#1 New York Rangers / #7 Washington Capitals
Uhhhh, oh no. This is the matchup that Henrik didn't want and it's still going to happen. Of course.
It will be interesting to see who the better goaltender is: Holtby or Lundqvist? Who would you pick in this series? Everyone knows how fantastical Henrik Lundqvist is but Holtby has been playing like a man possessed. But we think smart money is on the Swedish god in goal. At least our money is on that dude.
It will also be interesting to see the matchup between Girardi/McDonagh and Alex Ovechkin. If they can shut him and his line down effectively then that's one less thing for the Rangers to worry about. It will be a key to who wins this series.
Our Pick: New York Rangers
Because: Our Henrik made us do it. But most of our predictions have been wrong recently so it doesn't matter. We think the Capitals are scary right now because they're determined, they're the underdogs and they're ready to go. But the Rangers are playing with a chip on their shoulders and in front of the best goaltender in the league.
#5 Philadelphia Flyers / #6 New Jersey Devils
We don't know what to say about this matchup except that it's unexpected and we're not really sure what's going to happen here. It will be Zach Parise against Claude Giroux and Ilya Bryzgalov versus Martin Brodeur and Ilya Kovalchuk against Scott Hartnell.
Or something like that.
This series is going to be one of the most interesting because you just don't know how these two teams are going to react to each other. Will the Devils be able to shut the Flyers high-flying offense down? Will the Flyers beat the Devils down until there's nothing left in the tank? Those are the questions that haunt us at night.
Our Pick: Philadelphia Flyers
Because: As Penguins fans, we had to see up close and personal the machine that the Flyers have become. With the ridiculous dominance of Claude Giroux and their relenting forecheck, the Flyers are hard to beat. But maybe, just maybe the Devils can be that team. We're thinking it's unlikely but we're usually wrong.
#2 St. Louis Blues / #8 Los Angeles Kings
The Kings shocked the hockey world by beating the Vancouver Canucks four games to one and now they have to face the Blues. This series is definitely going to be the hardest to figure out because both teams are really good defensively, have excellent goaltenders and can put the puck in the net. It's almost like they're the same team in a way.
The Blues will be leaning heavily on Elliott and their stingy defense and the Kings will be doing the same with Quick and their dedication to team defense. The Blues firepower, their scoring taken up by Berglund, McDonald and Perron, is better than the Kings and that has been like that all season.
We could definitely see this series go to seven and every game going to overtime.
Our Pick: St. Louis Blues
Because: The Blues may seem like they don't have the scoring to get the job done but they do. Most of these games will probably end as 1-0 or like 2-1 in overtime but the Blues will more than likely pull out the win because they have guys that can score on pretty much every line. They're getting contributions from every line and their defense.
#3 Phoenix Coyotes / #4 Nashville Predators
This series is also another interesting one. The Coyotes surprised the Blackhawks and just answered the bell. This is the first time that the Coyotes have made the second round since moving to the desert and we know that their fans and their team are just super excited about it.
The Predators have made it to the second round and they are determined to make it past the semi-finals this time around. We think they have the team to do it and we wouldn't want to be the Coyotes facing this team and this goaltender.
The media is already making a big deal of the Mike Smith - Pekka Rinne matchup. It is a big deal and we are excited to watch these two goaltenders make game-saving goals and steal games for their team.
Our Pick: Nashville Predators
Because: They're ridiculously strong defensively and they have Rinne who is a game-breaker and their offense is finally kicking in. It doesn't matter if the other team shuts down their top line because the third line shows up and scores some big goals. They're a dangerous team and we would love it if they made it to the Finals. Okay, love isn't even the right word, um ECSTATIC or INSANELY EXCITED or ALKSJDKLJLKSDJKL.