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NHL 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round 2

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The second round of the playoffs has gotten ahead of me much in the same way as the first round did!

To recap:

in the East:

Ottawa put a scare into the Rangers and forced game 7 only to fall short. The Caps pulled off a huge upset of the Bruins (this is probably the first time in NHL history where the previous two Finalists lost in the first round). Philly embarrassed the Pens and the Devils snuck past the Panthers.

in the West:

L.A. pulled off a massive upset of the Canucks while the Preds pulled off a lesser upset of the Red Wings. Mike Smith stonewalled the Coyotes past the Blackhawks and the Blues made short order of the Sharks. This is a small mercy for Sharks fans as they can now get on with the rest of their lives rather than waiting another month for the inevitable collapse.

Going forward into Round 2:

(Despite each series already being two games in, I'm still going to call as I saw it before the series started)

Eastern Division

Rangers vs. Capitals - Rangers are the stronger team, although the Caps may be playing better as the underdog. Rangers in 6.

Flyers vs. Devils - The Flyers laid a pretty serious beat down on the Pens in Round 1, they may not have as easy a time of it against a more seasoned goalie in Brodeur but I think they are the stronger team.

Western Division

Blues vs. Kings - On paper I would give it to the Blues. Unfortunately, with a number of injuries piling up, they're pretty thin on the ice. The Kings are looking very solid out there and and Quick is playing hot. I expect them to ride him into the Conference Final, but my call would have been for the Blues in 5. Down 2-0, I think the Kings may sweep it.

Coyotes vs. Predators - The Predators are a strong team and have done well this season while the Coyotes limped into the playoffs, only clinching the third seed due to the retarded NHL ranking system. The Coyotes play a very disciplined, defensive brand of hockey and Mike Smith has been unstoppable. Shots on goal show that Phoenix have been outshot in every single game by a double-digit margin in some cases. In teh long run this trend will bite them in the ass hard, but not this round. I would have thought the Preds would take it in 7, but I suspect that the Coyotes will do it in 5.

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