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Reviewing the NHL 1st Round Playoffs and a Preview of the Conference Semifinals
Edit Other Sports Switch to draft Preview Update Add title Reviewing Our NHL 1st Round Stanley Cup Predictions and a Preview of the Upcoming Conference Semifinals Has there ever been a better 1st Round of the Stanley Cup playoffs? Or a better weekend with 5 series all being settled by a 7th game? Or 4 of those 5 games decided by one goal, with two taking overtime to determine the winner? And there is more to come as the Conference semifinals begin tomorrow in Colorado and Florida. It is hard to imagine anything can beat what we saw over this past weekend. We had incredible goaltending, great offensive plays, physical hard-hitting hockey, and jam packed arenas with crazy fans. If you are a hockey fan, it was heaven. LET'S REVIEW OUR FIRST ROUND PREDICTIONS: Colorado vs. Nashville: The Avalanche were heavily favored in this series and they didn't disappoint anyone. Nashville gave a solid effort, but simply didn't have the horses to stay with Colorado. The Colorado scoring machine was overwhelming as the Avalanche move on against the St.Louis Blues. I picked Colorado to sweep the Predators and that's what happened. Minnesota vs. St.Louis: This is a series, which we said was too close to call, between two of the best teams in the Western Conference. We also correctly predicted, that the key for the Blues to win was goaltending. After losing two of the first three games to the Wild, St.Louis inserted Jordan Binnington into the lineup, and he found some of his 2019 Cup-winning magic, and led the Blues to three straight victories. St.Louis is as good as anyone if they get solid play from the back line and consistent goaltending. They now take on Colorado in the Conference Semifinals. I said the Wild-Blues series was a toss-up and didn't make a definite prediction, but I leaned towards Minnesota. Calgary vs. Dallas: The Flames were heavily favored against Dallas and the Stars, behind the spectacular play of goaltender Jake Oettinger stretched this series to 7 games. Oettinger stopped 272 out of the 287 shots he faced kept Dallas in the series and almost led them to the next round. But, it was obvious that Calgary was the better team and move on to face Edmonton in Round 2. I picked Calgary to win in 6 so I wasn't off very far. Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Reviewing the NHL 1st Round Playoffs and a Preview of the Conference Semifinals

Has there ever been a better 1st Round of the Stanley Cup playoffs? Or a better weekend with 5 series all being settled by a 7th game? And 4 of those 5 games decided by one goal, with two taking overtime to determine the winner? And there is more to come as the Conference semifinals begin tomorrow in Colorado and Florida. It is hard to imagine anything that can beat what we saw over this past weekend. We had incredible goaltending, great offensive plays, physical hard-hitting hockey, and jam packed arenas with crazy fans. If you follow hockey, it was heaven.

LET’S REVIEW OUR FIRST ROUND PREDICTIONS:

Colorado vs. Nashville: The Avalanche were heavily favored in this series and they didn’t disappoint anyone. Nashville gave a solid effort, but simply didn’t have the horses to stay with Colorado. The Colorado scoring machine was overwhelming as the Avalanche move on against the St.Louis Blues. I picked Colorado to sweep the Predators and that’s what happened.

Minnesota vs. St.Louis: This is a series, which we said was too close to call, between two of the best teams in the Western Conference. We also correctly predicted, that the key for the Blues to win was goaltending. After losing two of the first three games to the Wild, St.Louis inserted Jordan Binnington into the lineup, and he found some of his 2019 Cup-winning magic, and led the Blues to three straight victories. St.Louis is as good as anyone if they get solid play from the back line and consistent goaltending. They now take on Colorado in the Conference Semifinals. I said the Wild-Blues series was a toss-up and didn’t make a definite prediction, but I leaned towards Minnesota.

Calgary vs. Dallas: The Flames were heavily favored against Dallas and the Stars, behind the spectacular play of goaltender Jake Oettinger stretched this series to 7 games. Oettinger stopped 272 out of the 287 shots he faced kept Dallas in the series and almost led them to the next round. But, it was obvious that Calgary was the better team and move on to face Edmonton in Round 2. I picked Calgary to win in 6 so I wasn’t off very far.

Edmonton vs. Los Angeles: This was a weird series where neither team could establish any kind of consistency. There were constant ebbs and flows until the better team grabbed the final game to move on. That sets up a classic Semifinal Calgary-Edmonton matchup in the Battle for Alberta. I took the Oilers in 6 so I’m happy with my selection.

Florida vs. Washington: This turned into a heck of a series as the Capitals gave the favored Panthers all they wanted before falling in 6 games. Florida had to reach down deep and come behind to win the final three games. They move on to play the Lightning in what should be a classic matchup. I picked Florida in 5 or 6 so I was pretty much dead on.

Toronto vs. Tampa Bay: This matchup was as good as advertised. The Lightning was going to be tough to eliminate and the Maple Leafs gave everything they had, but in the end, the experience of the champions won the clinching Game 7. Andrei Vasilevskiy was brilliant in Game 7 and Tampa Bay’s dream of a 3rd straight Stanley Cup is still alive. My prediction was this series would go the distance and you could flip a coin as to who would win. I’m sticking with that one.

New York vs Pittsburgh: The Penguins stepped up their game and gave the favored Rangers everything they wanted. New York made an impressive after falling behind three games to one, and trailing on the scoreboard 3-1 in Game 5. They rallied to win that game and that momentum propelled them to wins in Game 6 and 7. They will play Carolina next. I picked the Rangers in 6 or 7, so give me a high five.

Carolina at Boston: The home team won every game in this series and Carolina had Game 7 at home. Boston was as tough as ever to eliminate, but this was a matchup where the better overall team won. Carolina and the Rangers in the Semifinals will be a great series. I picked Carolina in 6 and Boston played them tougher than I thought.

PREDICTING THE CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS:

Florida vs. Tampa Bay: This is a classic matchup between two great teams. PAPA DUDES PREDICTION: The series will go 7 games and flip a coin on the winner.

Carolina vs. New York Rangers: Two very good teams and evenly matched. PAPA DUDES PREDICTION: Carolina in 7

Colorado at St.Louis: The Avs are great; the Blues are near-great if the goaltending holds up. PAPA DUDES PREDICTION: Colorado in 6

Calgary at Edmonton: Don’t overlook the Flames. They were held down by an incredible goaltending performance from Jake Oettinger. PAPA DUDES PREDICTION: Calgary in 6

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