NY Rangers (51-24-7) vs. Ottawa Senators (41-31-10)
There’s no reason the Rangers shouldn’t win this series, unless they have a major injury to someone who happens to reside between the iron during the games. While Lundqvist has been a little dinged up lately and Ottawa won the regular season series 3-1 including shootout victory, I still don’t see it happening. The Rangers aren’t going to blow you away with scoring, although Gaborik and Richards have been solid scoring threats all year, they are dominate defensively and will grind away softer teams like the Senators. It has been a feel good year for 39-year-old Daniel Alfredsson, emerging superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson and some of the non-Swedes on the team but Ottawa lost it’s divisional battle with the Bruins and therefore have to face the mighty Rangers. If it wasn’t for John Tortorella behind the Rangers bench you might give the Sens a punchers chance in the series but there is no way that Torts lets his team look past Ottawa and he will have them focused as they need be.
Finally, after 82 regular season games and 14 playoff series we have finally reached the promised land. THE STANLEY CUP FINALS BITCHES!! Whose pumped besides this guy?!?!? …and Canada??? This year we have the pleasure of watching the ‘President’s Trophy’ winning Vancouver Canucks vs. the defensive minded Boston Bruins battle for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Looking at how the two teams arrived to the promised land, it’s hard to make an argument for the Boston Bruins to win this series. With the exception of their round 2 series (which is more telling of the Flyers than the Bruins), Boston has just been lucky enough to survive seven game series against far less talented teams in Montreal and Tampa Bay when compared to Vancouver. Their offense has been anemic at best and their special teams are just flat-out terrible. Boston’s power play unit is about as useful as nipples on the Bat-suit. Thanks Joel Schumacher!!
Anyways, Boston’s only saving grace is that they have two of the best at their positions protecting the net, big bad Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas. I know the plus/minus stat is garbage in the grand scheme of things, but I’ll go ahead and inform you Chara is boasting a +11 in the playoffs. Tim Thomas is certainly doing his fair share in carrying the team with a 2.29 GAA and .929 save percent average. If Boston is going to have a shot at this, they are going to need to have Tim Thomas stand on his head and get a shut-out or two.
So, with that all said, I’m going with Vancouver in 5 for their first Stanley Cup win. The Sedin twins are just unstoppable and showed it in the conference finals against San Jose. Ryan Kesler appeared to find his game at the end of the series, so I would expect for him to carry that over to the finals. Not to be forgotten is Roberto Luongo, who will be the toughest goaltender the Bruins have faced in the playoffs. Sorry Boston, maybe next year it will be your turn……… after 40 years of coming up short.
So Canucks in 5, and Henrik Sedin wins the Conn Smythe.
Ok this is going to be a quick one, since I am juggling a new-born baby, a recovering wife, and my want to share my hockey opinion with you all. God, I am so generous. You’re welcome! Anyways, let’s do this….
After overcoming a dismal Game 1 start, it appeared Boston was set to take the Eastern Conference Title with the games 2 and 3 wins…but then game 4 happened. Wow, what a meltdown. Allowing 5 unanswered goals after securing a 3 goal lead in the first period, embarrassing.
So now we have a best of 3 series with Home Ice advantage currently with the Bruins, but the momentum is clearly with Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay’s offensive domination has been simply amazing, minus the game 3 hiccup, scoring 15 GOALS IN 4 GAMES with St. Louis and Lecavalier leading the charge with 17 playoff points each! While I expect Tampa to come out firing in game 5, and continue their game 4 domination, one thing that can’t be forgotten is Tim Thomas’s ability to bounce back from a shelling and win a game for his team (unlike the goaltenders in the Bestern, I mean Western Conference, who can get easily rattled after poor performances).
If Boston is going to make it out of this series alive, it’s going to have to be on the shoulders of Thomas and hope he puts on his Vezina hat and pull off more game 3 shut-out performances.
Prediction: Tampa Bay in 7 and Steve Yzerman GM of the Year…Ride the Lightning baby!!
Well since we all know the Eastern Conference is inferior to the Western Conference, lets not even bother talking about the race for second place. Instead, lets talk about something more important…
THE ROYAL WEDDING!!!
Ima kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiding. How about this instead?
Let’s look at the East.
Washington Capitals vs Tampa Bay Lightning
This series is a no-brainer. The Capitals showed they are firing on all cylinders when they dismantled the Rangers in the first round. The Caps were able to get significant production from from supporting cast members like Arnott and Knuble in addition to the multiple point put up by Ovechkin and Semin. To make matters worse for the Lightning Michal Neuvirth is coming into this round boasting a 1.38 GAA and 0.936 save percentage. One thing that does need to be said about the Lightning is what an amazing job Steve Yzerman has done. He has turned Tampa Bay around and crafted them into an EASTERN CONFERENCE playoff contender.
Prediction: Capitals in 5
Philadelphia Flyers vs Boston Bruins
This will be the series to watch in the East for competitive, grind it out, physical hockey. Both teams are coming off of hard fought 1st rounds that went to game sevens, so hopefully that intensity carries over. With the goalie carousel going on in Philly and a banged up Pronger, I think Boston has the advantage going into this series. That being said, lets not forget Boston found a away to blow a 3 game lead and let the Canadians take them to the brink.