Golden knights
Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports

Preview: NHL Conference Semi-Finals Predictions – Round 2

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The Conference Quarter-Finals have concluded and for the most part it was all chalk with a couple of upsets.  The quality of play has been great, and this will be one of the most memorable postseasons in NHL history.

 

Before we get to my Conference Semi-Finals predictions, let’s see how I did in the Conference Quarter-Finals.

 

Golden Knights
Photo Credit: Airdrie City View

#1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. #12 Chicago BlackhawksPredictionVegas over Chicago in six games.

Chicago gave it their best, but Vegas was just too much for Chicago to handle. Vegas came out of this series healthy and with Robin Lehner as their undisputed starting goaltender…for now.

 

#2 Colorado Avalanche vs. #11 Arizona CoyotesPredictionColorado over Arizona in six games.

Arizona rolled over and died in this one. Not much else to say.

 

#3 Dallas Stars vs. #9 Calgary FlamesPredictionCalgary over Dallas in seven games.

After the first period of game six, the Flames were up 3-0 and I thought I would nail my prediction.  Then the second period of game six, the Flames trailed 6-3. That is about as epic collapse as a franchise can have. I have not experienced anything like that since Steve Bartman became famous in Chicago!

 

#4 St. Louis Blues vs. #7 Vancouver CanucksPredictionSt. Louis over Vancouver in five games.

The St. Louis goaltending never showed up. Vancouver is young and hungry. VGK vs. Vancouver will be a lot of fun to watch.

 

#1 Philadelphia Flyers vs. #12 Montreal CanadiansPredictionPhiladelphia over Montreal in five games.

Montreal tried to make it interesting and will go into the offseason with a “glass-half-full” approach. I am not sold on the Flyers being the class of the East.

 

#2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. #9 Columbus Blue JacketsPredictionTampa Bay over Columbus in four games.

Tampa got better as the series progressed and Columbus could not keep up. Tough to win a playoff series like that. Tampa is in form and will be tough to beat.

 

#3 Washington Capitals vs. #7 New York IslandersPredictionWashington over New York in six games.

Islanders showed up ready to play and were well-coached. I wonder what the result would have been if Barry Trotz would have still been coaching the Caps?

 

#4 Boston Bruins vs. #6 Carolina HurricanesPredictionBoston over Carolina in seven games.

Boston was too much to handle for Carolina however I am not sold that Boston will be playing for the Conference Championship.

 

The Quarter-Finals were a bit “chalky” with a couple of upsets. Who will advance from the Conference Semi-Finals? I’ll give you my predictions now!

 

Golden Knights
Photo Credit: Vegas Golden Knights

#1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. #7 Vancouver Canucks:

Plenty of skill will be on display, but like VGK’s series against Chicago, this series will be about depth and defense. VGK makes quick work of Vancouver.

PredictionVegas over Vancouver in five games.

 

 

#2 Colorado Avalanche vs. #3 Dallas Stars:

Colorado looks good, scary good. Dallas played well against a tough Calgary team. The Avalanche has much more skill than the Flames. Dallas shows up for this one, but they will not keep up.

PredictionColorado over Dallas in six games.

 

#1 Philadelphia Flyers vs. #7 New York Islanders:

I wrote off the Islanders in the last series…and I am doing it again. I do not believe in the Islanders being a legit contender.

PredictionPhiladelphia over New York in six games.

 

#2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. #4 Boston Bruins:

Make no mistake, this is the conference finals. Tampa comes into the series in nearly perfect form.  Boston has looked good, but if they allow Tampa an early lead as they did against Carolina, Boston will struggle.

PredictionTampa over Boston in six games.

 

I still feel Vegas emerges from the West, however, I am changing by Eastern Conference pick to Tampa. Vegas over Tampa in seven for the Stanley Cup.

 

Go Knights Go!

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-Chris Gawlik – Franchise Sports Media

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