The Second Round of the NHL Playoffs are already underway, with three series underway and one set to begin soon. As entertaining as things have been so far, the intensity is just ratcheting up, and the fun for the fans is only beginning.
Here, we will briefly preview each series and make our predictions for the teams advancing to the semifinals. These predictions were made before the Game One outcomes. With that in mind, let’s jump right into action so you can make your bets against their NHL Playoffs odds.
2021 NHL Playoffs: 2nd Round Matches Betting Analysis
East Division: Boston Bruins Vs New York Islanders
The Bruins took Game One of the series on the back of a brilliant performance from David Pastrnak. Boston’s star winger scored a hat trick to lead the team to a 5-2 victory and take an early 1-0 edge in the series.
The Islanders and Bruins both thrive on great defensive play and quality goaltending. They each ranked in the Top 6 in goals against per game and save percentage.
With the team defense so closely matched, the next factor is the goaltending. Boston has a big advantage with Tuukka Rask between the pipes, having led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup finals two years ago. Rask is also the NHL’s all-time leader in career save percentage.
Finally, Boston’s star power lies with their forwards. Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, and Patrice Bergeron are always a threat to light the lamp while they can shut down opposing forwards as well.
Series Prediction: Boston in Six Games.
Central Division: Carolina Hurricanes vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Carolina and Tampa Bay are as evenly matched as it gets. Each club took four wins head-to-head in the regular season, and Game One was decided on an incredibly fluky goal that snuck through Alex Nedeljkovic’s pads. Aside from that one bounce, both goaltenders were fantastic, with Nedeljkovic stopping 28-of-30 and Andrei Vasilevskiy turning 37-of-38 aside.
This series will almost certainly go the distance. We’re giving Carolina an ever-so-slight edge, especially with the home-ice advantage, though they will now have to win at least once in Tampa Bay to push for Game Seven at home.
Series Prediction: Carolina Hurricanes in Seven Games.
West Division: Colorado Avalanche Vs Vegas Golden Knights
Colorado showed they weren’t messing around in the first round, sweeping the Blues and outscoring them 20-7 in the series. They took it a step further with a 7-1 dismantling of the Golden Knights in the opener of the Second Round series.
Ryan Reaves is looking at a lengthy suspension after a match penalty for intent to injure in the third period of the blowout loss. Reaves is now actively suspended until a hearing, which the NHL will likely be in no hurry to do. His physical presence and role as an agitator will be missed from the lineup, but the game will be better with him off the ice.
Before Game One, we predicted Colorado in five. After Game One, that might be generous to Vegas.
Series Prediction: Colorado Avalanche in Five Games.
North Division: Winnipeg Jets Vs Toronto/Montreal Winner
Winnipeg won’t find out their second-round opponent until Monday night, but that may not even make a difference. On the heels of their first-round sweep of the Edmonton Oilers and the dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Jets soared to the second round with quality goaltending, clutch goal-scoring, and surprising defensive skill.
A team that slumped down the stretch, Winnipeg came back to life with Nikolaj Ehlers back in the lineup. Getting a few days off to rest will help even more, especially given the battle between Toronto and Montreal.
Whichever team advances will run into trouble against a fueled-up Jets team, especially if Connor Hellebuyck continues to elevate his game.
Series Prediction: Winnipeg Jets in Five Games.
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