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2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs: PHT’s Round 2 picks

May 1, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT


Aaaaaand we’re back with another round of ProHockeyTalk staff picks! Round 1 was good for some (Brough and Yerdon went 7-1), OK for others (me, O’Brien and Tucker went 5-for-8)… and then there was Dadoun (4-for-8. Hard lines, Ryan.)

That being said, there’s good news for PHT’s resident keyboard monkeys — our Stanley Cup picks are all still alive! Not sure we should be celebrating how teams we picked to win four playoff rounds merely made it past the opening one, but here we are. Live with it.

As for the comments section — plenty of people submitted their picks, but one set stood out: Comeonnowguys’ Western Conference predictions of Ducks in 6, Kings in 7, Wild in 6 and ‘Hawks in 6. Nearly a perfect game, save Minnesota winning in 7. Well done, Comeonnowguys. I’d offer you a prize but based on what’s available in front of me right now, you’d be getting a day-old Starbucks cup with some grinds floating at the bottom. Yours if you want it though.

Onto Round 2 we go…

Western Conference

Anaheim vs. Los Angeles

Halford: Kings in 7

Brough: Kings in 6

Yerdon: Kings in 6

O’Brien: Kings in 5

Dadoun: Ducks in 7

Tucker: Kings in 7

Chicago vs. Minnesota

Halford: ‘Hawks in 6

Brough: ‘Hawks in 5

Yerdon: ‘Hawks in 5

O’Brien: ‘Hawks in 5

Dadoun: ‘Hawks in 5

Tucker: ‘Hawks in 6

Eastern Conference

Boston vs. Montreal

Halford: Habs in 7

Brough: Bruins in 7

Yerdon: Bruins in 7

O’Brien: Bruins in 6

Dadoun: Bruins in 6

Tucker: Bruins in 7

New York vs. Pittsburgh

Halford: Pens in 6

Brough: Pens in 7

Yerdon: Rangers in 7

O’Brien: Rangers in 6

Dadoun: Rangers in 6

Tucker: Rangers in 6

  1. sjtorpitt - May 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    It could easily be the same conference finals as last year. The only one I’m not sold on is Pit-NYR

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 1, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      I think Pittsburgh had a difficult time dealing with depth that had grit to it. A portion of that grit used to be part of the Rangers. I see Pittsburgh having to make some adjustments but they are more than offensively capable of getting past the 5 goalies.

      Their offense is more naturely skilled, is better coached, gets better offensive assistance from their defensemen, and has more center depth for line adjustments.

      Good news for the Pens though is when the Flyers got past the 5 goalies, Henry was easily exposed.

      Bad news is, every shift is a variable for Pittsburgh when you have Fleury in net.

      • bwayblueshirt - May 1, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        I like the Rangers in this series (obviously) but only if they can find their cycle. Far too many times against the Flyers (especially on the PP) they were moving the puck well, but they couldn’t open up a shooting lane to save their lives. If they can’t keep their feet moving on the cycle then even Fleury will be able to make the save.

  2. parasolmonster - May 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Comeonnowguys getting props in an article? Well done.

    Now what’ll happen in Rd 2, Nostradamus?

    • comeonnowguys - May 1, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      :) Regression to the mean sets in and every one of my picks is wrong.

  3. ironyisadeadscene - May 1, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    Bruins in 6
    Ducks in 6
    Hawks in 5
    Rangers in 7

  4. joey4id - May 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Kings (6) – goaltending and grinding play will make the difference
    Hawks (5) – goaltending, killer gamers, and one of the best defensive systems with attention to details, plus playoff experience
    Bruins (6) – superior physicality, d play, and goaltending
    Rangers (6) – better goaltending, d play, and consistent play. Rangers can protect a lead much better than the Pens.

    • joey4id - May 1, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      BTW, my choices are not predicated by the fact that I would like to see a run to the SC championship by the Bruins requiring them to beat only original 6 teams. It’s all about seeing “past history” repeat itself. It would be nice to see a Canadian team win the cup, but the Habs are lacking size to make it.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 1, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        I think a huge portion of the Pens chances has to do with how Bylsma is coaching the team after they defeated the Blue Jackets. If anyone in that Pittsburgh locker room thinks their play in the Columbus series will get them past NY, Boston or Montreal, then they’re going to struggle bad and go out in smoke. Even with Fleury’s poor play, that series was too close for a depth team like the Pens.

        It’ll be interesting to see how the Pens respond.

      • hockey412 - May 1, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        I’m not sure I agree that the Pens are all that deep (and I didn’t think Fleury’s play was all that bad outside of a few minutes of one game).

