hockey

Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks hopes to get another chance at winning the Stanley Cup, after the Sharks were a runner up back in 2016.

The 2018 NHL Playoffs are definitely a sight to see as no teams got completely shut out in the first round of the playoffs. The closest series that game to that was the Lightning and Devils series along with the Jets and Wild, with the Tampa Bay and Winnipeg winning their series 4-1, respectively. But, for round two of the playoffs, all except one of the eight teams have been determined, as the Bruins and Maple Leafs play their Game seven tonight.

This year however, round two of the playoffs seems especially competitive as we have a handful of rivalries, from the Caps playing the Penguins to the Golden Knights taking on the Sharks. With this being said, let me run through my predictions of what will happen in the second round of the playoffs (with the exception of the Bruins and Maple Leaf’s):

1) Penguins @ Capitals

As history shows, the Penguins own the Capitals in the playoffs. They have even won all three series during both the Crosby and Ovechkin eras. In fact, the Penguins have won nine of 10 all time playoff meetings against the Caps. But while the Penguins are used to having better luck, the Caps have a new look to the team this season, with newbies Devante Smith-Pelly and Shane Gersich and of course veteran players such as Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. That’s not to say that the Penguins don’t have a good lineup as Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, and Carl Hagelin are just a few players who help the Penguins excel. My prediction is this series will go all the way to a Game seven as both these teams will be playing their best hockey yet this season.

2) Sharks @ Golden Knights

The Knights have certainly caught the attention of many people and have built up quite a fan base throughout their inaugural season. With a record of 51-24-7, they are certainly a threat in the Pacific Division. Players such as a William Kalrsson, Malcom Subban (P.K. Subban’s younger brother) are a few of the younger guys leading this team. San Jose, on the other hand hopes to Prove the Knights wrong hope to get another shot at the Finals, after they finished as runner ups in 2016. The Sharks also have many veteran players on their teams. Eavnder Kane has been a beast this season with the help of Martin Jones being efficient. Joe Thornton, who has been out this series with an undisclosed injury will not be returning for Game one on Thursday night, but Pete DeBoer, head coach of the Sharks says Thornton will most likely return later on this series. I predict the Golden Knights to win this series in five games.

3) Jets @ Predators

Two of the best teams finally get to face off against each other in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. What more could anyone want? When looking at both team’s stats, the Jets have more goals than any other team in Western Conference during the regular season. Nashville is a solid team defensively who allow the fewest shots on goal. They also know how to score goals, with 13 10 goal scorers this season. All things considered, it appears that Nashville has the slight advantage over Winnipeg, so I will have to say that the Preds win in seven games.

ERIK BENSON is a blogger for The Vidette. He can be reached at esbenso@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter @erik_b001.

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