2018-2019 NHL Season

Discussion in 'Hockey' started by Don Wassall, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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  2. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Tuned into the Penguins at Kings TV broadcast last night. There was one of those rare ceremonial puck droppings at center ice after the national anthem by an honored person to the two team captains. Was it a former LA Kings great, or perhaps an NHL Hall of Famer? Nope, it was Snoop Dogg. I kid you not.

    Oh, and before the anthem, a military veteran was trotted out on the ice to be recognized, as most (all?) NHL teams seem to do now. Maybe the Canadian teams don't. He was a middle-aged White man in his late 40s or early 50s, probably served in the Desert Storm era and the crowd dutifully gave him a nice round of applause. "Patriotism" has morphed into loyalty to the anti-White idiocracy the U.S. has been transformed into.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  3. Bucky

    Bucky Mentor

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    Love a good Hockey Fight

     
  4. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    There's not much fighting in the NHL anymore, and most of the fights are pretty lame. Tom Wilson has always been a badass but is also a talented player who was a first round draft choice. The goon who could barely skate and served only as an enforcer is extinct now.
     
  5. wile

    wile Mentor

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    The fighting was such a goofy stunt. I can watch a period or two of hockey and I would catch the Blackhawks back in the day before they got good and Keenan would as I say "skate the goons" at the beginning of the third period like it was scripted. That to me ruined the hockey fights and the matchup fights where everyone on the ice except the superstars tees off then the goalies meet at center ice and start dueling that was bad as well.

    Then on the other hand there were some real wing dingers such as Chelios vs Darien Hatcher, I feared for Chellies life on that one. One brutal one was McSorley the last helmetless player got whooped on by that slow handed AA black player damn good but then came back with a stick and all but guaranteed an end to his career on a bad note.
     
  6. Shadowlight

    Shadowlight Master

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    The NHL All Star game is tonight. Last night they had the skills competition in what is roughly the equivalent of the 40 yard dash they had the fastest skater event.

    For the third straight year Connor McDavid won. And Buffalo star Jack Eichel came in second. There was even a chick skating and she was pretty damn fast. Even edged out youngster Clayton Keller from Arizona. Keller is a rising star though.

    McDavid, who just might be the best pure athlete in all of sports, and Eichel are starting to resemble Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays. Two superstars that should carry the sport forward for the next decade. You always here the term blinding speed when discussing black athletes but McDavid reached 25 MPH in his skate. More like warp speed.

    And there is more to come. Speedster deluxe C Jack Hughes is expected to be the first pick in the 2019 NHL draft.

    There are a lot of terrific young players in the NHL right now including Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon.

    See below results from the fastest skater event.


    https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-skills-competition-fastest-skater-connor-mcdavid/c-304218034


    See
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  7. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    The chick is Kendall Coyne Schofield, and to my surprise, when I turned on the Pitt-Tampa game two nights ago on the NBC Sports Network, lo and behold she was a paid analyst for the nationally televised game, standing beside Pierre McGuire between the two team benches. She was treated more than fairly and nicely by McGuire, Eddie Olczyk and Jon Forsland, in fact it came across to me as pandering, but Pierre is now being accused by the gynocracy's media of "sexism" because he innocuously said to Kendall in the intro to the broadcast, “Tampa’s going to be on your left. Pittsburgh’s going to be on your right. What are you expecting out of this game? We’re paying you to be an analyst, not to be a fan tonight!”

    This was denounced as "condescending" for some reason. A young girl with no previous broadcasting experience (and it showed), yet poor Pierre, who couldn't have been nicer to her, is somehow a villain. The real issue was why was she rewarded with such a high-profile position without any experience, based solely on her ability to skate fast. The feminists, like the professional race baiters, are motivated by hate and vengeance and will never, ever be satisfied.

