Round Two, Fight!

The NHL isn’t giving it’s teams much time to rest between playoff rounds.

Last night we watched the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers both advance after their game seven victories, The Devils needing a second overtime to knock off the Panthers.

Tonight we will watch the Phoenix Coyotes host the Nashville Predators in the opening match of the second round. Neither team has ever been to a conference final.

Tomorrow the Rangers are back at it, taking on the Washington Capitals and St Louis hosts Los Angeles, two of the remaining four teams in the west, none of which has ever won a Stanley Cup.

So, without further ado, here are my picks for the second round of the playoffs:

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One out of three ain’t good

Two out of three is better.

In the last two days we’ve seen three potential elimination games. Only one of those games resulted in an elimination with the Phoenix Coyotes, for once, building on a third period lead instead of squandering it. They take that series against the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-2, also known as exactly what I predicted.

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Morning Skate: Technically, it’s still morning.

Morning skate is a feature that will look at the stories developing each day in these 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and a look ahead to the games on the schedule.

Technically, on the west coast, it’s still morning. I had a late night, I’m sorry. Tomorrow will be an earlier publish, I promise*.

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Playoff Previews: Panthers vs Devils

3 Florida Panthers vs 6 New Jersey Devils

Let’s face it, The Florida Panthers are lucky to be in the playoffs. But, they haven’t been here in twelve years, so it’s hard to hold it against them. Someone had better tell Kevin Dineen that there are no loser points in the playoffs, though. The Panthers lead the league with 18 OT/SO losses. Their 32 regulation and overtime wins were just one better than Toronto. Let the games begin!

New Jersey, on the other hand, played solid hockey for most of the season and they are certainly a better team than their sixth seed would suggest. This is not the first time that a sixth seed team is considered a favorite over the much-maligned third seed, but I can’t think of a time where the difference was this great. This series could end quickly.

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