NHL playoffs round 2 preview

The first round of the NHL playoffs came and left with many surprises. Starting with the Eastern Conference, the New York Rangers were able to knock out the Montreal Canadiens in six games due to Montreal’s lack of scoring. The Ottawa Senators surprised many by beating the Boston Bruins in six games. Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan helped immensely with Ottawa having many injuries. Ottawa’s goalie Craig Anderson played hard for the Senators. His wife was diagnosed with cancer in February, and he’s been playing his best ever since. The Senators and Rangers will open their series in Ottawa on Thursday night, April 27th, at 6pm CT.

The reigning champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins showed no mercy against their rivals, the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Penguins defeated them in just five games with Penguins center Evgeni Malkin leading the league with 11 points in the playoffs so far. The Washington Capitals barely escaped the Toronto Maple Leafs, who drove the Capitals to six games, until Washington brought them down. Five of the six games went to overtime, which the Capitals won three of. The Capitals and Penguins will once again have a hyped up playoff series. Last year the Penguins beat the Capitals in the second round on their road to winning the cup. The teams will play game 1 in Washington D.C. on Thursday night, April 27th, at 6:30pm CT.

Now onto the Western Conference, which held many surprises. The Nashville Predators shocked the world and swept the best team in the West, the Chicago Blackhawks. No one saw this coming. Nashville has always been a dangerous team in the playoffs, but Chicago has always been the most dangerous. Goalie Pekka Rinne carried the Predators with a 0.70 GAA, 0.976 save percentage, and 2 shutouts in the four wins. He let up a total of just 3 goals, and had more points (2 assists) than any Chicago player.

The other Central Division series was the Minnesota Wild vs. the St. Louis Blues. The Wild dominated the whole series outshooting the Blues 182 to 134. The Wild couldn’t capitalize on their many chances. They only scored 8 goals, while the Blues scored 11. The goalies in this series were key. Blues’ goalie Jake Allen carried the Blues, while the Wild’s Devan Dubnyk did the best he could against a scary Blues offense. The Blues got out easily in 5 games winning both overtimes the series had. The Blues and Predators will start round 2 against each other on Wednesday, April 26th, in St. Louis at 7pm CT.

The Anaheim Ducks hosted the Calgary Flames for their series, and it was all Anaheim. The Ducks were 1 of 2 teams that swept their opponent. Anaheim won all but game 4 by one goal. In game 4 they won 3-1 to close out the series. Ryan Getzlaf led the Ducks with 3 goals and 2 assists, while Ducks’ goalie John Gibson posted a 9.26 GAA. The Ducks are heavy favorites in the West.

The Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks played to face Anaheim. The Oilers were carried by superstar Connor McDavid who led the league with 100 points at just 20 years old. Leon Draisaitl was quietly good for Edmonton scoring 77 points this season, but Edmonton was led by their goalie this series Cam Talbot. He had 2 shutouts, and besides letting up 5 goals in 1 game, he played amazing for the Oilers. The Oilers and Ducks will play Wednesday, April 26th, in Anaheim, at 9:30pm CT.

Right now the most likely teams that will play in the Stanley Cup are the Pittsburgh Penguins for the East, and the Anaheim Ducks for the West.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s