The Conference Semi-finals for the National Hockey League (NHL) is now set.
After the Conference Quarterfinals, two of the five Canadian teams that made the playoffs are still playing (Calgary and Montreal.) Three of the ‘Original Six’ teams qualified for the Conference Semi-finals (Chicago, Montreal, and New York.)
Let’s look at the match-ups:
The Canadiens finished in second place overall in the Eastern Conference with a 50-22-10 record for 110 points. The Lightning finished right behind the Canadiens in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 50-24-8 for 108 points. The Lightning won all five meetings in the regular season this year. The Canadiens won their quarterfinals meeting last year against the Lightning in four games. The Lightning won their 2004 meeting in four games.
Look for the Canadiens to win a seven game series.
The Capitals went 45-26-11 for 101 points, while the Rangers were 53-22-7 for 113 points. The Rangers are the best team in the league and are the defending Presidents’ Trophy winners. The Rangers won four out of five games during the regular season. This is the ninth postseason meeting between the two teams, with the last one being in 2013, with the Rangers winning in seven games. This is the fifth postseason series in seven years. Both teams have won four postseason series.
Look for the Rangers to win in five games.
The Blackhawks finished with a record of 48-28-6 for 102 points (4th place in the West), while the Wild finished with the Wild finished with a record of 46-28-8 for 10o points (6th place in the West.) This is the third postseason meeting between the two teams, and the third straight year they have met in the postseason. Chicago won three out of five regular season games this year.
Look for the Blackhawks to win in six games.
The Ducks finished the season with the best record in the Western Conference with a record of 51-24-7 good for 109 points. The Flames finished in eight place in the Conference with a record of 45-30-7 good for 97 points. Anaheim won three out of five games during the regular season. In their only previous postseason meeting, during the 2006 Conference Quarterfinals, the Ducks eliminated the Flames in a seven game series.
Look for Calgary to win in a close seven game series.
I went 3-5 during the last round. Let’s see if I can change that now. In brief, the four teams I think will win are: Montreal, New York, Chicago, and Calgary.