It's time to make some predictions on the second round. Coolman already posted about the Western Conerence matchups but this post is more dedicated to predicting who will win.
#1 Boston Bruins vs. #6 Carolina Hurricanes
This series is the story of two teams that played two completely different series. The Boston Bruins made short work of the over-matched Montreal Canadiens with a four game sweep. The Bruins looked every bit like the best team in the Eastern Conference but their opponent contributed to that. The Montreal Canadiens looked awful through most of the four games.
The Carolina Hurricanes had to battle back against the number three seed in the Eastern Conference. They scored two goals in the final minute of game seven to advance to this series with the Bruins. The Canes play will be determined by how they react to their dramatic seven game series with the Devils. If they use that momentum they could give the Bruins a run for their money. If that series drained them physically it could be all Boston.
Prediction: Boston in 5
SB Nation Bruins Coverage: Stanley Cup of Chowder
SB Nation Canes Coverage: Canes Country
Ex-Sabres in series: Michael Leighton (Carolina), Michael Ryan (Carolina)
#3 Washington Capitals vs. #4 Pittsburgh Penguins
This will be the most hyped series ever with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on one side and Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin on the other side. I agree that it will be over-hyped but it should also be good hockey. I have watched a lot of both these teams and they are fun to watch. If you are a fan of exciting offensive hockey than this is the series to keep your eye on.
Prediction: Washington in 7
SB Nation Capitals Coverage: Japers Rink
SB Nation Penguins Coverage: Pensburgh
Ex-Sabres in Series: Phillipe Boucher (Pittsburgh), Miroslav Satan (Pittsburgh)
#2 Detroit Red Wings vs. #8 Anaheim Ducks
I'd be lying if I tried to sit here and tell you the stregnths and weaknesses of the Western Conference teams so I'll keep it simple. The Ducks upset the San Jose Sharks and it was entertaining from what I was able to see. The Wings quickly eliminated the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Prediction: Red Wings in 5
SB Nation Coverage of the Red Wings: Winging it in Motown
SB Nation Coverage of the Ducks: Battle of California
Ex-Sabres in series: Ty Conklin (Detroit)
#3 Vancouver Canucks vs. #4 Chicago Blackhawks
Not only do anticipate a highy entertaining series but for Buffalo fans this is the series to keep your eye on. Their are plenty of ex-Sabres that will take the ice in this series and Buffalo native Patrick Kane is a member of the Chicgo Blackhawks.
The key to this series will be the goalies. Both Luongo and Khabibulin were outstanding in the first round and will need to be equally as good to win this series.
Prediction: Vancouver in 7
SB Nation Coverage of the Canucks: Nucks Misconduct
SB Nation Coverage of the Blackhawks: Second City Hockey
Ex-Sabres in series: Steve Bernier (Vancouver), Taylor Pyatt (Vancouver), Brian Campbell (Chicago)