NHL Conference Finals
First off this should be a great series, both teams are talented I see it going seven games, and anyone who says Pittsburgh in four or five is completely discounting the Boston Bruins entirely.
With that said that isn’t to say the Penguins can’t or even won’t win the series, because on paper they should. But to me it will come down to Bergeron and his ability to contain Sidney Crosby, if he can take Crosby’s effectiveness away then the Bruins have a good chance of winning the series.
But I don’t see Bergeron containing Crosby for an entire series, in fact he will face insane challenges in this series along with Marchand and Jagr trying to also contain Kunitz and Dupuis, That last part scares me, the fact that the aging Jaromir Jagr will have to cover either Kunitz or Pascal Dupuis, I just do not think he can skate with either of those two, I can see Chris Kelly replacing Jagr on that line in all honesty. And the other big line combination will be Milan Lucic, David Krejci, and Nathan Horton will be countered with James Neal, Evgeni Malkin, and Jarome Iginla. And the Jarome Iginla angle is already known, so that is another element that will be fascinating to watch out for.
Those top two lines for both teams will be key factors for both teams but another line that Pittsburgh might want to watch out for is Daniel Paille, Gregory Campball, and Shawn Thornton because they played great in the Conference Semis against the Rangers, if you want to talk about a real series changing line, that very well could be it.
In terms of defense I like Boston’s defense more, I think they have the better depth which should suit them well in a long physical series if need be. They might be playing with two rookies but they rookies have been amazing. Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski have both been very good when called upon, with no promises that Andrew Ference will be back, these guys need to really be sharp. That isn’t to say Kris Letang, Matt Niskanan or Brooks Orpik won’t be important pieces to the series because they can get the job done themselves, but in terms of depth I like the Bruins better in this series.
In terms of goalies, I think it is an even match up. I think both Rask and Vokoun are very solid goalies and I think the goalie with the most timely saves will win the series. Which if we go by the first two rounds than that would mean Tomas Vokoun. But no one can say how this will play out.
At the end, I think defense and goaltending will prevail over the offense. So I say Boston in seven games, I think this will be an outstanding series and possibly the best series of the playoffs.
Tough decision on who will win the series but I favor Boston over Pittsburgh for many reasons because Boston has a courage to win the series because of Boston Bombing. However, Pittsburgh may win the series easily because they been in playoffs for a long time and they have a lot of key players in the team (Crosby, Cooke, etc.) but if I have to decide on whom will win the series, I will say Boston to win the series.
These two teams have two different styles, Los Angeles is more of a sit at home defensive team while the Blackhawks can bring a solid offensive game. So this is a tough one, because I like LA for the same reason I like the Bruins, I think defense and more so in this case goaltending with Jonathan Quick being on another one of his incredible rolls in this years playoff. I think if Quick can keep it up the Blackhawks will struggle. I also think LA is a deeper and better team in this series. That isn’t to take away from the Blackhawks because they’re a great team, but in terms of depth I feel LA is deeper.
One thing I am looking for is how the Chicago Blackhawks top line does versus Los Angeles’ top defense because I think that match up will be critical for Chicago’s chances in this series.
For key players in this series, I think for Chicago it is Patrick Sharp, and for the Kings is has to be Justin Williams. I choose these two because they both can score, but on typically focal points to the series say like the likes of Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown for LA and Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa for the Blackhawks, so keep an eye out for those two players.
Goaltending I give the edge to Los Angeles, Quick has been strong again this playoffs and could steal them another Stanley Cup. But it will be very interesting to see if Corey Crawford can step in and steal Quick’s thunder.
My prediction is Los Angeles in six, I think on paper the teams are even outside of goaltending where I think the Kings have the advantage in this series, and every series down the road regardless if they move on and have to play either the Bruins or Penguins.
I don’t like Chicago Blackhawks very much for many reasons but one of many reasons that they beat my team, Philadelphia Flyers in 2010, you can say that I am a bitter fan but hey, I will tell you my predication. I think that Kings have a so/so chance to win the series but this series is a gambling series because both of them are very good in their own ways. I gotta say that Kings to win the series.
Posted on June 1, 2013, in All Sports, Hockey, National Hockey League and tagged andrew ference, anze kopitar, Boston Bruins, brad marchand, chicago blackhawks, chris kunitz, corey crawford, daniel paille, david krejci, drew doughty, dustin brown, evgeni malkin, gregory campbell, james neal, jarome iginla, jaromir jagr, jonathan quick, jonathan toews, justin williams, kris letang, los angeles kings, marian hossa, matt barkowski, milan lucic, nathan horton, nhl, pascal dupuis, patrice bergeron, patrick kane, patrick sharp, pittsburgh penguins, shawn thornton, sidney crosy, stanley cup playoffs, tomas vokoun, torey krug, tuukka rask. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.