Round 2 predictions here: https://mzrc.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/2015-16-stanley-cup-playoffs-predictions-conference-semifinals/
(2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (2) Tampa Bay Lightning
The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Washington Capitals in six games, proving we’ve been selling the Penguins short and we’ve been overestimating how good the Capitals were. The Capitals losing in the second round proves that they won so much and got all those points because they played 60 games vs. mediocre to shit teams. Because they played 60 games vs. mediocre to shit teams, Braden Holtby got all those wins. Braden Holtby will clearly win the Vezina. Braden Holtby clearly does not deserve the Vezina because he only got those wins because they were playing 60 games against mediocre to shit teams. Corey Crawford won tons of games for the Hawks. Corey Crawford is a major reason the Hawks even made third place in the central. Without him, who knows? But Corey Crawford isn’t nominated for the Vezina even though he’s the clear victor of it. He isn’t nominated because of an injury at the end of the season. Why? Who knows? I mean, Connor McDavid is still nominated for the Calder despite the fact that he was injured for a portion of the season. He was out for more games than Crawford was. But I guess that’s what happens where your name is Connor McDavid.
NHL awards mean nothing, clearly.
The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the New York Islanders in five games.
Since the Penguins beat the Capitals, I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t also beat the Lightning. I know the Bolts have Ben Bishop, but Holtby again is the Vezina favorite. So I have to go with the Pens.
(2) St. Louis Blues vs. (3) San Jose Sharks
The St. Louis Blues defeated the Dallas Stars in seven games, and it’s only really a wonder how it took them that long to do it.
The San Jose Sharks defeated the Nashville Predators in 7 games.
My suspicion that the Stars couldn’t beat the Blues were correct. Their d and their goaltending were awful. And their offense only brought it here and there. That being said, the Blues still failed enough to put the Stars away until the seventh game. I know that seventh game was a slaughter, but after that third game, the fact that it went past five games proves that the Blues are not as good as everyone else will have you believe. Don’t get me wrong – they’re good at what they do, and if you allow them to do it, you’re going to go down. The Blues practically slaughtered the Stars in game 3 – to the point where, if they were as good as everyone would have you believe, they’d have stayed on it and took the Stars out in 5. The Stars didn’t come back to tie it twice because they were great. They barely won games 4 and 6. It was the Blues failing to put them away. The Blues barely – and I mean barely – beat the Hawks. The Hawks moreso beat themselves. The Blues are clearly better than the Stars. But they allowed them a chance to eliminate them too. So, don’t let anyone tell you that the Blues are some kind of invincible team that will win the Cup no matter what. Literally any of the teams left can beat the Blues, for different reasons. The Blues could also beat all of the teams left. The Sharks could do it without question. They have way better goaltending than Dallas, they have grit, and they have scoring too. They could definitely beat the Blues – they already beat the Kings, and they beat the Preds who beat the Ducks. Saying the Sharks have no chance is a huge undersell of them. And if not, we’ll see what team the Blues get in the Finals, because I’m sure the Pens could beat them just as much. The least likely of the four to win the Cup is the Lightning at this point.
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