My Second Round Playoff Predictions

The Oilers move onto the second round so here we go with second round predictions. I did a quick scan of the round one blog and it looks like I was fortunately right on all my predictions except for the Avs-Jets series as far as the winners - most of the margins I actually got wrong which is fine by me. For the Oilers this will be only the third time in their history they've met the Canucks in the playoffs, the first being 1986 in the first round when they beat the Canucks 3-0 (I guess the first round series were only five games back then) and the second round in 1992 when the Oilers beat the Canucks 4-2. Personally I think history will repeat itself, read on for more.....:)
Edmonton Oilers v Los Angeles Kings - Game Four
Edmonton Oilers v Los Angeles Kings - Game Four / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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Eastern Conference


This is another tough one to call, because once again these are two strong teams going at it.

Both teams beat inferior teams in the first round as Tampa Bay and the Maple Laffs have both proven themselves to be nothing more than playoff contenders, not cup contenders.

The Panthers have a great edge in scoring, depth, and a slight edge in defensive play - however they are missing a key ingredient to go far in the playoffs - goaltending. Much like the Avs, the Panthers moved on to the next round largely due to weak competition. Last year Sergei Bobrovsky took this Panthers team on his back and provided the missing ingredient they needed, taking them all the way to the Cup finals. However, Bobrovsky has not been able to come up with a repeat performance this time around. He sports a weak .896 sv% and the same pedestrian 2.78 GAA that he sported in last year's playoffs. If those struggles continue, expect the Bruins' three leading scorers - David Pastrnak, the somehow ageless Brad Marchand, and Jake Debrusk - to have a field day.

On the other side, the Bruins have what I would argue is the best goalie tandem out of any of the playoff teams (and yes I include the Oilers in that lest you think I'm showing bias), with both Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark sporting identical .919 career playoff sv%s. Ullmark was only average in his one start against the Leafs, but we can probably chalk that up to a low sample size considering his playoff history. The crease right now is Swayman's to lose as he has the hot hand but Ullmark is a great 1A. It also helps that the Bruins have Pat Maroon, who appeared in four straight Cup finals winning three of them.

Like the Avs, I'm convinced the Panthers goaltending will hold them back in round two against a tougher opponent, so I'm calling this one for the Bruins.

My winner - Bruins win 4-3