The 2nd Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

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Photo Courtesy: NHL.com

The 1st Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs had us see plenty of headlines and now we are on to the 2nd Round. Before we preview the Conference Semis, we’re going to recap the 1st round.

Headline #1:
Without any doubt the headline story of round 1 has got to be the Nashville Predators becoming the 1st team since the St. Louis Blues in 1993, 24 years ago, to sweep the Chicago Blackhawks in a playoff series. Not only did the Predators look like the better team but they dominated Chicago in a way we’ve almost haven’t seen Chicago dominated too often.

Was this just the Predators catching Chicago on an off week? or Did this show that the gap between The Blackhawks and the rest of the Western Conference has started to close? Either way, The Predators should be given all the props for what they did to Chicago.

Headline #2:
The Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets before the season many people [Myself included] thought these 2 would be dark horse contenders and just miss out on the postseason. Boy, were we wrong!! These 2 teams surprised all of us and got much further than any of us thought that they did. Now, going into the 2017-18 season these two will among a host of teams that are considered playoff contenders.

Headline #3
Edmonton and Ottawa, the 2 remaining Canadian teams in the playoffs, bought ended long playoff series win droughts in round 1. Now they look to build on that momentum as they take on Anaheim and New York respectively.

We now move on to the 2nd round matchups and preview these series.

The East:

New York Rangers vs Ottawa Senators

This is only the 2nd time these 2 teams have met in the postseason. The last time was in the 2012 playoff in which the Rangers won in 7 games.

The Senators are led by Derick Brassard, Bobby Ryan, and Erik Karlsson, who combined had; 6 Goals – 15 Assists = 21 points in the series vs Boston. They account for 51% of the Senators postseason production.

For the Rangers their attack is more spread out, Mika Zibadejad is their leading scorer in the postseason with 4 points (a goal and 3 assists).

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals

For the 10th time in their histories, The Penguins and the Capitals will meet in a postseason series. The Penguins own a 34-21 edge in the 55 postseason games played between the 2 teams. they’ve trailed in 8 the previous 9 series and win all but 1 of them, the 1994 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal.

Of course, these 2 met in the 2nd round last year and the Penguins won it in 6 games. The Penguins 5-and-outed Columbus in the 1st round, while the Capitals 6-and-outed the Toronto Maple Leafs in round 1.

This is by far, the most headline-worthy series of the 2nd round for the 2nd straight year and if last year is any indicator – we’re in for quite a series this year. Of course, people will talk about this being Sidney Crosby vs Alex Ovechkin meeting in the postseason again. Yes, Sidney Crosby owns a 37-22 edge All-Time vs Alex Ovechkin, but don’t let them be the only reason why this series is a must-see.

The West:

Edmonton Oilers vs Anaheim Ducks

The Oilers and the Ducks are meeting for the 1st time in the playoffs since the 2006 Western Final, a series the Oilers won in 5 games to advance to the Final where they lost in 7 to Carolina.

The Oilers got into this 2nd round by 6-and-outing the San Jose Sharks, while the Ducks 4-and-outed the Calgary Flames to advance to Round 2. This is a matchup of the top 2 teams in the Pacific Division this year.

Nashville Predators vs St. Louis Blues

For the 1st time ever, the Predators and the Blues will face each other in a postseason series. The Blues 5-and-outed Minnesota and the Predators, of course, 4-and-outed Chicago.

That’s a look at the 2nd round, what sort of thrills will Round #2 give up? We’ll find out starting tomorrow night.


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