Four teams are left in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, all with one goal in mind, to lift Lord Stanley. The playoff beards are out in full force and the determination to win the cup is increasing. From east to west the best teams are left. The Canadiens are looking for their first cup since 1993. The Rangers looking to make it a clean sweep for the state of New York in the hockey world, as Union College won the National Championship about a month ago. The Blackhawks are looking to be the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions, since the Redwings in 1998. Last but not least, the Kings are trying to bring Lord Stanley back to the beach and sunshine of Cali. But hey it’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs anything could happen.
Eastern Conference Finals:
New York Rangers vs. Montreal Canadiens
The East is a matchup of beasts. The Canadiens coming off beating the number one seed Boston Bruins and the Rangers had to win three straight against the Pittsburgh Penguins to get here. Montreal is a surprise getting here but with Carey Price as your goalie you can never count his team out. Sure, Carey Price is playing great, but let’s give some credit to P.K. Subban and late season pick up, Thomas Vanek. P.K. with a team leading 12 points has just been filled with energy all playoffs, and you can see it in his game. The pickup Vanek is paying off as he has a team leading 5 goals this postseason. Montreal is proving they are not a team to be messing with.
The New York Rangers already have two game seven victories this postseason. Their rock in goal, Henrik Lundqvist, has been more than stunning, allowing only one goal per game in four elimination games in the playoffs. Lundqvist is the solid Swed but Martin St. Louis is the heart on this Ranger team. After the passing of his mother, St. Louis did not lose a step if anything his determination grew. Seeing him score a goal on Mother’s Day and the amount of emotion shown on the ice by him and his New York Ranger teammates was one of the best moments in sports this year. You have to love and continue to cheer on Martin St. Louis and his emotional story throughout the playoffs.
The Canadiens are rolling but the Swed is a machine. Their roll stops here. Lundqvist is too good and the Rangers scoring is too balanced. Montreal will put up a solid fight but the Rangers depth and goaltending will send them into the Stanley Cup Finals.
Bick’s Pick: New York Rangers over Montreal Canadiens in seven games.
Western Conference Finals:
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings
The Wild West continues to impress. As Blackhawks beat up on the Wild and Blues, and the Kings took out the Sharks and Ducks. We are in for treat for the Western Conference Finals. It is a series rematch of last year Western Conference Finals, which the Blackhawks won in five games. The Chicago Blackhawks are riding Mr. Showtime, Patrick Kane, all the way to the finals. His beauty game winning goal against the Minnesota Wild has the Blackhawk fans begging for another cup. Corey Crawford, goalie for the Blackhawks, is having a remarkable postseason, which is going without notice. He leads the NHL playoffs in goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.931). Crawford and Kane are playing great, and if the Kings can’t stop them, they will be just another stepping stone for the Blackhawks on their way to defending the Stanley Cup.
Lights, camera, action, its Hollywood Hockey time. Kopitar to Gaborik… Gaborik shoots, he scores! That’s pretty much how the King’s Playoffs have been going so far. With magical hands, Gaborik has a NHL leading, 9 goals this postseason. Anze Kopitar is taking the playoffs by storm. One of the most underrated players in the NHL but he is showing everyone in these playoffs how good of player he is. Leading the playoffs with 19 points and leading the Kings to, two game seven victories. Also, Johnathan Quick is in net for the Kings too. He has had his struggles early on but has really come on as of late. Watch out Blackhawks, or the Kings are going to give the Stanley Cup a nice tan, as they bring it back to the sunshine of California.
The Kings still won’t do enough this year. With the Blackhawks getting great contribution from guys like Bickell, Kane, Toews, Seabrook, Hossa, AND Crawford, they are not going to be stopped by the Kings. Blackhawk fans will be singing Chelsea Dagger as they take down Quick and the Kings. The Hawks will move on and represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Bick’s Picks: Chicago Blackhawks will defeat the Los Angeles Kings in six games.
Thank you for reading my preview of Conference Finals. Continue to watch the cup as the intensity rises and beards grow longer. #Becauseitsthecup
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