We have now finished the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs and have seen eight teams eliminated from postseason action.
Tonight, the Conference Semi-Finals in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs with the Montreal Canadiens hosting the defending Eastern Conference Champions the Boston Bruins.
Let’s take a look at the match-ups:
Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens
Montreal has won 24 of the 33 times these two have met in the postseason. However, Boston has won the last two series between the two teams, the last time in 2011. Montreal is 3-1 against Boston this season. Look for these two teams to be very competitive, especially with their rivalry. Boston is the defending Presidents’ Cup award winners, and the defending Prince of Wales Trophy winners, having made it to the Stanley Cup Finals last year before losing out to the Chicago Blackhawks. This is also the only Original Six match-up in this round and Boston’s second this season after beating Detroit in the first round.
My prediction is for Montreal to win in seven games.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers
The regular season series between the two teams was tied at two games a piece. Pittsburgh has won all four postseason match-ups between the two teams. The last time the two teams met was in the 2008 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, which Pittsburgh won in five games.
Look for this series to go six games with Pittsburgh advancing.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild
Chicago won the only postseason match-up between these two teams in the first round last year enroute to the Stanley Cup. However, Minnesota Wild won the regular season series 3-1 this year, and have home ice advantage. Chicago is looking to become the first team to win back-to-back Cups since Detroit won back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998. The Wild have had little success in the postseason, only making the postseason five times in their 13 seasons, and only made it past the first round once before when they made it to the Western Conference Finals where they were eliminated in four games by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
Look for Chicago to easily beat Minnesota in five games.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings
This is the first postseason match-up between the two teams. Anaheim is 4-1 against the Kings this year. Both teams have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals twice with one Cup win each (Anaheim in 2007 and Los Angeles in 2012.)
Look for Los Angeles to win in six games.
In the first round, I was 5-3. Let’s see how my predictions do this round.