One full month of playoff hockey and we're here in the beginning of the third round!
Predictions for this round:
Ducks over Predators: You may question this since the Predators took down playoff giants Chicago and St. Louis but hear me out! Anaheim just exorcised their Game 7 demons and their quest for domination is not over yet.
They have to pay back Nashville this year after they were stunned in the first round last season and they can do just that IF: Ryan Getzlaf keeps doing what he's doing, offense keeps shooting until the puck goes in (their strategy against red hot Cam Talbot), the injured players return (Bieksa! Eaves! Where art thou?), and they improve their power play while maintaining their penalty kill (they cannot allow P.K. Subban to be the best PK on the ice).
Pens over Sens: Sorry, Sens Army. I really enjoy your polite partying after you won against the Rangers, but the Penguins still have a great team. Marc Andre Fleury took down the Capitals' offense in Game 7 and stepped up when his team needed him the most. Offense looks great of course with the best rookie in the playoffs and stars acting like stars.
Here's what they have over the Senators: They are experienced and were here last year (and then some!). They also have the best player in the league as captain (no offense to Erik Karlsson, who is also amazing) who can lead everyone in any game situation, which is major since overtime is a big possibility. They have pretty much most of the team that went all the way last season so what's stopping them from doing it again? They could face great obstacles but I think they can prevail.
Enjoy today's sweet beginning! Here we go!
One century of this game and League is a wonderful milestone to celebrate. Let's hope to do this in the next century!