Saturday, May 14, 2011

Conference Finals Predictions

My predictions haven't been spot-on this year. In Round 1 I got 5 out of 8 match-up winners right. In Round 2 - I got 1 out of 4 right. Let's see if I can redeem myself with the 2011 Stanley Cup playoff conference finals.

The East

Boston Bruins vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay have more precision and skill on offensive with Lecavelier, Stamkos, And the Smurf (St. Louis). They also have Douchebag Downie who has been a bit of a rockstar (albeit a douchey one). But Boston has pure, unadulterated goon force. What they lack in graceful offense they make up for in ungraceful defense and just all out force. Tampa Bay doesn't have the depth to get down and dirty and that's how Boston plays. They'll have the Lightning cowering and possibly crying. I would love to see the Smurf cry.
Puck Bunny Prediction: Boston Bruins in 6.

The West Bold
Vancouver Canucks vs San Jose Shark
These teams, when you look at previous rounds, have had similiar paths to the final. Both lost 3-game leads and had to claw their way out of a Round. Both have had stars underproduce (Pavelski and the Sedin twins), both have had players dominate (Kesler and Couture) and both have had unexpected, delightful surprises (Setoguchi and Higgins). But here's the biggest difference - the Canucks have gotten more focused and stronger as they progressed. Their near-meltdown happened in Round 1 and though Round 2 was a bit of a battle thanks to Rinne there was no mental break and they stayed focused and dominated throughout, even in the games they lost. The Sharks mental meltdown happened in Round 2 - which may mean they are on a descent instead of an ascent. Also regular season between these teams, if it matters at all, was dominated by the Canucks. If the Sedin twins can wake up this would be easy. I don't think they will, but I still say the Canucks win.
Puck Bunny Prediction: Vancouver Canucks in 7.

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