Again, lets look at my East first round picks before I begin with Round 2:
Prediction: Habs in 4; Outcome: Habs in 7
Prediction: Penguins in 6; Outcome: Penguins in 4
Prediction: Capitals in 6; Outcome: Flyers in 7
Prediction: Rangers in 5; Outcome: Rangers in 5
Another solid three-for-four makes me look good and feel confident. With exception to the Rangers, I have to work on my amount of games predictions however. Anyways, we move on to Round 2.
Montreal Canadiens (1) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (6)
Montreal wasn't as consistent as I gave them credit, and I did not give the Bruins enough. Put that together and the Canadiens take the series in 7. This time, I'm going to give the inferior Flyers some credit.
What are the major story lines for this series? First thing that jumps out for me is the power-play. Montreal was first in the regular season, yet struggled emencly against Boston. Compare that to the Flyers converting on one for every five power-play chances, and they do have the edge. The Flyers can skate as well as the Canadiens squad (with exception to Mr. Derian Hatcher), so I expect a fast-paced series much similar to the Caps/Flyers series was. Both teams can score, but I got to give the edge in net to Carey Price. That is the deciding factor in this series, and will propel the Montreal Canadiens to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Overall, I like the Montreal Canadiens in 7
Pittsburgh Penguins (2) vs. New York Rangers (5)
I said the Penguins would beat the Senators in six games, but I thought the Sens would at least put up a fight. The Penguins don't look so stacked as the series indicated so they better not get too overconfident. The Rangers have a good balance of experienced veterans and talented youth, not to mention a Vezina candidate in net. They ousted the New Jersey Devils in convincing fashion, and look to be gearing up for a playoff run. The three-headed monster of Jagr, Gomez, and Drury are producing for the Rangers, as well as Mr. Sean Avery. Jarko Ruutu can try his best to agitate the Rangers and Mr. Avery, but nobody can out-agitate the master. M.A. Fleury is in for a long series.
Overall, I like the New York Rangers in 6
That's the picks for Round 2...check back after the second round for my results and 3rd round predictions.