The round of 16/conference quarterfinals are over and 16 teams have been cut down to 8 that have gone through to the quarterfinals/conference semifinals of the 2015 Stanley Cup. Tampa Bay was the last team to reach the second round in the playoffs after defeating Detroit with 2-0 in the final game 7. Below is the schedule for the next round:
Montreal – Tampa Bay
As noted above, Tampa Bay reached this round after winning a decisive game 7 against Detroit. This should probably strengthen them for this round and perhaps give them an edge, if they have the stamina. Montreal has rested a few days after eliminating Ottawa.
New York Rangers – Washington
Washington Capitals are used to do the trip to New York by now. In the first round they won a tight series against New York Islanders in game 7. Of course it would have been thrilling to see a New York derby between Rangers and Islanders but it will also be fun to watch Nicklas Bäckström and Alexander Ovetjkin challenge Henrik Lundqvist in the Rangers goal. Will Carl Hagelin continue his success from the last round?
Minnesota – Chicago
Minnesota eliminated St Louis in a battle between two physical teams. The question is if they can eliminate Chicago’s offence and experience just by playing a hard-hitting game. 20 years ago, it would have worked, but in 2015, probably not. We place our money on Chicago.
Anaheim – Calgary
Anaheim was the first team to reach the second round of the playoffs and they will face Calgary who is now the kings of the Canadian west coast after eliminating Vancouver. Will the young players of Calgary continue to deliver or are Anaheim a couple of numbers to big for them?
What teams will go through?
Chicken Swedes are betting on the following teams to reach the third round (semifinals/conference finals) of the 2015 Stanley Cup:
New York Rangers