Round one was buckwild. Every division champion got eliminated, we got some very unlikely sweeps, and we got some dramatic games seven. There’s no way round two can match it, but let’s make predictions anyway.
Let’s visit with Keith, a coin.
You know Keith, right?
Keith, a Coin, III, is a 2002 quarter minted in Pennsylvania. He is the heir to the lands and titles of of Keith, a Coin, II, who has been lost. He is right half of the time.
The results so far, using the universally recognized toilet-or-taco system.
|Columbus beat Tampa||🚽||🌮||🌮|
|Boston beat Toronto||🌮||🚽||🌮|
|Carolina beat Washington||🚽||🚽||🚽|
|New York beat Pittsburgh||🚽||🚽||🌮|
|San Jose beat Vegas||🚽||🚽||🚽|
|Colorado beat Calgary||🚽||🌮||🚽|
|St Louis beat Winnipeg||🌮||🚽||🚽|
|Dallas beat Nashville||🌮||🚽||🚽|
Okay, here come new picks.
Peter: The head and the heart diverge here. I’m secretly, quietly rooting for Lumbus, but I think they’re outmatched by a Bruins team that does almost everything right. Still, I was very very impressed by the Blue Jackets in round one, and if Sergei Bobrovsky can keep it up, this might go the distance. Give me Boston in 6.
Ian: First, I picked Tampa Bay to lose last round so no matter what happens here on out, I won. Now on to these suckers. The Boston Bruins, whom I hate, defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in a really entertaining and violent seven-game series. The Bruins aren’t world beaters in the regular season, but their type of hockey really translates well in the postseason. And so does Brad Marchand [shakes fist] who had nine points in the series. Meanwhile, those happy, partying Columbus Blue Jackets are fresh off their first playoff series win ever against one of the greatest regular-season teams in NHL history. Ultimately, I think that’s what’s going to cost them. That was their Stanley Cup. Beating Boston is not going to have the same urgency. BOBROVSKY, YOURE OFF THE CASE. Boston in 6.
Peter: I think the Islanders are massively overrated. What they did well in the early season, especially defensively, pretty much vanished after February. And while they felled the Penguins in four straight games, I chalk a lot of that up to Pittsburgh’s roster ineptitude rather than some New York magic. The Canes should get Svechnikov back during this series, and I expect this to be a bigger mismatch than Caps-Canes. Carolina in 5.
Ian: As we all painfully witnessed in the first round, the Carolina Hurricanes are one of the best 5v5 teams in the league. During Double Overtime in Game Seven, the Hurricanes made it look like they were doing a 30-minute power-play drill on the Capitals. Skill-wise, I think the Hurricanes have the edge. And forechecking wise, I think they’ll take the Isles to the woodshed. But this series is difficult for me to predict because the Isles have been outrunning league averages and outperforming expectations all season long. It’s to the point where it’s nonsensical. The skaters have a high shooting percentage due to their speed and their dedication to Barry Trotz’s system. They have goaltending that is playing out of its mind because of Mitch Korn. I think this might be one of the best series in the postseason this year. But give me Carolina in 7.
Peter: I was very happy for the Stars to beat the (massively overrated) Predators, but I think this is the end of the line. Craig Berube’s Blues have been really good, even apart from Jordan Binnington’s work in net. I’m sorry to say it, but Jamie Benn is finally going down. St Louis in 6.
Ian: It’s hard for me to get behind St. Louis because I saw what Craig Berube did to Philadelphia during his time as head coach and this magical run seems bizarre to me. The Blues’ series win last round seems flukey and I think the Stars are a legitimately good team that can both grind it out and win with skill. John Klingberg scoring that huge series-winning goal over the Preds will give them a huge boost of energy coming into the next round. Dallas in 5.
Keith: St Louis.
Peter: What if Martin Jones has a playoff mode where he’s not hot garbage? I was wrong in picking him to drop to Vegas last round, so now I will overcorrect: Martin Jones, playoff MVP. Not exactly though, and even if he’s saving under .900, San Jose has enough weapons to make life miserable for my child Philipp Grubauer. It’ll be close, but I’ll take San Jose in 7.
Ian: Imagine gluing skates to the bottom of a metal trash can. That object would be a better goaltender than Martin Jones. No, I cannot and will not pick the Sharks – even after their insane series-stealing win against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Seven. There’s just something about these Avs. Maybe they found their, uh, Pete Davidson energy after Nikita Zadorov threatened Tom Wilson after his fight with Ian Cole. Y’all, Colorado in 6.
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