Throughout my journey of finding out who I am and coming out, hockey has been a place to get away; Somewhere where I find peace. One thing that I’m very interested in is becoming a sports writer, so I decided to write about the second round of the playoffs.

 

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Featured photo by Jerome Miron, from USA Today Sports

Between the Dallas Stars and the St. Louis Blues; The Blues have a more favorable hand in round two of the playoffs. Although the stars lead the Central division with 50 wins, 23 losses, and 9 over times loses, St. Louis is not far behind with 49 wins of their own, 24 losses, and 9 over time losses; The Stars dropped 4 out of the 5 games played against the Blues in the regular season. Based on the play of the Stars team without Tyler Seguin; one of their top scorers, scoring 33 goals in 72 games they are doing phenomenal. With the series now 2-1 I believe that the Stars will overcome the odds, and beat the Blues to continue to round 3.

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AP Photo

Between the Nashville Predators and the San Jose Sharks; Based on the Sharks play in the playoffs against the kings, and their regular season record the sharks look to have an easier time winning the series. The sharks lead the series 2-1 and look to win the next game. Another downside for the Predators is Craig Smith, their 3rd top scorer of the team, is potentially out for the 3rd game due to a lower body injury that he received in round 1. I believe that San Jose will win the series, as long as they keep up the good play; they need to reduce the amount of turnovers that could possible lead to more scoring chances for the Predators. For the Predators  to win the need to keep the Sharks out of the high scoring areas; most to all goals are generated from this area, so the less they’re out of the “house” the less likely they will win.

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Dirk Shadd, Times

Between Tampa Bay Lightning and New York islanders; As of now I believe that the series will go to all 7 games, but in the end I believe that Tampa Bay will win it. Tampa bay had a better record over the course of the season with 46 wins, 31 losses, and 5 overtime losses; they took 2nd in the Atlantic division. One reason I believe that Islanders have a chance is they were in the hardest division that includes Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, and The New York Rangers who are all in the playoffs this year. The thing that will uplift the islanders to victory, and move to the third round is that they have a more complete stronger goaltender; Ben Bishop has had a better save percentage than Thomas Greiss. So I predict that Tampa will win.

 

NHL: MAY 02 2nd Round - Game 3 - Capitals at Penguins
Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire

When it comes to the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins; The play of both these teams this year has been strong; they both have a strong line up, and two of the best players  in the history of the NHL. The thing that can help Washington, is their strong goaltender; on the other hand, Washington’s play is not very consistent, they usually start off well, but fail to keep the streak and momentum going; in order for Washington to get the they need to get it to the middle more; they spend more time in the defensive zone or outside the scoring zone; also they will need to win more puck battles and on the walls and corners to get more scoring opportunities. The last thing Washington needs to do so that they can come back and win the series is shoot a higher percentage on Murray, he tends to drop early; all of Washington’s goals have been in the top of the net. As of now Pittsburgh’s play has been good, a negative to their play is that they continue to take selfish penalties such as Letang’s hit against Johansson; they also don’t need to give Washington any space or time, when Washington has time they take good shots that result into goals. The things that the Penguins need to keep doing is winning puck battles, having more possession of the puck, and keeping Washington out of the middle and the high scoring areas. As of right now with their play I believe that Pittsburgh will win the series and move on to round 3.