        So there.

    • dirt2013 - May 1, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      Outside of the end of one game MAF was probably the Pens best player so I wonder if you saw any of that series.

      • joey4id - May 1, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        Of course not. I’m a dumb a$$ who writes smack about anyone with not a shred of background information. Now! Shoo!

  5. hockey412 - May 1, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    I’m a little surprised that the Ducks didn’t get much love there, they seemed to do ok against the Kings in the regular season.

    (I am aware this is not the regular season, and I’m aware that the regular season has no bearing in the playoffs).

    Is it purely the goaltending issue, or the playoff stigmatism?

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 1, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      Quick vs Hiller/Andersen is a big X-Factor.

      Game 4, 5, 6, and 7 was the real Quick.

      Everyone on the Kings needed a wake up call after game 3.

      Another reason why Sutter is an excellent coach.

      • areaman714 - May 1, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        Games 4,5,6, and 7 were the real Sharks in the playoffs. The Kings will look like they are skating in mud to the Ducks after the Stars series.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 1, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        The Sharks had an excellent offense. Their coach just had no answer when the coach on the other side made adjustments. Their leadership went down for the count as well.

        However, the Ducks offense revolves too much around two players than the Kings offense does.

        Anaheim may have a slightly better edge on defense but Quick is light years ahead of Hiller or Andersen.

        Kings aren’t going to be as easily contained as you think they are.

      • areaman714 - May 1, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        The Ducks aren’t easy to contain x 10 over the Kings. The Ducks having two super duper stars is never a negative. The Kings look more “well-balanced” because their stars do not score nearly as prolifically as the Ducks stars do. Beating the Sharks in the playoffs is not a litmus test . . . everyone does it. A marginally good Ducks team beat a much better Sharks (President’s Trophy) team a few years back as an 8 seed.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 1, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        To be fair, beating the Stars wasn’t really a litmus test either.

        We’ll see who’s right.

        I’m thinking LA in 6 but as long as it’s a good series, that’s all I care about.

        I wouldn’t minding seeing LA or ANA vs CHI for the conference Finals.

        Good luck to your team.

      • areaman714 - May 1, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        Yep. I am warming to the keep it in Southern California theme . . . Luke warm. I think the Ducks in 5, 6, or 7. I think they can steal one in LA.

  6. pirovash88 - May 1, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Kings in 6
    Hawks in 6
    Bruins in 7
    Rangers in 7

  7. valoisvipers - May 1, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Bruins in 5- Bruins layers and Rask are too much for the Smurfs to overcome.
    Pens in 7- Pens offense and home ice will prevail over Flower,Hank and the Rags
    Hawks in-5 Too much experience for a contented Wild team to beat.
    Kings- 4 Quick,Quick and Quick.Need I say more. I will, L.A’s depth and experience.

  8. McFaddensPulledHammy - May 1, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Kings (6) – Quick looked like the 2012 version in games 5-7; can he keep it up?
    Hawks (7) – Not as easy as some think, who can get their style established? In the end, Wild’s goalie questions are too much to overcome.
    Habs (7) – Carey Price ends up being the best player in the series. Ends up being the most exciting series of the four.
    Rangers (6) – Substitute Henrik Lundqvist for Carey Price from above; Pens offense has been known go into hibernation for stretches and MAF can have a meltdown at any time.

  9. ta3formforged - May 1, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Bruins in 7
    Pens in 5
    Ducks in 6
    Wild in 6

  10. strictlythedanks - May 1, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Bruins in 6
    Pens in 5
    Duck in 7
    Wild in 7

  11. steelpenbucs87 - May 1, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Bruins in 6
    Pens in 6
    Kings in 5 (riding the wave from last round)
    Hawks in 5

    Short series this time around fellas

  12. lbeezyse - May 1, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    I’m so glad that ESPN doesn’t cover much hockey. I cannot take the massive amount of un-informed trolls over there. According to Hawks fans Crawford is better than Quick, Rask, Varly, and every other goalie to even don the pads. I get that the Hawks are good, but everyone seems to be writing off the Wild early on. I expect a good hard-nosed series between the two teams. They are more evenly matched than last year and the Wild will be riding a huge wave of momentum going into tomorrow night. Wild in 6.

    • lbeezyse - May 1, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      Oh and Bruins, Ducks, and NYR.

    • onlineinsite - May 1, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      Agreed. I’d say the Hawks are about where they were last year, but the Wild are much deeper/faster/skilled than a year ago when the two teams met. This will allow the Wild to score more, and slow down the Hawks. The X factor is goaltending. If it’s Bryz for MN, then Hawks in 6, if not, and DK can get back in top form, it’s Wild in 7.

