Saturday, May 29, 2010

Conference Finals & Stanley Cup Predictions

Conference Finals – Best and Worst

Well, it’s a sad day for true hockey fans. The conference finals are done and the teams that emerged victorious are not the most talented ones.

Best Series
This is like picking the best of the worst. Both series were craptastic. But I have to give it to Montreal-Philadelphia because at least Montreal put up a bit of a fight. Unlike San Jose who simply seemed to turtle.

Halak stayed on his game the entire time. I don’t think he can be held accountable for their loss. Sure there was probably about 2 goals that he “should have had” but considering that no one on his team could get one in the net, those 2 goals were not series enders. The best game to watch of both series was Game 4 in the Habs-Flyers series. The one game where Montreal used their speed, small size and all out gumption to bring their Flyers to their emotional knees. If they could have played more games like that, they’d have triumphed.

Biggest Disappointment
The San Jose Sharks going down in 4 relatively easy games. Nuff said.

Worst Playoff Beard
This guy wins worst playoff beard and also worst playoff face. Dan Carcillo. Wow is he an ugly guy or what? Add to that icky facial hair in the form of an inappropriate mustache (Movember is long gone Dan and so are the 1970s…) and you’ve got the worst playoff beard of the century.

Best Playoff Beard
This boy’s face was covered a lot in the playoffs because he loves making faces at the opposing teams bench. Luckily those faces are graced with a well-groomed, pretty playoff goatee. Maxim Lapierre. What a hottie… in that Sean-Avery-Douchebag sorta way! But hey, everybody loves the class clown. Especially when he’s pretty.

Stanley Cup Winner…?
I really don’t care who wins. To me, the final is now about who has the biggest goons and the best pests. Neither the Blackhawks or the Flyers play skilled hockey. They rely on their Bollands, Ladds, Carcillos and Hartnells to take cheap shots and make dirty plays. In Philly’s defense, they don’t have much else. But Chicago has the very skilled and talented Jonathan Toews. And they almost as skilled Patrick Kane. Unfortunately, those two stars were not enough to get them to where they are now. They wouldn’t have made it past the Canucks without the pests and goons. Well, maybe they could have but rather than rely on his talented team members, Quenneville would rather sit a 276 pound jackass (Byfuglien) on top of the opposing team’s goalie’s head.

So now in order to determine the winner, you have to figure out who has the bigger bullies, the dirtiest players and the most effective pests. My money is on Byfuglien over Pronger for net menace, simply because Byfuglien is younger and Pronger is old and lazier. I also think Ladd and Bolland are better at the cheap and dirty because they get caught less by the refs. Carcillo (if he hits the ice) will not get away with it because the refs are on to him.
I think this is Chicago’s cup to win or lose. And sadly, as much as I hate them and their dirty style of hockey…. I say they win it. In 5.

Like I said either way, it’s not a game I will watch. I prefer skilled hockey and 99% of what you will see in this Stanley Cup final would not be what you would see at say an Olympic level. Whoever wins, it’s not going to be the kind of win that makes you hold your head up high, not if you’re a “real” fan of hockey anyway.

Puck Bunny Prediction: Chicago wins the Cup in 5.

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