NHL Western Conference Second Round Playoff Predictions

Second Round Playoff Preview!

 

St. Louis Blues vs Dallas Stars

The St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars have a couple of things in common coming into this series.  First off, they both have stud goalies. The Blues have Jordan Binnington, and the Stars have Ben Bishop.  Both are putting up crazy numbers this postseason. Ben Bishop has a save percentage of .945% and his goals-against average(GAA) is 1.90.  Then you have Jordan Binnington, the rookie is putting a save percentage of .927 and a GAA of 1.89. Ben Bishop is the better goalie but the margin is very slight.  Because the margin is so slight I don’t see goaltending being the difference maker this series.

Second, both these teams conquered the superior competition. The Blues sent the Winnipeg Jets home and the Stars sent the Nashville Predators home.  Both of those teams had the Stanley Cup in their sights so these were major victories for both teams. The Blues and Stars also both won in six games. So no difference maker here either. So what does make the difference? Simple, offensive adjustment and momentum.  This is more than likely going to be another defensively dominant series. The offense that can adjust at the right times will be the one that will win these low scoring games. The offense with the momentum, as obvious as this is, will be the one to score more as well.

 I have to give both categories to the Blues. They clearly have the momentum coming off of the comeback season they have had and their third-period adjustments against the Jets no matter how big or small, made the difference. It will be a competitive series and with a goalie like Bishop, the Stars could pull this upset off despite the Blues momentum.  Another great matchup though truly could go either way. In the end, this likely six or seven-game series should see the Blues coming out on top. When it comes down to it I think the Blues just have the better offense period so I have the Blues winning in seven games.

 

Colorado Avalanche vs. San Jose Sharks

This is going to be a hit or miss kind of series.  The Sharks talent completely outmatches the Avalanche except for maybe their first line on offense.  The Avalanche do have two things on their side. They are overachievers and don’t crack under pressure.  The Avs proved their overachieving for the past two years by putting up a good fight against the Predators in 2018 and now winning a series against the Flames they were projected to get destroyed in.  The odds are stacked against them once again. The Sharks are coming off a game seven victory against the Golden Knights so they have the momentum while the Avs have been off for a while. Furthermore, the Sharks have the better goaltender, Martin Jones, who silenced his doubters with three straight wins against the Golden Knights to help win his team the series.

Another thing to consider is the Sharks defense. This defensive squad is loaded with players like Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns leading the way. The saying is “defense wins championships” for a reason. I believe the Avs have met their match. There are only two things that can save them now. A good gameplan, and more of this overachieving than they have ever done in the past two years.  I think they will put up a fight, but it’s hard to see them winning the series. I have the Sharks winning in six games. The Avs can hold their heads high after this season and should look to the draft for prospects for next years run. They should have a better chance then after they fill in some of the holes on the team.

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