1. Chicago Blackhawks v 7. Detroit Red Wings
This original 6 clash between these two Central Division sides promises to be an exciting match up. Both sides had contrasting Round 1 victories with both sides victories reflecting their season to date. Chicago cruised through in 5 games against Minnesota and they have been dominant all season. Detroit squeezed through in 7 games against Anaheim, they also qualified for the playoffs at the end of the regular season.
Detroit have shown that they can mix it with the top teams in the league and their skill and battling qualities were shown in their victory over Anaheim, Detroit won 3 of their 4 games in Overtime.
Chicago won the season series 3-1.
Chicago should have too much over the course of the series for the Red Wings. In the last series against Minnesota Jonathon Toews was quiet but Patrick Sharp stepped up to dominate the series. They have quality in depth and should advance in 6.
Verdict: Chicago Blackhawks
5. Los Angeles Kings v 6. San Jose Sharks
This is a clash of two Pacific Division sides in a second all division clash in the West. Both sides beat higher seeded opponents to advance but the Kings and Sharks had dominated their opponents, St Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks, in the regular season so these victories could not be classified as shocks.
The Kings are defending Stanley Cup Champions and looked every bit of that title when coming back from two down in their series against St Louis to win four straight to clinch the series in a grueling series.
San Jose were the only side to sweep their opponent when they impressively defeated the Vancouver Canucks in Round 1.
The differences between the ease of getting to the second round could play a part in this match up but it may also be to the Sharks disadvantage that they have not played in the longest possible time. St Louis provided more resistance than Vancouver which may have battle hardened the Kings more than the Sharks.
San Jose have been knocking on the door for a number of years now and looked like a team who have decided this is the year in Round 1. The Kings looked like a team who do not want to relinquish their title.
This should be another grueling clash in California that may go the distance.
Verdict: Los Angeles Kings