2017 NHL Playoffs Second Round Betting Predictions

Posted by Aaron . on April 24, 2017 in

If the National Hockey League is one of your sports betting interests, then check out our predictions for the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The quarterfinals saw some surprises (the New York Rangers, the Edmonton Oilers and the Nashville Predators advancing) and some near-surprises (such as the upstart Toronto Maple Leafs pushing the Pittsburgh Penguins to six games), as well as some expected results (such as Anaheim and Washington advancing to the conference semifinals). Here’s a look at some NHL Playoffs betting predictions for the second round.

2017 NHL Playoffs Second Round Betting Predictions

Eastern Conference Semifinals: Ottawa vs N.Y. Rangers

A lot of prognosticators (including this writer) thought the Rangers would bow out during the opening round, as they faced a Montreal Canadiens team that had shown more consistency on defense and had a goaltender in Carey Price that was worthy to stand up to active postseason shutout leader Henrik Lundqvist. Indeed, the Canadiens skated out to a 2-1 lead in the series, but then the Rangers ran off three straight wins to take on an Ottawa team that took advantage of mistake after mistake from the Boston Bruins in their first-round series. The Rangers don’t make nearly as many mistakes as the Bruins do, and their netminder cleans up a lot of the mistakes that they do make. Rangers in six.

Eastern Conference Semifinals: Pittsburgh vs Washington

One oddity of the NHL bracket is that you can end up with stellar matchups in the second round instead of the conference finals — and that’s the case here. This series pits the defending Stanley Cup champs (Pittsburgh) against the back-to- back President’s Trophy winners (Washington), a series that the Pens skated away with in shockingly easy fashion last year. The Capitals showed that speed can overwhelm them, as the last-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs pushed them to six games using a ton of hustle and grit. The Penguins are still faster than the Capitals, and they will knock them out again. Penguins in six.

Western Conference Semifinals: Anaheim vs Edmonton

You have an intriguing matchup here featuring two fast, opportunistic teams, although Anaheim is a couple years older as a group — and has a lot more playoff seasoning than the Oilers. However, the Oilers have a higher ceiling as far as performance goes, led by star Connor McDavid. The Ducks went all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals last year, so will tired legs betray them as they face a tough Oiler team? The Ducks have slightly better goaltending, which is an important factor in the postseason. Ducks in seven.

Western Conference Semifinals: Nashville vs St. Louis

Did you predict that the Nashville Predators — holders of the second wild card in the Western Conference — would sweep the Chicago Blackhawks? That’s all right; we didn’t either. But what we saw that series was a combination of unbelievably clutch goaltending from Pekka Rinne and a Predators team that swarmed all over the ice as a unit, no matter which lines or defensive pairings were in the game. That kind of team play is the type of synergy that a team can ride all the way to a Cup. St. Louis is another tough foe, though. Their offense isn’t quite at the level of Chicago’s, but they are better at turning opponent mistakes into quick goals. However, Nashville has the hot hand right now, and this sort of momentum just builds in the playoffs. Predators in six.