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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 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 53 31 16 6 143 118 68
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 TBL 52 29 19 4 138 123 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
8 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
9 NJD 54 26 21 7 120 122 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 51 16 28 -6 44
J. Voracek 51 8 34 -1 42
W. Simmonds 51 18 16 -6 34
B. Schenn 49 14 15 -1 29
S. Gostisbehere 33 9 18 4 27
S. Couturier 40 9 15 9 24
M. Read 50 9 9 -5 18
S. Laughton 51 4 10 -6 14
M. Del Zotto 49 4 9 -9 13
M. Raffl 51 6 6 2 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 12 13 7 .916 2.69
M. Neuvirth 11 6 2 .933 2.14
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