Wednesday, June 12, 2013

NHL Playoffs Predictions: The Stanley Cup Finals

I was wrong in both semi-finals predictions two weeks ago yet still found a way to say this:
In any event, even if the Hawks won, there's still a 50/50 chance they'd face the Bruins next - and that'd be even worse.
And here we are.

Chicago Blackhawks vs Boston Bruins:

 These two Original Six teams meet in the Finals for the first time in NHL history. The Bruins pounded their way through the powerhouse Pittsburgh Penguins, shutting down Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, James Neal and Jarome Iginla all at once. Their goalie Tuuka Rask is on fire, and they seemed like the healthiest team from the beginning. Also, on a team struggling to find the back of the net more than twice per game, Jaromir Jagr at 42 years old is looking like Eric Lindros did at 25.

The Hawks faced adversity for the first time of the season in Round 2 against the Detroit Red Wings, but had fun at the expense of the banged-up reigning champion Los Angeles Kings, and solved Jonathan Quick - the best goalie still standing. Corey Crawford proved to be no pushover himself, while Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane woke up, and captain Jonathan Toews also started producing. The defensive pairing of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook has become so steady it could be mistaken for one of the Bruins'.

If one team can beat Boston, it's Chicago - and vice versa. But because the Hawks skated through the Kings, who resembled the Bruins, I'll give them the slightest advantage.

Chicago in 6

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