Business is about to pick up in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs as teams hungry for victory and triumph attempt to make it past the second round.
The first round of the playoffs saw the Columbus Blue Jackets complete a fist round sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs played to an exciting seven-game series that saw the Bruins edge out the Maple Leafs. The Islanders also managed to navigate a clean sweep against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a series that demonstrated how dangerous of a team the Islanders truly are. The Capitals bested the Hurricanes in another exciting seven-game series, and the Predators and Jets both won their respective first-round playoff series in six games as well.
As Round 2 of the NHL Playoffs begin, the Bruins will be taking on the Blue Jackets, the Islanders will be taking on the Hurricanes, the Blues and the Stars will be facing one another and the last series will be the Sharks taking on the Avalanche.
Based off the way things went down in the first round, I would expect another exciting round of playoff hockey. Teams like the Islanders are riding a wave of momentum right now, so one has to expect them to best the Hurricanes. Then there are teams like the Bruins who are playing their best hockey right now, but the possibility of David Krejci will be healthy enough to play in game three and the rest of the series definitely raises some questions.
The Sharks and Avalanche met three times over the course of the 2018-2019 season, and during all three games, the Avalanche lost to the Sharks. Each loss was by one goal, so the Sharks clearly have an advantage going into this series. Lastly, the series between the Stars and the Blues seems to be the most intriguing matchup in this round. Both teams played evenly in their first round which could be indicative of this series being an essential toss up in terms of who has the advantage.
Round 2 will continue through Wednesday, April 8 as long as teams can force a Game 7. After a shocking first round of upsets, it will be interesting to see which of the eight teams will advance in the fight to bring home the Stanley Cup in 2019.