Before the start of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Defending Big D staff broke down our predictions for the first round. Out of the eight series, we collectively predicted only three winners correctly, which should tell you that we definitely know what we’re talking about:
Today, we’ll try and redeem ourselves with our second round picks. As before, we’ll keep a tally for each series so you see what the consensus is.
St. Louis Blues (Central 3) vs Dallas Stars (Wild Card 1)
Taylor: I will happily eat crow on my first-round prediction where I picked the Nashville Predators over Dallas in six games. The Blues were the hottest team in the league down the stretch, and won’t be an easy opponent. While Dallas made Jordan Binnington look human when many couldn’t, this is a coin-flip series. Blues in 7. (Yes, that hurts)
Robert: So let me get this straight: I have to choose either the team with the best goalie in the league, plus Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg, plus *this* top line and Mats Zuccarello, or the team with Joel Edmundson setting up Radek Faksa in the slot? Well, see, that’s tough, and there are many factors that. Stars in 4.
Logan: Both teams provided scrappy upsets in the first round, so expect frenzied puck play, high emotions, and lots of Jamie Benn sitting on St. Louis players. Binnington has been clutch in net for St. Louis, but the Dallas team appear to be his kryptonite. Stars in 6.
Derek: Just how long can a team riding a hot rookie goaltender last? Jordan Binnington seemed more human in the opening round against Winnipeg, and the Stars’ offense has a whole new look with Mats Zuccarello in the lineup. Stars in 7.
Wes: Can Jim Montgomery play his top line 20% of the time again and not get killed? What matters more, the fact Dallas went 3-1 against the Blues this season, or the fact the Blues once won eight games in a row? Considering Dallas busted that particular streak, and perhaps to atone for my lack of round one faith, I’m scraping horse-s off my shoes. Stars in 7.
Ann: Listen, the Stars have beaten the Blues before in a playoff series, and I don’t think anything has changed that would make that impossible this time. If playoff games are won on the back of goaltending, the top line, Mats Zuccarello, and the two hottest young defensemen in the league, I take Ben Bishop and the Stars against all comers this post season. You don’t scare me Blues! Stars in 6.
Tyler: I picked Nashville to beat Dallas last series, but that was before the Stars proved that they had a bona-fide second scoring line. It was also before Jordan Binnington had an underwhelming first round performance. Stars in 6.
Rob M: The Stars were by far the better team in their six game series against the Predators, and with their stellar goaltending, this team has a real shot. The Blues looked great as well, as they bounced the Winnipeg Jets in the first round. This series is a toss up but Dallas has the edge in the crease. Stars in 6.
Jessica: While I’m still having flashbacks to the 2016 playoffs, these are two very teams different from the ones they were back then. Dallas won the regular season series against St. Louis 3-1 but we’ve all seen how little of an effect that has on this year’s playoffs. That being said, you could easily flip a coin on these two teams to see who wins the series. I’m also counting on Binnington’s losing record against teams located in Texas to stay intact. Stars in 7.
Mark: Given that I’ve been cursed by the hockey gods, if I pick the Stars, they are guaranteed to lose. Hubris bites me every time. Taking one for the team - but still want a good series. Blues in 7.
Cody: The Blues were once one of the worst teams in the league. It took a rookie goalie going 24-5-1 and an inflated Power Play (1st) and Penalty Kill (2) during that time to surge them to the top. They took a broken Jets team to 6 games. The Stars have locked in forward lines, defense, penalty-killing and goaltending. Stars in 4.
Final Tally: Dallas 9, St. Louis 2
San Jose Sharks (Pacific 2) vs Colorado Avalanche (Wild Card 2)
Taylor: What a comeback by the Sharks to beat the Vegas Golden Knights. That emotion won’t carry them through the next round, and a rested Avalanche team’s top line carves Martin Jones up. Avalanche in 5.
Robert: Colorado isn’t perfect, but the Sharks really haven’t looked nearly dangerous enough to scare me. While I hope San Jose advances so the Stars can break their hearts yet again in the playoffs, I’ll settle for thumping the team that once drove me nuts by employing both Joe Sakic and Joe Sacco at the same time. Avalanche in 5.
Logan: San Jose are tired after a Game 7 that included a wild OT. They’re also fighting injuries and multi-year playoff fatigue. Colorado came out firing against Calgary and didn’t let up after Game 2. Avalanche in 6.
Derek: Colorado’s top line is going to light up Martin Jones like a Christmas tree, but the Sharks have enough talent, depth and playoff experience to weather the storm and grind out a series win. Sharks in 7.
Wes: Two teams I predicted would not advance face off in the West’s second series. I still view Martin Jones as more liability than hero, and think a stouter defense could limit the damage of Colorado’s big line. With that said, Jones and co. aren’t that team. Phillip Grubauer wins the duel. Avalanche in 6.
Ann: It was way too hard for the Sharks to get past Marc-Andre Fleury. It took a 5 minute major and the loss of their captain to drive the Sharks past Vegas and I’m not sure they have any other players to sacrifice. I did not expect the Avalanche to get past the Calgary Flames, especially in only 5 games, but that’s a thing that happened and could probably happen again. Avalanche in 5.
Tyler: If the Sharks could get past the two leading scorers in Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty, they can get past Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon. Sharks in 6.
Rob M: The Sharks pulled off an incredible comeback against Vegas, but at what cost? They lost their captain and will face a rested Avalanche club who dispatched the Flames with ease. I expect the Sharks to sag early but, they are the more complete team and will find themselves in Conference Finals. Sharks in 7.
