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NHL Conference Semifinal Predictions


by Andrew Mannix
32 teams is down to eight teams and will be down to four by next week. I predict that these four teams will be the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Calgary Flames.
The Chicago Blackhawks are the easiest choice, as they have gone deep into the playoffs four out of the last six years and have won it all twice. On top of that they have a 3-0 series lead on the young and playoff-inexperienced Minnesota Wild. Look for them to close out the series Thursday night.
The New York Rangers are currently trailing the Washington Capitals two games to one, but I still predict that they will come out on top. The Rangers have arguably the best goalie in the world and went to the Stanley Cup Finals last year with virtually the same team. If regular season means anything, the Rangers dominated that by winning the Presidents Trophy, which is given out to the team with the most points at the end of the year. The Capitals, on the other hand, have been knocked out of the playoffs by the Rangers their last two trips. They have never made much of a playoff push in recent history despite having arguably the best player in the game, Alex Ovechkin. I predict that the Rangers will come back and win the series in seven games.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are coming off two wins at the Bell Centre, the hardest arena for a visiting team to play in. Now with a 2-0 series lead, they get to come home and try to close out a struggling Montreal Canadiens team. The Canadiens have lost four of their last five games, including two to the Ottawa Senators. Although the Canadiens are too good to get swept out of the playoffs, I expect them to be sent home after game five.
The Calgary Flames were not picked to win the series coming in by many and are still not being picked by many being in a 2-1 series hole. However, after an impressive 4-3 at home in game three the momentum has taken a slight turn. Despite them having the best record in the Pacific, The Ducks have a history of early exits since their Stanley Cup Championship eight years ago. I predict that the Flames will win game four Friday night to tie the series and will eventually win the series in game seven.

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