NHL Playoffs Down to Eight: Second Round Predictions

Josh McMullenCorrespondent IApril 30, 2009

BOSTON - APRIL 16:  Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his game winning goal against the Montreal Canadiens during Game One of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs on April 16, 2009 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins defeated the Canadiens 4-2.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

We went in to the first round of NHL playoffs hoping to see exciting hockey games and we were not disappointed.

Five of the eight first-round games went to at least six games, with two of those going to seven games. 

Will it be as exciting in the second round?

McMullen’s Musings looks into the crystal ball once again to make predictions for the NHL Conference Semifinals.


Washington Capitals v. Pittsburgh Penguins

Ovechkin-Crosby looks to be one of the best matchups of the second round. But, after going seven games with the tenacious Rangers, do the Capitals have enough left in the tank to move onto the Eastern Conference finals?

It looks pretty even on both sides of the puck, but I think the Capitals won’t be able to handle a rested Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Penguins in five.


Carolina Hurricanes v. Boston Bruins

The Hurricanes are coming off a big upset of the Devils, while the top-seeded Bruins swept the Canadiens. Will it be rested or rusted for Boston?

The Bruins are a young team while Carolina has a boatload of experience. If the Bruins can keep their poise and are able to keep Carolina’s slumping power play from reemerging they should be able to shake off the rust early.

On the other hand, if the Hurricanes are able to keep Zdeno Chara in check, this could be an exciting match up.

Bruins in six.


Vancouver Canucks v. Chicago Blackhawks

The Canucks look to go up 1-0 against the Blackhawks with the Great Wall of Vancouver, Roberto Luongo, shutting out Chicago. Vancouver has been able to rest after sweeping the Blues, while the Blackhawks needed six games to beat Calgary.

The big question is: Is the NHL’s youngest team able to beat the aforementioned Luongo, who is a 12-year veteran?

The answer: Don’t hold your breath.

Canucks in five.


Anaheim Ducks v. Detroit Red Wings

The Ducks face the same situation as the Blackhawks. They needed six to defeat their first-round opponent, while the Red Wings smashed the Blue Jackets in four.

The Ducks have confidence after they beat the President’s Cup winner, but Detroit definitely has the depth advantage. Most of the Stanley Cup winning team is back from last year, and that spells a very rough time for Anaheim.

It’s Iceland all over again (D2: The Mighty Ducks reference, for those of you that don’t know).

Red Wings in four.