Jessica: Like many others that are still upset with how the Sharks - Golden Knights series ended, it still feels like the Sharks got by the Knights just on luck. And in the playoffs, we all know luck is fickle, which could either play into Colorado’s hands or be their kryptonite. This one’s going to be a goalie battle, and I just don’t think Martin Jones is up to the task against one of the few best top lines in the league. Avalanche in 5.
Mark: Martin Jones is still questionable, but the Sharks offense and depth overwhelm Grubauer. There are going to be a lot of goals, and a one line team doesn’t win a scoring contest. Sharks in 6.
Cody: Colorado’s top line is going to drop bombs on the Sharks but in the end, San Jose’s depth gives them the edge through the series. Sharks in 6.
Final Tally: Colorado 6, San Jose 5
New York Islanders (Metropolitan 2) vs Carolina Hurricanes (Wild Card 1)
Taylor: The Hurricanes have written a fairytale so far, but I think this is where that story is going to end. The Islanders have excellent goaltending and a coach that’s been there before. Islanders in 5.
Robert: Carolina will need some breaks to win this series, but I think they can and will get them. I guess that’s not really a prediction so much as me acknowledging I’m picking against my better judgment, but hey, that’s basically my life. Hurricanes in 7.
Logan: New York surprised everyone with their sweep of Pittsburgh, and Carolina delighted #hockeytwitter with their Game 7 win over Washington. Both teams are young, scrappy, and hungry to prove their mettle. Expect lots of fast-paced goals and maybe a few fisticuffs. Hurricanes in 6.
Derek: Don’t underestimate Barry Trotz, who has worked magic with this Islanders team, which is firing on all cylinders. Petr Mrazek has held his own lately for Carolina, but the pressure from the Isles will break the dam. Islanders in 5.
Wes: As much as I love The Surge, Robin Lehner’s performance is the X-factor in this series. If he, and the Islaners’ D, stay strong, this one will be over quickly. Islanders in 6.
Ann: I haven’t been big on Carolina since they stopped doing the Surge, but I do love a good underdog story. I pick them against the Islanders just for the fun of it. Hurricanes in 7.
Tyler: N.A.D.R.L. Never Again Doubt Robin Lehner. Islanders in 5.
Rob M: The Islanders are dominate in their section of the East bracket, as they dispatched the Pittsburgh Penguins in a clean sweep. Their goaltending and defense is the backbone, and their forwards are all chipping in. This club is for real. Islanders in 5.
Jessica: New York absolutely destroyed the Penguins with how dominating they were in the first round. Though Pittsburgh scored first in each game, the Islanders charged back and put 3-4 unanswered up on the board. As good as the Hurricanes had to be to get past Washington, I just don’t see them being able to hold up against the onslaught from New York. Islanders in 5.
Mark: Eliminate Barry Trotz’ old team. Check. Same for Barry Trotz’ new team. Check. Even without the Storm Surge, it’s still the year of the Jerks. Hurricanes in 7. (In double overtime)
Cody: The Islanders are no joke. They have the defense and goaltending to lock it down and their offense knows how to contribute. I love the Jerks but I don’t see them finding the net enough. Islanders in 7.
Final Tally: New York 7, Carolina 4
Boston Bruins (Atlantic 2) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (Wild Card 2)
Taylor: Columbus looked dominant while taking out the Tampa Bay Lightning but the Bruins looked the same taking down a stout Toronto Maple Leafs offensive team. Another close series in round two. Blue Jackets in 7.
Robert: Boston is such a weird team. They can be really good, but they’re pretty dinged up, and there is a mountain of evidence to consider regarding how loathsome they are as a whole. Blue Jackets in 4.
Logan: Columbus is pumped to be in the second round for the first time ever, so it appears the Matt Duchene curse may well be over. Boston is just pumped to have beaten Toronto in Game 7 (again). Expect a hockey clinic from the young stars for both teams. Blue Jackets in 7.
Derek: Columbus will be riding high after their shocking upset over Tampa Bay, but don’t expect the Bruins to crumble mentally like the Bolts did. Boston’s top line will be the difference-maker. Bruins in 6.
Wes: The Blue Jackets did not just win their first round series, they put a resounding beating on the presumptive-champion Lightning. Does the run continue against a Bruins squad that is not, on paper, any better than the Bolts, or do this year’s Cinderfellas hear the clock strike midnight? I’m sticking with my theme. Blue Jackets in 6.
Ann: Lemme see — the team that whipped the top team in the league in 4 games, or the team that got taken to seven games by the Maple Leafs. Blue Jackets in 5.
Tyler: After getting swept by the Columbus in the first round, you would think that things couldn’t possibly get any worse for the Lightning. You would be wrong. Bruins in 4.
Rob M: Do I dare pick against the Blue Jackets? They were the better team against the Lightning and have all the rest in the world to rely on. The Bruins played a tough and long seven game series, and will be in for a rough ending as the Blue Jackets stay hot in the second round. Blue Jackets in 6.
Jessica: I’m fully Team Chaos for this one because, at this point, this is official the weirdest playoffs I’ve ever experienced. Why not the Blue Jackets? Blue Jackets in 5.
Mark: Win one series, and now you’re the darlings of the playoffs? I don’t think so. The only things that I like about Boston are Berklee School of Music and golf at The Country Club. If I pick them, they may lose. Bruins in 6.
Cody: The postseason brings out the true value of each team. Columbus, on paper, is a monster. I’m in the belief that their round one whopping to Tampa Bay wasn’t a fluke. Blue Jackets in 6.
Final Tally: Columbus 8, Boston 3
Who wins Round 2: Dallas or St. Louis?
This poll is closed
St. Louis Blues
No idea, but it’ll be good!