2013 NHL Playoffs: Second Round Preview and Predictions - Everyone had the Blackhawks and the Kings. The Sharks winning through (and in the fashion they did) to along with the Red Wings ending the Ducks' run of good luck were perhaps a bit less prognosticated but shockers.
We move on to (observing, sad face) the second round where the Red Wings will fittingly do one last Central Division battle with the Blackhawks and the Pacific Party out west continues with the Sharks and the Kings squaring off. The only good thing about any of that is that we're guaranteed some nice late start times to spread out the fun for hours when the East starts earlier.
Brandon Worley: Good win for Detroit in the first round but this team's flaws will be grossly exposed by Chicago. Blackhawks in 5.
Brandon Bibb: It's a role reversal from 2009 when Corey Crawford was called upon in emergency duty in a series-ending Game 5 OT loss to the Wings. I think Jimmy Howard steals one more game than Chicago did that spring, but that's it. Chicago in 6
Josh Lile: The Hawks are going to tan the Wings hides. 4-1.
Erin Bolen: The Hawks beat the Wings in all four regular season meetings this year, but two of those were in the shootout and another in overtime. Still, the fourth victory was a 7-1 Hawks rout, and the Hawks will come into this heavily favored. Detroit will probably eke out a game or two, but the Hawks were the runaway best team in the regular season for a reason. Blackhawks in six
Taylor Baird: The Wings won't be able to score enough to keep up with the Hawks. Blackhawks in 6.
Derek Neumeier: Detroit won a hard-fought series against Anaheim and will put up another spirited fight, but the Hawks ooze skill, and barely broke a sweat against Minnesota. They're ready for a bigger challenge. Hawks in 6.
Brad Gardner: It's Jimmy Howard versus HOLY CRAP HERE THEY COME. Maybe Detroit can do it again? No, that looks ridiculous now that I type it out. Blackhawks in 6? Let's hope for six.
Brandon Worley: This is going to be a hard fought series between the two and think it will come down to goaltending; I think Antti Niemi continues his big season. Sharks in 6.
Brandon Bibb: Normally, I'd roll with San Jose considering the ease with which they dispatched the Canucks. But it's the defending Cup champion they're going against. And just like last season, LA is getting timely goal scoring and netminding that improved as their first round series with St. Louis progressed. Kings in 6
Josh Lile: This should be the best series of the second round. Going with the choking Sharks principle I'm taking the Kings in 6.
Erin Bolen: My poor Pacific division heart wishes for a Spanish flu outbreak that leaves both teams too dehydrated to compete. But barring that, the Kings had a significantly more difficult first-round matchup than the Sharks and seemed to really get rolling as the series went on. Neither team won on the road in the season series. Given that Quick has turned things around after a few very rough moments against the Blues, give me the defending champs. Kings in seven.
Taylor Baird: The defending champs showed they can play some of the most defensive hockey in beating the Blues. They'll be able to hold off the Sharks. Kings in 7.
Derek Neumeier: San Jose has confidence after sweeping Vancouver, and are still driven to exorcise their recent playoff demons. LA won't go down without a fight, but after already winning the Cup last season they won't be able to match San Jose's dogged determination. Sharks in 6.
Brad Gardner: The Sharks winning through is a disturbing proposition. Very. The Kings were not impressive in falling behind 0-2 in STL. The Canucks are perceived as a mess but are a mighty team to sweep without home ice advantage. Is this the Sharks year, like the Mavericks experiences in the NBA a couple of years after everyone had counted them out? I am fearful. But I'll take Kings in 7.