Out in the West I went 4 for 4. Picked the winners of each series and perfectly picked Minnesota winning in 5. How about those Arizona Coyotes, they are giant killers, well almost were. Nearly going back to back seasons taking out the top team in the West. Hats off to those boys. Here are my Round 2 predictions:
They were at the top of the Central all year together. Two teams that are very familiar with each other. At first glance, Minnesota gave up few goals and did it on fewer shots. Winnipeg is physical with 81 hits and they like to shoot almost 17 per game. Rest of the stat line is pretty even, on paper, this should be an even series.
How did they get here?
Minnesota dropped an early one to Vancouver, 2-1 in the opening game. That would be the last time they would lose, winning the next four straight. It was a balance between, tight one goal games and 3 to 4 goal blowouts.
Winnipeg took a similar route, getting stunned in the opening game losing 5-1. They took a reschedule and bounced back game 2. The Blues smacked them in the face again winning 4-0, but at that point the Jets had enough. Winning the next 3 games, with revenge being served in game 6 in an 8-0 blowout win for the Jets.
Minnesota was led by Insane_Hellfire in the opening series. A plus 8, 52.60% in the face-off dot, 8 assists and 10 points total. Next up was skillszy with 4 goals and 4 assists, a plus 7 in the opening series. Last but not least Mattkiinnoo with 8 points, 5 of which were goals, and a plus 5.
On the blue line, rharmer3 lead his team’s defense with 5 points and a plus 9. Next up with games played would be zimDman who had 3 points in 3 games with zero PIMs. In net, ciulla19, had a .883 save percentage in the opening series. Let in just over a goal a game, facing nearly 10 shots a game.
Winnipeg was led up front by Alexander1032, a guy many expected to carry the load for the Jets. He had 12 points in the opening round, 10 of those being assists. Carmstrong95 had 11 points, the receiving end of those Alexander assists racking up 8 goals. Finally, Kred_14 with a 59% face off percentage, 7 points and 22 hits.
On Defense, LiquidLunch80 and Beantwn_beatdwn each had 4 points and each had at least a plus 9. These two were solid on defense, but when they broke down Acer1719 was up for the challenge. Two shutouts in the opening series with a .836 save percentage faced 12 shots a game and had a 1.88 goals against average.
This one is tough to pick. Defensively, Minnesota is the better team. They get offense from the defense and their goalie was solid in the opening round. Minnesota in 6.
Both teams had challenging round 1 match ups. Vegas saw themselves up against Calgary, all but one game decided by 1 goal. The Kings went up against the Coyotes, what at first seemed like a route at first turned in a marathon. LA put up 21 goals in the opening round, have the advantage in Time on Attack with 10:04 and put up nearly 20 shots a game. Vegas does not give up a lot of goals, but there stats are misleading. Calgary is a solid team, and these are the numbers I’d expect to see from the team that advances.
Let’s look at how these teams got here.
The Kings jumped out early on the Coyotes, winning the first game 6-0, followed by a 4-2 and then a 4-3 OT win. In a way, the writing was on the wall for this series, the Coyotes were getting better with each game. Then the tide turned, with the Coyotes winning the next three, 3-0, 3-1 and 4-3 in OT. Suddenly, we were looking at a game 7, a series, even I didn’t predict would go this long. Kings closed it out, in a tight 2-1 victory to advance.
Vegas went up against their rival Calgary in the opening round. The teams split the opening games, then Calgary jumped out to their only lead of the series winning Game 3. The rest of the way it was tight, low scoring games with the Golden Knights being on the right side of the result each time.
In LA, rV_Clutchz led the way with 12 points. He had 8 goals and 4 assists in 6 games. Tmills71 had 8 assists and 11 points. He was also 52.10% in the efface dot. GAMINGHAMZ and FFrantic_ round out the offensive for LA. Putting up 9 and 8 points respectively, this LA team is balanced and likes to shoot.
On the backend, the two stalwarts, Rbcressor and BakonBlitz with 6 games played each. They each put up 4 points, had 17 and 18 hits respectively and took a combined 6 PIMs. In net, chadkillz134 played 5 games had a .836 save percentage.
For Vegas, Relinquished_71 had 11 points, 4 goals and 7 assists. Prodigytolegend had 7 points with 4 goals and 3 assists and went 49.60 percent in the face-offs. Rounding out the top three ||_screddx91_|| had 3 points in 3 games.
On defense, |JR95| and the-statistician each had 2 points. The tight series didn’t do much for their stats but the-statistician had 23 hits in 6 games. In net, Wonderrocket_9 went 3-0-1 with a .863 save percentage and a shutout.
The X factor (I should trademark that) will be wonderrocket. These teams know each other, going to have to lean toward LA, I hope they learned their lesson from round 1. LA in 5, because well, no because I flipped a coin.