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NHL playoffs 2019 Second round predictions

August 17, 2019

NHL playoffs 2019 Second round predictions After an upset filled first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the 2019 NHL postseasonáalready has a much different look from last season. Alláfour division winners were eliminated in the first round for the first time. Plusáall fouráteams from last seasons conference finals are out, including the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, who to a Carolina Hurricanes team that is in the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Also gone are the 62 win Tampa Bay Lightning, victims of by the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Vegas Golden Knights blew a 3 1 series lead and against the San Jose Sharks .áAnd the Winnipeg Jets were knocked off by a St. Louis Blues team that had been in last place on Jan. 3. Will the upsets continue or will sanity return to the second round? USA TODAY Sports NHL panelápicks who will advance to the conference final. Kevin Allen:áIslanders in 6.áThe Hurricanes have overflowing confidence and momentum, but they are going up against a defensive minded Islanders team that held the Penguins to 1.5 goals per game. The Islanders penalty killing is good enough, their goaltending is first rate, their offense is underrated and coach Barry Trotz is 10 months removed from leading a team to a Stanley Cup championship. But this wont be easy. Jimmy Hascup, Hurricanes in 6.áThe Islanders were first in goals against during the regular season, but their offense, power play and penalty kill all ranked 17th or worse, so its not as if the Hurricanes are meeting a juggernaut. Carolina has shown it can dominate game flow, and coach Rod BrindAmour adapted well to the Capitals. The Hurricanesádefenses ability to move the puck proved to be a weapon which was something the Penguins couldnt really do in Round 1 . Adding injured forwards Micheal Ferlund and Andrei Svechnikov at some point in this series would only help the Hurricanes cause. Mike Brehm: Hurricanes in 6.áThe Hurricanes knocked off the defending Stanley Cup champions and now they will take on the coach of that team. Former Capitals coach Barry Trotz has the Islanders playing the type of defense you need to go far. But the Hurricanes are a resilient, tight, that controlled play against Washington. They have played flawlessly at home,áand they should be able to grab one game on the road.á Jace Evans:áIslanders in 7. The Islanders have gotten plenty of rest after sweeping the Penguins. Their opponent waged a seven game war against the defending champion Capitals. The Hurricanes are relentless team, but the Isles have home ice and the best team defense left standing. Kevin Allen:áBruins in 6.áThe Blue Jackets wont surprise the Bruins like they did the Lightning. The Blue Jackets have considerable momentum, a fired up fan base and a team average 4.75 goals per game after the first round. The Bruins have a team that has been consistently top notch all season. Its not bothered by adversityáand usually finds a way to win big games.á Jimmy Hascup:áBlue Jackets in 6. After an easy first round series, the Blue Jackets will be more tested in this one. Ultimately, they are peaking at the right time, and their star players Ś forwards Matt Duchene and Artemi Panarin and defensemen Seth Jones Zach Werenski Ś are leading the way. They play a tight checking, physical style similar to the Bruins, but their depth is better and I like how goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has played in the second half. Mike Brehm:áBruins in 7. Everyone underestimated the Blue Jackets in the first round, but the Bruins are grittier than the Lightning and should be able to prevailáin a long series. Bostons do everything top line will be the key, but the Bruins also showed in Game 7 that they can get scoring from other lines. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask looked very good in his last two games. Jace Evans:áBlue Jackets in 6.áColumbus sweep of the Lightningáhardly seemed like a fluke as the Blue Jackets reached a new level. That could be trouble foráa Bruins squad that just had to go through seven games against the Maple Leafs in the first round again. Boston faced a similar scenario last season, and fell to a rested Tampa team in five. áá Kevin Allen:áStars in 6.áThe Stars line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov is the best line left in the playoffs. Goalie Jordan Binnington has been the Blues MVP since January, but Dallas goalie Ben Bishop has been more impressive during the playoffs. Bishop hadáa .945 save percentage and 1.90 goals against average in the first round. The Blues power play was sharp against the Jets, but the Stars penalty killing was perfect against the Predators. Jimmy Hascup:áStars in 7. Dallas commitment to defense has been impressive, and that generally works in the playoffs. But its the Mats Zuccarello addition that could be a difference making move as it has given them more than one threatening line. Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov combined for seven goals and 18 points in the first round and they will be hard to contain in this round. Mike Brehm: Blues in 6.áThe Stars have a great first line, but the Blues, outside of one game, held a deeper Jets team in check in the first round. Jordan Binnington had a .879 save percentage against the Stars during the regular season, but hes capable of keeping his team in games. The Blues power play will provide a bigger challenge than the terrible Predators one that the Stars faced in the first round. Jace Evans:áBlues in 6. It will be a battle of goalies. Jordan Binnington will need to be in top form again if the Blues ľ who have home ice ľáare to shut down the dynamic trio of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov. Kevin Allen:áSharks in 6.áDont youáhave to believe in the Sharks after the dramatic come from behind win against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 7?áThis could be the second rounds mostáentertaining series. Colorados Nathan MacKinnon is one of the top five players in the game and both of these teams feature a dynamic offensive attack.áIt mayátake five goals to win a couple of these games. The X factor for the Sharks will be goalie Martin Jones. He needs a save percentage of .911 or better for the Sharks to win.á Jimmy Hascup:áSharks in 6. The Avalanche have been a great story, but San Jose Ś with some help from the referees, maybe? Ś just won three in a row to defeat the Golden Knights in seven games. The Sharks simply are the more complete team their third line center is Joe Thornton compared to JT Compher in Colorado , with the experience thats crucial in the playoffs.á Mike Brehm: Avalanche in 6. The Sharks couldnt shut down the Golden Knights top players and the Avalanche offense is even more dynamicáwith Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer and the team defense were solid in shutting down the Calgary Flames stars. Jones was great in Game 6 and late in Game 7, but will he be able to repeat that for a full series? Jace Evans: Sharks in 7. The Sharks win over the Golden Knights in Game 7 was so unbelievable you almost have to think a higher power was at play ľ perhaps the Hockey Gods wanting a Stanley Cup for Joe Thornton? The Sharks managed a stunning breakthrough to the second round, and a team that many had pegged at various points throughout the season as a legitimate Cup contender might be rounding into one if Martin Jonesákeeps trending in the right direction.áá This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Related Slideshow: Best of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs provided by imagn See Full Schedule

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