Rangers vs Capitals
No two teams have met more in the past 7 post seasons, than the New York Rangers and the Washington Capitals.
This will be the 5th time they've met since 2009. The previous 2 series both belong to the Rangers, both going to 7
games in 2012 and 2013. Beating the Penguins in 5 games the Rangers have had time to rest while the Capitals are coming
off a game seven win against the Islanders in a hard fought, high scoring series. The Capitals will definitely have the fire
power in this series coming in with the top scorer and best power play in the league. Henrik Lundqvist will have to be as good
as he was in round one and maybe better if he wants to hold off the high powered offense of the Caps. But depth and
defense belongs to the Rangers. The Rangers are built perfect for the playoffs, with a tight checking system and the ability
to roll 4 lines the entire game. For the Capitals to win this series they have to take away the Rangers speed and do what
they do best. score goals. For the Rangers to win, they need to play low scoring playoff style hockey to get the Capitals off
their game and Lundqvist will have to be the best player on the ice.
Lightning VS Canadiens
Before the playoffs started I would have said without question this match up would go to the Tampa Bay Lightning. But what
we have witnessed in the 1st round was a Canadien's team that showed us they are more than just a vezina/hart finalist
goaltender. And a Lightning team that struggled to beat Detroit in 7 games. Don't get me wrong, I still believe this is a very
good Tampa team, but to make it to the conference finals they need to shake off the jitters and show us how good they
really are. Stamkos, who has yet to score a goal in the playoffs, needs to do what he does best if they want to roll past Carey
Price. And Ben Bishop needs to be the Ben Bishop we are used to seeing in the regular season. Although Bishop shut out
Detroit in game 7, for most of the series he looked like a goalie who had never seen playoff action. For the Bolts sake, they
hope that is behind him. Montreal needs to do more of the same. Gallagher needs to keep putting up points and Price needs
to show us why he is a vezina finalist. This series could be anyone's game. Who wants it more, and who is willing to step up.
Blackhawks VS Wild
This will be the 3rd consecutive year the Blackhawks and Wild have gone head to head in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In
previous years Chicago has dispatched of the Wild fairly quickly, but this year could be different. The Wild are red hot after
knocking off one of the top scoring teams in the league, the St. Louis Blues. This year the Wild have depth and consistency
that they have lacked in previous years. On the other end of the ice, Chicago's stars seem to be in full force this post season.
So far Toews is tied for the scoring lead in the post season with 8 points and kane is right behind him with 7. Sharp and
Hossa have also been dominate so far in the post season. What will really tell the tale of this series and possibly decide who
wins, is the goal tending. In Previous years the Wilds biggest weakness, now may be their biggest strength. Devan Dubnyk
seems to be the answer the Wild have been looking for. Coming out of no where this season to being a finalist for the Vezina
trophy. After having a somewhat rocky start in the playoffs and a rough game 4, he rebounded big making saves on 66 of the
final 68 shots he faced in Games 5 and 6. Goal tending has been the biggest question for Chicago in this post season.
Crawford struggled early and was replaced with what seemed to be rookie sensation Darling, who looked fantastic. Then he
was pulled after allowing 5 goals in game 5 and 3 more in the 1st period of game 6. Crawford has come back and looked
pretty solid, but can he keep it up in round 2.
Ducks VS Flames
The Ducks are coming into this series as the team to beat in the West. While the Flames are looking to be this years
Cinderella squad. The Ducks are pretty much what you expect. Experienced, big, strong, and can do everything well. Getzlaf,
Perry, and Kessler came up big in the 1st round and also had lots of help from depth players as well. Hampus Lindholm and
Francois Beauchemin anchored the Defense with a strong showing from trade deadline pick up Simon Despres. The
Flames are the team that no one expects to win, but somehow keeps on winning. in the 1st round, 13 of the Flames
points came from rookies including top prospect Sam Bennett. Most fans thought the Flames would struggle defensively
after Captain Mark Giordano went down earlier in the season, but this group has pulled together and been solid.
Goal tending seems like a draw between these two teams. Both Hiller and Anderson have been solid, but neither are
spectacular. Both rely on good team play in front of them. From the outside this series seems like a pretty cut and dry win
for the Ducks. But if this season has taught us anything, it is to never count out the Flames.