No one could of predicted the outcome of Round 1 and I am sure that Round 2 won’t be any different. In Round 1 we saw the early exits of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, Florida Panthers, Chicago Blackhawks and the defending Stanley Cup Champions the Boston Bruins. Most people predicted a Penguins vs. Canucks Stanley Cup final this year but I guess that won’t be the case.We saw fights from players that don’t fight, game winning goals from rookies, earth shattering hits and a huge increase in suspensions.
In case you missed it here’s a look at some highlights from Round 1:
Here’s a preview into what we can expect to see in Round 2 of the 2012 NHL Playoffs.
The Nashville Predators will face the Phoenix Coyotes starting tonight. Nashville finished their season with 104 points while Phoenix finished their season with 97 points. These teams have faced each other four times this season and they have split the games winning two a piece. This series could prove to be a battle of the goaltenders. Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne was nominated for the Vezina Trophy this season and Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith has had a phenomenal season.
The New York Ranger have to face the Washington Capitals starting tomorrow afternoon. In their four previous meetings this season they managed to split their wins with two each. Henrik Lundqvist has been exceptional in goal for the Rangers but it’s the Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby that has been absolutely phenomenal in the post season. He held the Bruins off and managed to pull off a game 7 win with the help of Joel Ward. The Capitals are Cup hungry this season but facing the 1st place Rangers won’t be an easy task. This game will be a battle of the stars as Brad Richards and Derek Stepan will have to compete with Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.
The St. Louis Blues will begin their series against the Los Angeles Kings tomorrow night. The Blues finished their season in 2nd place in the West with 109 points while the Kings finished in 8th place with 95 points. It might seem like the Blues shouldn’t have anything to worry about but you need to remember the Kings just eliminated the 1st place Vancouver Canucks so they know what it takes to win a playoff series. This series will definitely be a battle of the goaltenders. I wouldn’t expect any high scoring games with Jonathan Quick in goal for the Kings and Brian Elliot or Jaroslav Halak in goal for the Blues. These teams have met 4 times during the regular season and the Kings won 3 of those games. 3 out of their 4 meetings resulted in shutouts for both teams. They are the top 2 defensive teams in the NHL so I would expect a close match-up between these two rivals.
The Philadelphia Flyers will start their series Sunday afternoon when they take on the New Jersey Devils. The Flyers have one for the most talked and watched first round series when they faced the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Flyers were able to eliminated the Penguins in game 6 but not before a lot of fights and drama took place between those two hockey clubs. I would expect this series to be a bit calmer than that one. The Flyers and Devils faced each other 6 times this season and they split the games three a piece. Both teams have solid goaltending but I believe these games will be high scoring games. With Flyers players like Claude Giroux, Danny Briere and Jaromir Jagr taking on Devils players like Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrik Elias and Zach Parise it can only mean one thing… lots of goals!
Well there’s a look at what I think we can expect in round two of the 2012 NHL Playoffs. I hope the games are as entertaining the the first round but without all the injuries. Let’s play hockey!!
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