Roundtable: Round 2...fight!

Doug Pensinger

FFH staff takes a crack at predicting round two after an exhilarating opening round of playoff hockey.

SB Nation 2014 NHL Playoff Bracket

Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins

Jaime Eisner: Original Six match-ups don't usually excite me all that much, but when the Bruins and Canadiens faceoff, it's always a treat. These two teams hate each other and their fanbases hate each other. Montreal walked all over Tampa Bay in the first round while Boston handled, but did not dominate, Detroit. Montreal is the faster team while Boston is better overall. The B's take this series but the Canadiens will play them tough in what could become a classic. Boston in 7

Brendan Porter: This is going to be a fun one. These two teams hate each other, and the Price v. Bishop goalie matchup we were all deprived of in the first round will be made up for by a Price v. Rask matchup. Boston is considerably deeper on offense though, so I think the Bruins win this series. Boston in 6

Christopher Hair: Les Habitants looked darn good in dispatching the patchwork Lightning, but the Bruins looked pretty much like I expected them to against Detroit. The Wings put up more resistance than I suspected, but the Bruins handled them easily. As much as the B's have struggled against the Canadiens in recent years, I don't see Montreal having enough to get past the stifling Boston team. Boston in 6.

Carl Pavlock: Montreal was great in its first series against an injured Tampa Bay team, but I'm not sure they are up to the challenge that is the Bruins. I do think this series has the potential to last longer than I had have initially thought. Montreal had enough time to rest and they are facing a team that they hate so they have the motivation to not get rusty. I don't think that will be enough for them to win the series though. Boston in 6

New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Brendan: The Rangers barely managed to survive Steve Mason and the Philadelphia Flyers, and Henrik Lundqvist had a largely subpar series by his usual standards. But I like New York in this series, because I think Lundqvist is a much better goaltender than Marc-Andre Fleury, and if the Rangers power play needs any kind of jump start, the unfathomably poorly functioning Pittsburgh penalty kill would be a good way for them to break out of their slump. New York in 6

Carl: This is probably the hardest game to pick of this round and I do think the two teams are both really good which is why they advanced to this point. The Penguins were good in the regular season so they got to face an easy opponent, the Rangers were also good and are coming off a hard fought series against the Flyers. The New York/Philadelphia series was full of high scoring games which I think shows a bit of a weakness for NY, they allowed Philly to score four goals in one game and five goals in another.  Normally I would give New York the edge in goal, which I still do to an extent, but those two games make me wonder if there is something else going on. Pittsburgh in 7

Jaime: As good as the West is, for my money, the East will host the two best match-ups of the second round. Pittsburgh constantly feels like a ticking time bomb with Fleury in net and has become the trendy team to be upset the last couple years. Evgeni Malkin found his groove in game 6, but the world is still waiting for Sidney Crosby to score (although he has six assists). Pittsburgh's top-six is formidable, but the Rangers have a significant advantage on the blueline and in net. Defense wins out. New York in 7

Christopher: Curse the Blueshirts. Not only did they rob all of us of seeing another Pitt/Philly postseason clash, but they were the only team to upset my perfect first round predictions. Just for that, I'm spiting them and picking the Penguins in a sweep. Go home Rangers, no one wants to see you here! Pittsburgh in 4

Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Christopher: Bryzgalov versus the Blackhawks. Quick, buy up all the stock you can in red light bulbs, because the arenas are going to burn through goal-lamps in record numbers in this one. The Wild should have beaten the Avs sooner had Kuemper been the starter from jump and Bryz has been playoff bad since game 7 against the Red Wings in 2010. Seriously, since the start of that game, here are his numbers in the playoffs: 19 games, 68 goals allowed, 1049 minutes played, .879 Sv% and a 3.89 GAA. Against the defending Cup champs. No thank you. Chicago in 5

Jaime: Congratulations Minnesota, you have now earned the right to face the defending Stanley Cup champions. This series is simple. Chicago is very good and just beat a team better than the Wild. Minnesota dispatched the surprisingly good Avalanche in OT of game 7, but remains a below average possession team with goaltending issues. The Hawks will eat Bryzgalov, Kuemper or whomever else alive. Chicago in 5

Carl: I am trying to think of a situation where the Wild even have a chance against the Blackhawks and the only thing I can think of is a gang of aliens steal the Blackhawks' talent in order to win a hockey game so they can enslave the characters from the Mighty Ducks cartoon. Chicago in 4

Brendan: It took overtime in seven games for Minnesota to beat a Colorado Avalanche team that was horrific in possession, and they may have lost their starting third string goaltender in the process. That means Bryzgalov is their goalie going up against the second best possession team in the NHL that has also had a few days to rest and recuperate. This one is going to be a bloodbath. Chicago in 4

Los Angeles Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks

Carl: As much as I hate to admit it, the Kings are a really good team, while the Ducks are an okay team that was really lucky throughout most of the season. The Ducks just have so many weaknesses, and they just barely managed to squeak by a Dallas team who is good and getting better, but I don't think they are there yet. LA on the other hand crawled the way back from a tough hole, that they admittedly dug themselves in, but they managed to come back against a legit team and win the series. Los Angeles in 5

Christopher: The Kings just survived a vicious battle with San Jose while sending the Sharks home with another major playoff disappointment. The Ducks enter the series with more questions than they did to start the playoffs, as their defense and goaltending looked awful against the Stars. The Kings want this match-up and the Ducks have to hope the effort to overcome a 3-0 hole have left the Kings with a lot less fuel in the tank. The extra time off has helped Getzlaf get back healthy, but the Ducks porous defense will cost them. Los Angeles in 6

Brendan: The Kings made me the most hated person in my playoff pool by coming back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the San Jose Sharks. Jonathan Quick looked a lot more like his old self down the stretch, and Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty continue to be offensive forces for the Kings. The Ducks have all kinds of issues in goal between Frederik Andersen and Jonas Hiller, so I doubt LA is going to find itself in that deep of a hole this time around. Los Angeles in 5

Jaime: Well, well, well. Left for dead more than a week ago, the Kings find themselves back on track, winners of four in a row, after completing the reverse sweep of San Jose. The battle of SoCal should be very interesting as Los Angeles is the better team, but the Ducks went 4-0-1 against them this season. LA has too much balance and the advantage in net. My pick to win the Cup stays alive. Los Angeles in 6

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