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Second chances: The next round of the Tely’s fearless playoff picks

All four of the Telegram's playoff predictors believe Sidney Crosby (left) and the Pittsburgh Penguins will prevail against the Washington Capitals.
All four of the Telegram's playoff predictors believe Sidney Crosby (left) and the Pittsburgh Penguins will prevail against the Washington Capitals. - Associated Press

After going 3-5 in the first round —“a Jake Gardiner showing” is how he described it — Telegram Sports Editor Robin Short declares there is nowhere to go but up as the National Hockey League playoffs and Tely’s Stanley Cup playoff prognostications head into the second round. 

For the record, our two participants from the newsroom — Kenn Oliver and Glen Whiffen — were 5-3 and 4-4, respectively, in the opening round, while Brendan McCarthy of the Sports Department got out of the gate quickly, going 7-1.

And so you know, our latest selections were made before the start of the first second-round games Thursday night.

Brendan McCarthy

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Penguins-Capitals

Evgeni Malkin was supposed to miss the first game of this series, maybe more, but the Penguins are a team that finds ways to win. The Capitals, meanwhile have a history of finding ways to lose.

Pittsburgh in 5.

Lightning-Bruins

I could be accused of going with my heart here — the Bruins have long been my team — but my head is also playing a part in making this pick, at least for this round.

Boston in 6.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Sharks-Golden Knights

Going against San Jose was my first-round blemish. It won’t be in the second round, too.

The carriage turns back into a pumpkin and the horses become mice for the Knights in their Cinderella season.

San Jose in 6.

Jets-Predators

If you saw the Winnipeg-Nashville game towards the end of the regular season, you should be salivating at the prospect of this series.

Winnipeg in 7.

Kenn Oliver

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Penguins-Capitals

The Pens didn’t look great against the Flyers at times, and they’re a bit banged up. Still, my heart wants a three-peat so bad and the NHL needs a modern-day dynasty.

Pittsburgh in 7.

Lightning-Bruins

I’m officially convinced by the Lightning and skeptical of Tuuka Rask, who looked positively porous at times against the Leafs. Another high-octane offense, complimented by a capable back-end should give Tampa the edge.
Tampa Bay in 7.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Sharks-Golden Knights

Like the Ducks before them, the Sharks bring a veteran-laden roster with a bevy of playoff experience (and failures) to bear. Unlike Anaheim, San Jose is a team capable of keeping pace with Vegas.

San Jose in 6.

Jets-Predators

If I were a sports reporter covering the NHL, this is the series I’d want to be face and eyes into. Two deep and versatile teams who can play you a number of ways. Ultimately, nagging injuries to key guys will be the Jets’ undoing.

Nashville in 6.

Robin Short

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Penguins-Capitals

I am not going to discount any team that has Sidney Crosby in its lineup, even if that team is playing against another that has Alexander Ovechkin in its lineup. And besides, like I said last time, the Caps can’t win a big game (we don’t count Columbus).

Pittsburgh in 5.

Lightning-Bruins

The Bruins showed they’ve got jam with the Game 7 win over the Maple Leafs, after falling behind a couple or three times. Only concern might be the play of Tuuka Rask right now. Still though, I’m going with the B’s.

Boston in 6.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Sharks-Golden Knights

I’ve given up discounting the Knights. No more. It’s taken me a while, but now I’m convinced: this team’s for real. Especially against the Sharks.

Vegas in 5.

Jets-Predators

Boy, the Jets sure looked good vs Minnesota. But if you recall on our last little round of selections, I jumped the gun and anointed the Nashville Predators as the 2017-18 Stanley Cup champions. I’m not backing down.

Nashville in 7.

Glen Whiffen

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Penguins-Capitals

I feel, a little, for Ovechkin not coming near a cup in his career, but I’d like to see the Penguins win this series. Crosby is just too good not to continue on in the playoffs.

Pittsburgh in 7.

Lightning-Bruins

The Leafs should have taken Boston. But, what can you do? I really don’t think Boston can hang on to win another series, particularly with questionable goaltending.

Tampa Bay in 6.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Sharks-Golden Knights

I like the spirit of the Golden Knights, and I like Marc-Andre Fleury. The amazing story of this expansion team needs to continue.
Vegas in 7.

Jets-Predators

This should be a good series. I’d like to see the Jets win, but they have some players with injuries that might cause problems for them. And the Predators seem destined to go deep into the playoffs.

Nashville in 6.

sports@thetelegram.com

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