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - May 1, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      Whatever Hawks fans you are talking to or hearing from are dillusional and just homers. I am a lifelong Hawks fan and Quick is much better than Crow.

      I agree that the series will be much more competetive than people think. With that being said, this series will be dictated by who can force their style of play on the other team for longer periods of time. I think that will be Chicago because the Wild goalie situation is somewhat unstable. There will be games where the Wild are down by two goals and will want to open up the ice and get the defense involved, which can’t happen against The Indianhead.

      • lbeezyse - May 1, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        +1 for Hawks fans. -1 for Hawks trolls. Nice to see some logic around here. I agree with everything you said. Even though both teams are defensive powers, I think this will be a high scoring series. Both teams have 4 lines who can put points on the board as well as D-men who can score. For the sake of us fans I hope it goes 6-7 games. Hopefully that will help reignite an old Norris rivalry! Go Wild.

  13. getadealdonealready - May 1, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    No love for my WILD, it’s time to shock the hockey world!

    Kings (6)
    Wild (7)
    Bruins (6)
    Rangers (7)

    • tronn25 - May 1, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      I’m surprised Halford didn’t take the Canucks to win it all. That guy is absolutely clueless.

      Kings in 6
      Wild in 7
      Bruins in 6
      Penguins in 7

      • Mike Halford - May 1, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        I did pick them to beat Winnipeg in the Smythe Division semis tho

      • imleftcoast - May 1, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        Canucks came back from 3-1 to beat the Jets in seven games. How come that never gets mentioned as one of the great comebacks? All people remember is how good the Oilers were. Biased I’d say.

    • credible316 - May 1, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      All the “experts” said Avs in 5. I think we match up against Chicago better than everybody thinks. It all comes down to goaltending, for both teams.

      GO WILD!!

      • joey4id - May 1, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        and who as the edge in that category?

      • credible316 - May 1, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        @joey4id –

        No doubt Chicago has the edge in the net, but Crawford hasn’t been exactly stellar.

      • tved12 - May 1, 2014 at 1:42 PM

        I actually think it comes down to the play in front of the goalie, like it has all year for the Wild.

        I don’t believe Crawford is a great goalie, just like I don’t think Kuemper is great, but they both have teams who play defense the right way. Not a lot of shots given up and not from great angles so their goalies don’t have to make many great saves.

        My heart says Wild in 6 so that’s how I’m going. The way they do it is giving up about 22 shots per game and winning 3 one goal games.

        Wild (6)
        Kings (7)
        Habs (7)
        Pens (6)

  14. lbeezyse - May 1, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    I give more credit to the Chi defense corps than Crawford. No doubt that on paper the Hawks have the edge, but you can toss the paper out in the playoffs. All the pundits picked the Aves in 5 and said they were the better team. Except Burnside…Can you believe that?? The Wild outplayed the Aves a majority of the series and will have momentum behind them. Will it matter? Who knows, but I do think that this will be a very close series.

  15. micasa81 - May 1, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Bruins in 6 – Bs keep it together, Rask out-duels Price
    Pens in 7 – Big guns for Pitt find their stride late in the series
    Kings in 7 – Quick is back and Ducks’ goalies look shaky
    Hawks in 6 – Closer than last year, but sheer firepower and experience does Minny in

  16. comeonnowguys - May 1, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Wow, what did I have for breakfast that day?

    Going another week without being banned from the site is plenty prize enough, gentlemen.

    Pushing my luck:
    Ducks in 6
    Hawks in 5
    Habs in 7
    Rangers in 5

    • jhuck92 - May 1, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      You probably forgot to drink your haterade that morning haha

  17. beyor35 - May 1, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    LA in 7
    Chicago in 5
    Rangers in 7
    Bruins in 6

  18. afrancis55 - May 1, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    Kings in 7
    Hawks in 6
    Pens in 7
    Bruins in 5

    A side note, the hawks are lucky Minnesota beat Colorado last night because I think the Avs matchup with the hawks better than anyone else in these playoffs except maybe Boston, and While Chicago gets lucky this round Montreal does not as they don’t get to face a backup goalie with no business being in the NHL(Lindback).

    Good luck to the fans of the remaining teams!

    • tved12 - May 1, 2014 at 2:50 PM

      I have to disagree. The Avs play the same type of game as the Hawks, just not as good. Their offensively similar, fast and skilled, but defensively the Hawks would crush them.

