The Flyers are the most rested team in the East and should come out hungry in the opening game. The Devils played just well enough to win against a scrappy Florida team while Philadelphia and Pittsburgh made a mockery of the game of hockey in their brutal series. I think this will be a much cleaner match but the Flyers have too much firepower for the Devils. - Flyers in five
(2) St. Louis Blues vs (2) Los Angeles Kings (8) - I have been on the Kings bandwagon for two years and they finally made one of my predictions come true in the opening round. This match will be a battle of top goaltenders with quality at both ends of the ice. I think it will be a longer series and will be a test for two playoff tested coaches. I'm going to pick another upset. Kings in six
(3) Phoenix Coyotes (3) vs Nashville Predators (4) - This series has the potential to be one of the least watched second round series in playoff history with a small fan base in the desert and only the reputation of the Preds as a draw in Canada and the US major markets. This will also be a battle of goalies and defense, but the Predators are much deeper on the forward side and their big guns will break out in this round. My pick will be the same as it was in the first round and will be the first time a Predators playoff series did not end at Bridgestone Arena. Predators in five
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass