With two more game 7s ending tonight, the first round of the NHL playoffs is over. Now we can predict round 2! The NHL re-seeds after each round (which makes a lot of sense to me), so we have:
Washington – Tampa Bay: TB got the upset over the Penguins to advance. In my eyes, the Capitals did the same (they had a lower point differential than the Rangers). Had the Penguins won, I would have had the Caps as underdogs again, but since they got the Lightning they have a 60% chance of moving on.
Philly – Boston: Both teams should have won, and they did. Now Boston is favored to win 57.7% of the time because, as I always say, home ice doesn’t matter in the playoffs.
If this turns out, we should have the Caps hosting the Bruins for the Eastern Conference championship, with the Bruins being the favorite.
The West mirrors the East: seeds 1, 2, 3, and 5 moved on. Unlike the East, there were no upsets according to point differential.
Vancouver – Nashville: The Canucks are the best team in the league. They have a 74.5% chance of moving on.
San Jose – Detroit: The Sharks beat the Wings in the second round last year when they were the better team, and it might happen again this year. They should move on 57.7% of the time.
If things turn out this way, we’ll have Canucks – Sharks in the Western Conference finals with the Canucks favored. I’ll keep Red Wing hope alive though.
Stay tuned for updated NBA predictions in the next couple days!