      Think what the Hawks offense would have done to the Avs, considering the Wild were able to absolutely expose Varlomov.

      • lbeezyse - May 1, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        I disagree as well. Both the Hawks and Aves can score, but only the Hawks bring a defense to the party. Varly single handily kept the Aves in the series. I think the Wild match up way better with the Hawks in many ways. The Hawks have a high powered offense, but so did the Aves and they were shut down for most of the 1st round.

  19. jhuck92 - May 1, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Ducks in 6

    ‘Hawks in a 4-game sweep (I’m not sold on the Wild goaltending if Kuemper is out for any amount of time. Bryz won’t need to worry about bears in the forest when he’ll have Blackhawks in his face)

    Rangers in 7 (If Fleury had that much trouble against Columbus, he’s going to get a lot more from New York)

    Bruins in a 6-game bloodbath, but it could just as easily be the Habs (I feel bad for whoever is going to come limping out of that series)

    • killerpgh - May 1, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      What makes you think the Rangers have a better offense? The BJ’s scored 226 goals in the regular season (2.76 goals per game) and the Rangers scored 214 goals (2.61 gpg)

      • jhuck92 - May 1, 2014 at 8:02 PM

        That was the regular season. The Rangers have better defense.

  20. navyeoddavee9 - May 1, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    I think the Pens beat the Rangers in 6, can’t see Crosby staying dormant in the goals department, and Malkin woke up in game 6 vs the Jackets, I think he keeps it up.

  21. dueman - May 1, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    I’m not sure why so many people think that the Wild will take the Hawks? To me that series seems like the easiest one to predict. That said, crazier things have happened….

    Hawks in 5
    Ducks in 6
    Bruins in 7
    Pens in 6

    • tved12 - May 1, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      By so many people, do you mean Wild fans? Because we’d rather have hope then just lay down for a team we played well against this year.

      That said, I have seen like 3 or 4 people say the Wild will take it to the Hawks. Not that many.

  22. killerpgh - May 1, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Kings in 6
    Blackhawks in 6
    Penguins in 6
    Habs in 7

  23. stangshockey12 - May 1, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    I don’t understand why everybody thinks that Fleury has played bad… He has been the best Pens player other than those few bad minutes

    • stakex - May 1, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      Not really. Even when he wasn’t having a melt down, his numbers were average at best…. .908 S% and 2.81 GAA. He allowed 3 or more goals in five of six games the Pens played in round one…. and the only reason they advanced is because they still managed to win three of those.

      If he continues to play that “good”, the Pens are going to have a rough go of it in the next round.

  24. imnotyourbuddyguy - May 1, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    Bruins in 5
    Kings in 4
    Hawks in 5
    Pens in 7

  25. tipdrill84 - May 1, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    Pens in 7
    Hawks in 5
    Kings in 6
    Habs in 7 <-(eventual SC champs)

  26. ndrick731 - May 1, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    Don’t think anybody but the pens will win cup this year. NHL will do what is necessary to ensure that. Winner of the phi-ny series has to play 5 games in 7 days. Was this because of conflicts with other events scheduled at MSG or WFC. No, in fact they moved a Miley Cyrus concert to schedule it that way. So all the pens fans can now start with the crap that it’s not true but fans of every other team in the nhl knows it true.

    • getadealdonealready - May 1, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      You may think otherwise, but I imagine that the schedule is driven by TV, notice they never showed more than one game at 6, so with that in mind I’m sure they had to be creative to schedule eastern teams as I feel it’s a huge inconvenience for a CTZ team to play at 8:30, I would guess it would be just dumb to have eastern conference teams play so late. With that said not happy aout 8:30 start times for the MN/CHI series, what the heck people have to be to work in the AM, makes it real tough when you aren’t getting home until after 1pm on a weeknight!

  27. crusty14 - May 1, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    Bruins in 6
    Pens in 7
    Chicago in 6
    Ducks in 7

  28. stakex - May 1, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    Bruins in 5
    Rangers in 6
    Chicago in 5
    Ducks in 7

  29. aaawall91 - May 1, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    LA in 7
    CHI in 4
    CAN in 7
    NYR in 6

  30. aldog83 - May 2, 2014 at 12:42 AM

    How many of these “PHT pick-em” guys picked the Sharks in the 1st Round

    • comeonnowguys - May 2, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      San Jose vs. Los Angeles
      Halford: Sharks in 7
      Brough: Kings in 6
      Yerdon: Kings in 7
      O’Brien: Kings in 6
      Dadoun: Sharks in 7
      Tucker: Sharks in 7

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