Alright, the second round of the playoffs are finally about to begin. It feels like forever since the playoffs began to me, but that’s probably just because I’ve had a long two weeks.

That being said, I finally determined that I’m using separate entries for these on WordPress, and I’ll just link to them (Like this: https://mzrc.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/2013-14-nhl-stanley-cup-playoffs-predictions/) instead of continuously adding on to the same post back when Xanga was still a thing.

(1) Boston Bruins vs. (3) Montreal Canadiens

The Boston Bruins made fairly quick work of the Detroit Red Wings, after losing game 1 in a 1-0 shutout. And to think, had Detroit won this series, I could’ve seen them making the finals because the east is anyone’s game if the Bruins are out.

The Montreal Canadiens made even quicker work of the Tampa Bay Lightning, sweeping them. Granted, apart from Stamkos, Tampa’s really nothing, especially with St. Louis gone.

I’m so happy Bruins/Canadiens is happening – always one of the most fun series to watch. We’ve had two of the “always fun” series happening this year, and the other of the three I can think of failed. (I’ll get to that later) I’m looking forward to this series most out of the four, no question about it. While the Bruins won the President’s Trophy, Montreal has won three games against them this season, and if Carey Price can stay strong, they could pull this out – that being the case, I think Montreal could be a dark horse to come out of the east as long as they can get the goaltending. I’m still predicting the Bruins to win, but Montreal could pull it off.

(1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (2) New York Rangers

The Pittsburgh Penguins had an interesting series with the Columbus Blue Jackets, where in the first four games, one team would go up 3-1 and then lose 4-3. After going into game 5 with the series tied, the Penguins pulled out the two wins to win the series, but not before almost blowing a four goal lead in game six.

The New York Rangers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games, in what had to be the least relevant of any of the series in round one. I mean, outside of it going seven games, I’ve no idea what happened in this series. All I know is that the Flyers lost, so we’re being robbed of the Penguins/Flyers shitshows that I really wanted.

Like I said about Columbus with Pittsburgh, if the Rangers can get good goaltending, they stand a chance of defeating the Penguins. However they aren’t particularly known for their scoring, so I’d still have to give the edge to the Penguins. I think we’re probably head to a repeat Conference Final in the East. (And very possibly the West, too, but we’ll get to that.)

(1) Anaheim Ducks vs. (3) Los Angeles Kings

The Anaheim Ducks defeated the Dallas Stars in six games, in what was a closer series than I expected.

The Los Angeles Kings came back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the San Jose Sharks in seven games. (Ugh, Sharks….Why you gotta fail all the time? You make me sad.) Anyways, the Sharks went up 3-0 after scoring more goals in the first two games than they did in the entire series with the Kings last year. Presumably the series changer was Quick playing as he’s expected to, and once that happened, the Sharks had no answer. Oh well, as long as the Sharks continue to employ Raffi Torres, they deserve to fail.

I could see this series going either way, to be honest, but I’d give the edge to the Kings, considering they just came back from a three game deficit to win the series, and if Quick plays the way he’s capable of, the Kings should win.

(3) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (WC1) Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild eliminated the Colorado Avalanche in Game 7 OT, shocking anyone who doesn’t live by corsi. Advanced stats seem to be the new thing on twitter this season, and apparently the Avs have terrible corsi and they lost because of it! Math apparently always wins, and considering I have a math degree, I will accept that. But apparently since the Avalanche lost to Math, the Wild must be Math.

The Chicago Blackhawks eliminated the St. Louis Blues in six games, showing that, yet again, the Blues can be as defensive minded (and dirty) as they would like, they still cannot win. It was a very tough series, but the Hawks showed why they’re the better team, and in all honesty could’ve and should’ve won all six of those games. Game 1 the Hawks were winning with all but a few minutes left, then lost in the third OT. Easily could’ve won it. Game 2 had some questionable officiating near the end. The call on Seabrook was made after the fact, which is bogus. Either make the call immediately, or it’s not a penalty. Because referees couldn’t be consistent, the Hawks were on a five minute penalty with a 3-2 lead and one defenseman kicked from the game, and the Blues tied with six seconds left and won in OT. Instead of being up 2-0 like they could’ve and should’ve been, instead they were down 2-0, and Seabrook was suspended for three games due to even more inconsistency. One game was the correct call. Two if you’re generous to the Blues. (But why be generous to dirty teams who hit like that all the time?) It’s ok, though, because the Hawks won all three games with one of their best defenseman out, because those are the kinds of things they do. All three games were close, one a 1-0 shutout, and two games were OT wins, with Kane and Toews getting the winners. And then game six was a 5-1 slaughter to end the series. By now everyone knows the similarities between Blues/Kings last year and Blues/Hawks this year, yes? Cool, I’m not writing it out. If you haven’t, it’s not too hard to find.

The Hawks slayed their first opponent, Ryback. And now, they take on Math. Let’s not take the Wild lightly, here, though, because that would be dumb. It’s fair to say the Hawks should win this series. Let’s not discount the fact, however, that the Wild did just defeat the Avalanche. But the Avalanche does have puck possession problems – in one game they had only twelve shots – but it’s still fair to say that the Avs are a better team than the Wild, and the Wild just beat them, so they’re going to be riding high. No one would’ve expected them to get here (except advanced stats people, anyway.) But the Hawks just beat the Blues, a team just as tough as the Avs, and I mean, the Hawks are better than the Wild. As long as the Hawks, who now have home ice advantage, btw, can play as strong as they have been, they will win this series.

As usual I’ll be back with more predictions as the playoffs continue.

#LaterMarks #ButImNotWrong #BelieveInTheShield #StraightEdgeMeansImBetterThanYou #FollowTheBuzzards #IAmTheEaterOfWorlds #WalkWithTheReapers