One more round of the playoff is in the books and the Stanley Cup Final is getting closer. There’s something pretty unique about hockey playoff games, especially those that go to overtime. It’s so tense and exciting.
And the hopes of the Great White North of conquering the Stanley Cup were once again shattered as there are no Canadian teams in contention anymore. And this time they had 5 teams in the playoffs.
Let’s start talking about the greatest mistake I made in my last predictions: I thought the Canadiens would prevail against Tampa Bay. Huge mistake. Tampa Bay played at lightning speed (pun totally intended) and managed to overcome Montreal. They got a little scare when the series went 3-2 but showed they were better prepared.
And how about the Rangers? As I expected, their series against the Capitals was the best of all playoffs, but I thought it would be a little easier. But they are playing their hearts out seeking the trophy that eluded them last year.
As for the Blackhawks and the Ducks series, they can be analyzed together. I thought both would pass with ease, but the end results surprised me a little. I never thought Anaheim could lose a game to Calgary and I was sure Minnesota would put up a fight with Chicago and not be swept. But at the end of the day, both Blackhawks and Ducks didn’t need to grind too much to punch their tickets to the Western Conference Finals.
Thus, let’s try to predict the two teams who will meet in the Stanley Cup.
New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: As I said, the Rangers are playing their hearts out. It reminds me a lot of the way the Spurs played the NBA finals last year, when they went out to prove that they should have won in 2013. Of course, Tampa Bay got Stamkos and speed and they are fired up. But Henrik Lundqvist is playing as the best goalie in the world and an overtime win in Game 7 is something that boosts your morale like nothing else. Running the risk of Tampa Bay making me eat my words again, I’m going with NY. Rangers 4-1.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Chicago Blackhawks: Will a California team again deny the hockey world the chance of witnessing a Chicago vs. New York Stanley Cup, just like the Kings did last year? I don’t know but I’m more than willing to find out. Anaheim got home-ice advantage which can be a factor, but ever since the beginning of the season I’ve been rather impressed with Chicago. If Toews, Kane, Hossa and Keith weren’t enough, Crawford is having a Henrik Lunqvist-like season. It will be hard fought but as I wrote on my last post: I’m through betting against Chicago. Blackhawks 4-3.
If my predictions are correct, I can’t wait for this year’s Stanley Cup Finals.
Danko Jones – Best Of
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Uriah Heep – Outsider
Midnight – Complete and Total Hell
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