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National Hockey Now’s Second Round Picks For the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs

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2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs official logo (Photo- NHL/NBC Sports)

Only eight teams remain in the hunt for the Stanley Cup. The Vegas Golden Knights can start to feel just a smidge bit better about their season as they remain one of the 24 teams out. The second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin on Tuesday. So while we can, let’s get to our picks for the second round from the beat writers across National Hockey Now.

But first, let’s review our first-round picks. Everyone was correct in predicting the Lightning, Avalanche, and Flames to win their series. Only half of our poll took the Hurricanes over the Bruins.

Colby and I had our underdog picks blow up in our faces as he took the Kings and I took the Capitals to upset. I was also the only one to pick the Penguins– and was wrong. But I made up for it by being the only one who picked the Blues to beat the Wild. Here’s to better predictions for round two.

NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW’S STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF PICKS

Florida Panthers v Tampa Bay Lightning

Owen Krepps- Vegas Hockey Now– Panthers in 7

I went with the underdog Capitals in round one to upset the Presidents Trophy-winning Florida Panthers simply because I had never seen them win a playoff series in my lifetime. Now that this has changed and the curse is lifted, I might be picking them to go all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. They have such a good overall team which I think beat the Lightning who are worn out after two back-to-back cups. Corey Perry will be suspended sometime in this series.

Colby Guy- Florida Hockey Now- Panthers in 6

Last season, this Panthers team took the Lightning to the brink without Aaron Ekblad in the lineup. Now, with Ekblad, Claude Giroux, and Sam Reinhart this is a much better Florida team than last year. Without Brayden Point, Tampa will have a hard time keeping up with Florida’s deep team.

Stefen Rosner- NYI Hockey Now- Panthers in 7

The battle of Florida is going to be a must-watch series. We got this matchup last season with the Lightning advancing in six games. But this Panthers team is much improved from a year ago and has added playoff experience. The Lightning could be without Brayden Point after he was injured in Game 7 against the Maple Leafs. It will be a battle of depth, and if any team in the East is going to dethrone the Lightning, it’s the Panthers.

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers

Owen Krepps- Vegas Hockey Now- Hurricanes in 6

This should be a good series, and I am going with the Hurricanes. My thought process on this is simple. The Canes defeated the Bruins in seven games because they were the better team. The Rangers barely squeaked by the Penguins who beat them in three games with their third-string goalie. Against his former team, Tony DeAngelo will be the subject of controversy yet again. He will throw a controversial hit on Alexis Lafreniere which won’t be called in Game 6. DeAngelo will then go on to score the series-clinching goal in overtime.

Colby Guy- Florida Hockey Now- Hurricanes in 7

While the Rangers have a solid cast of top-end talent, their depth is concerning and an area where the Hurricanes can beat them handily. With Antii Raanta and Pyotr Kochetkov both proving to be worthy options, I’m not as worried about Frederick Andersen’s health as most are. It’s hard to bet against Igor Shesterkin, but this group has what it takes.

Stefen Rosner- NYI Hockey Now– Hurricanes in 5

The New York Rangers’ effort in the Penguins series was questionable at times, sneaking away with a Game 7 overtime win over a team they should have put away games earlier. To say that the Rangers got away with their mistakes against the Penguins would be false, as the Penguins made them pay for sloppiness. But the Rangers survived. However, failing to bring your “A” game against the Carolina Hurricanes will only end in destruction. The same destruction we saw in the bubble a few years ago between these two teams.

Colorado Avalanche v St. Louis Blues

Owen Krepps- Vegas Hockey Now- Avalanche in 7

The Avalanche are still my pick to win the Stanley Cup as I am hopping on the bandwagon this year simply because of how good this team is. This will be a closer series than I think everyone will expect as the Blues are a deep team, especially on offense. In goal, I don’t think Ville Husso and Jordan Binnington can get it done against the Avs. Cale Makar will lead the NHL Playoffs in scoring after two rounds.

Colby Guy- Florida Hockey Now– Avalanche in 4

Just watch the highlights from last year’s matchup between these two teams and that’s my explanation for this pick…

Stefen Rosner- NYI Hockey Now- Avalanche in 5

The St. Louis Blues showed that they are still a force during their series against the Minnesota Wild. Because of that, I can see them giving the Colorado Avalanche a run for their money. But this Avalanche team has it all. They are as well-rounded as any team in these playoffs and I’m not sure that the Blues’ goaltending will be able to hold up against the superstars that Colorado has.

Calgary Flames v Edmonton Oilers

Owen Krepps- Vegas Hockey Now- Flames in 7

The battle of Alberta will be fun, and I think we are in for a nasty and spirited series between two teams that do not like one another. I have the Flames taking this one as they are deeper offensively than the Oilers who still primarily rely on Connor McDavid and Leon Draistail to carry the offense. Jakob Markstrom is also a far better goaltender than either Mike Smith or Mikko Koskinen. There will be at least five fights in this series with Matthew Tkachuk, Milan Lucic, Darnell Nurse, and even Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all getting in on the fun.

Colby Guy- Florida Hockey Now- Flames in 7

This will be one hell of a battle between these two teams, but two things make the difference for the Flames — depth and goaltending. The Oilers don’t have much of either of those things and Mike Smith’s play in the first round isn’t exactly sustainable. Calgary will get it done.

Stefen Rosner- NYI Hockey Now- Flames in 6

The Calgary Flames are my team to reach the Stanley Cup Final from the West and ultimately win it. The reasoning was not just because they have a heck of a netminder in between the pipes in Jacob Markstrom, but because they are a gritty team and have the depth needed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Edmonton Oilers are top-heavy, and that can only get you so far…like past the first round.

Welcome to your new home for Vegas Golden Knights breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to VHN+ for all of our members-only content the entire Vegas Hockey Now crew plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now and writes for the Boulder City Review-Journal. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

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