Friday, May 31, 2013
2013 Conference Finals
1) A rather interesting unique Conference Finals in that all 4 teams are recent Cup winners. Showing that despite the constrictions of the salary cap, good management CAN result in on ice team excellance to continue more than 1 season. These teams all have good upper management in commin so it shouldn't be a shock to see these as the NHLs Final 4. As always we will predict the winner of each series and the compenents of the matchup that brought us to that conclusion.
In the East:
Pittsburgh Penguins-VS- Boston Bruins: No other NHL team features a dynamic duo in the middle like Pittsburgh's. However while the nightmare of the Penguins' early postseason games may have been highlighted by the awful play of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, his struggles were aided and abetted by the guys in front of him. The Penguins have to withstand the pounding from Boston's rugged heavyweight forwards like Milan Lucic and Shawn Thornton, and its combative middleweights, such as Brad Marchand and Gregory Campbell. The key in my opinion will be Rask and the defensive discipline of the Bruins. If they play 'their game' this actually coould be a short series. The pens have too many exploitable holes even with Vokun in goal.
Bruins in 5
Chicago Black Hawks-VS-Los Angles Kings: The defending Stanley Cup champions are no longer a surprise to anyone. The Kings play an old-fashioned, hard-hitting style in the mold of their coach, Darryl Sutter, and their aim is to dominate the areas along the boards, in the corners, and in front of the net. They have a good amount of high-end skill in their lineup, but that's probably not the side of their game the Hawks will see in this round. Detroit made a point of targeting Hawks captain Jonathan Toews and there's no reason to believe that the Kings won't continue the abuse. Kopitar is one of hockey's best all-around players, but Mike Richards is nastier and would assume the role that Henrik Zetterberg just played for Detroit. Patrick Kane is not one of the bigger Hawks and he too may be leaned on. He wasn't explosive against Detroit and could have even less room to move against L.A. Fortunately, others such as Patrick Sharp picked up the slack. Which is why I think the Hawks will prevail.
Black Hawks in 5