Second Round Predictions: 2-2
Nathan MacKinnon and Connor McDavid face off in the Western Conference Finals. The Avalanche have been the best in power-play percentage in the playoffs thus far, while the Oilers have scored 4.33 goals per game in the playoffs to date. The Western Conference Finals will feature outstanding speed and skill from both teams. Colorado will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, but it will take a full team effort.
It's the Rangers first trip to the Conference Finals since 2015, when they also faced the Lightning. New York won all three contests with Tampa Bay during the 2021-22 regular season. But the Lightning have a veteran, tough-minded group and the long lay-off provided them much needed rest and recovery time. But the true answer about the extra time off will be how they play in Game 1. The Lightning are trying to be the first team to win three consecutive Stanley Cups since the Islanders won four in a row from 1980-1983. I think they're ready to do so, and predict they find a way, and win the Eastern Conference Finals.
Western Conference: Avalanche over the Oilers in 6-games
Eastern Conference Finals: Lightning over the Rangers in 7-games
Enjoy the great NHL hockey!