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Fearless Forecast of the NHL Playoffs - Conference Semifinals

After a mediocre first round, our Insider tries to improve his projections.
Tuesday, 05.14.2013 / 5:49 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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Flyers Inside Out

Here’s hoping you didn’t bet the house on my predictions for the first round of the NHL playoffs.

Although I wasn’t incredibly far off, like my grandfather used to tell me all the time, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

I went 4-4 in the first round.

To recap:

I picked Pittsburgh in six and they won in six. Yay Me.

I picked Ottawa in six and the won in five. Genius!

I picked Washington in seven, but they lost in seven. So, close!

I picked Boston in five, and, well, let’s just say I sweated out that victory.

Out west, I picked Chicago in five, and they won in five (this doesn’t sound so bad…)

I picked Anaheim in six, they lost in seven. Yeah, that one hurt a little.

I picked the Canucks in seven, they got swept. (Wait a minute, I did say it wouldn’t surprise me if the Sharks won... Did you hear a boom? What? No. Why? No grenade. So it doesn’t count!)

I picked St. Louis in seven. The lost in six. (I did say I was waffling back and forth on this pick and – Zip it!)

So, that’s it. Four to the good. Four to the bad. I cost you the vig.

And now, I’m going to frustrate you further with four new picks. Hopefully I can be better for you.

Eastern Conference

1. Pittsburgh vs. 7. Ottawa – The Pens are too good to lose this series, but at some point their goaltending woes (Tomas Vokoun isn’t going to get it done into June) and their suspect defense is going to cost them. It’d be fun if it was the Sens pulling that upset because I love their perseverance and a possible Jason Spezza return could make it interesting, but I just don’t think they have enough. Penguins in six.

4. Boston vs. 6. New York Rangers – I secretly came into the postseason planning to predict Boston wins the Cup. But there’s something not right about this team right now. Hey, they deserve mad props for what they did last night against Toronto – which shows you can never count them out, but the Rangers are not a good matchup for them. New York is a team that thrives much in the same way the Bruins do. And really, how good has Henrik Lundqvist been so far? Two weeks ago I would have said Bruins in six. Now, I’ve changed my mind. Rangers in seven.

Western Conference

1. Chicago vs. 7. Detroit – When I was up in the Detroit area a few weeks ago, there was panic in the streets that the Wings might not even make the playoffs. Now look at them. Beating Anaheim was no easy task. And the sleeping giant has been awaken. Also, Jimmy Howard has really impressed me so far in the playoffs. Still, Chicago is a complete team skater-wise, and while I think Cory Crawford will eventually be the chink in their armor, it won’t come here. The Red Wings will be game, and challenge Chicago, but the Hawks advance. Blackhawks in six.

5. Los Angeles vs. 6. San Jose – This, friends, is the most lopsided matchup in the second round. The Kings played like Stanley Cup champions the past four games in knocking off a very tough St. Louis team. Jonathan Quick is looking Conn Smytheish again, and the rest of the Kings are buying into the notion of a repeat. With the makeup of this team, I’m not sure I want to doubt them just yet. The Sharks are happy to be here. Kings in five.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
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