Eastern Conference Round Two picks

New York Rangers/Washington
Rookie Braden Holtby went 4-3, .940, 2.00 against the defending champ Bruins. Odds are the .940 part is unsustainable even in a similarly small sample size; over a best of seven series against the Rangers the 2.00 may not be, although it may not be enough depending on what’s happening on the other end of the ice, where Lundqvist went 4-3, .945, 1.70 against Ottawa. The Caps were the 10th best possession team (Fenwick tied); the Rangers were 14th. More than even Blues/Kings out West, I think this series is a coin toss as long as Holtby stays hot, but I don’t think he will be quite as hot as Lundqvist. The Rangers were +39 in the regular season; the Caps were -8. Rangers in seven.

Philadelphia/New Jersey
Odds are here that the Flyers’ power play (12/23, 52.2% against the Penguins) won’t break even again against what was the top ranked regular season penalty kill (an NHL record 89.6%). The Devils were actually a much better possession team than the Flyers (9th vs. 16th in Fenwick tied) as well. The 2010 Flyers took the Devils out in five with offensive weapons like Dan Carcillo on the top line; even with a deeper team, I would expect somewhat more difficulty here, though the depth will win out. The Flyers were +32 in the regular season; the Devils were +19. Flyers in six.


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