    Here's a typical ridiculous rant against McGuire:

    Pierre McGuire's condescending treatment of Kendall Coyne Schofield is all too familiar for women in male-dominated fields

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/spor...e-scofield-pierre-mcguire-20190131-story.html
     
  8. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    It is pretty sad to the NHL forum pretty much dead. I've been watching some hockey where I can this year, but have been too busy to come on and post about it. It has been an awesome season! From Tampa Bay's dominating regular season to the tight playoff race, with many teams not clinching a birth until the last few days.

    Being a Penguins' fan, I naturally watch them a bit more than other teams. They just clinched their postseason birth with a 4-1 win over the Red Wings tonight. The Penguins have been inconsistent throughout the year, but they've really been playing better since the trade deadline. The big deal this year that I think changed the team around was getting rid of dead weights Derrick Brassard and Riley Sheahan and getting some hungry young talent in Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann from Florida in return. They've been playing great. That, and that stadium loss against the Flyers in February, when the team suddenly began actually defending, are the two turning points of the season. With Murray returning to form, becoming one of the best in the league the last few months, the Pens should be able to play with anyone. Crosby has carried the team at points this year, having one of his best seasons ever. Now (hopefully) with Letang and Malkin healthy, Pittsburgh should be ready for the playoffs.

    Tampa Bay has been a machine this year. Nikita Kucherov has been unstoppable, and Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point are great in their own right, with both of them closing in on 100 points as the regular season winds down. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been playing great between the pipes for the Lightning. Even with their regular season, I'm still not fully convinced they'll make the Stanley Cup Finals. They've got a great chance for sure, but after losses to Pittsburgh and Washington in the Eastern Finals in the last three years, I'm not so sure.

    It's been fun watching the Carolina Hurricane's success this year. I enjoyed watching their "Storm Surge" celebrations after every home win. Some may not like it, but it's great that Carolina is getting their fans involved in the games, and getting them to come to games. The Hurricanes are a pretty fast team that has played some great hockey in the second half of the season. They have leveled off a bit recently, but they'll give one of the top teams in the East trouble in the first round.

    I haven't been able to watch the West as much this year, but there are some great teams over there. Calgary has been playing great all year, and I think they'll be in the West Finals. Also, the likely series between the Flames and Avalanche, who are led by wonderkid Nathan MacKinnon, should be a good one. The Flames are a lot more balanced, with a great defense to go with Johnny Gaudreau, but Mike Smith and David Rittich are not a sure thing in the playoffs.

    The Stanley Cup Playoffs should be great, like usual. I'm hoping some CF users will be able to watch some of the series and get some discussion going here. Out of all the forums, this one shouldn't be the least traveled one!
     
  9. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Jack, right on analysis of the Penguins' season and the other contenders. The Penguins pretty much sleep walked through the first two-thirds of the season and really had to turn it on just to make the playoffs. As usual, GM Jim Rutherford made some shrewd trades that improved the roster.

    I still watch the Penguins quite a bit, and other teams when I can, but I'm not posting much in the hockey forum because I'm not interested in having a discussion with just myself. Hopefully posting will pick up now that the great spectacle that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs begins next week.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  10. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    The Stanley Cup Playoffs are officially set!! As always, there'll be some must-watch matchups. I'll try to give my opinion on all eight series, so here we go:

    Western Conference

    Nashville vs. Dallas
    - I haven't watched Dallas too much this year, but they seem to be a one-line team to my knowledge. Seguin, Benn, and netminder Ben Bishop will have to carry the Stars if they're to do anything. In what I think is one of the less compelling series, Nashville should win this one. Rinne and their blue-line are among the best in the NHL, and their offense is not lacking either with guys like Johansen and Arvidsson.

    Winnipeg vs. St. Louis - This is actually a compelling series for me. These two squads are tied in the standings with 99 points each. The Blues looked horrible to start the year, but thanks to some awesome goaltending by Jordan Binnington, they came alive in the second half of the season enroute to a postseason birth. I've not watched Winnipeg this year, but they're always dangerous with guys like Laine. It'll come down to whether Binnington is able to steal some games for St. Louis.

    Calgary vs. Colorado - The best matchup in the West for me, as I detailed above. I think Calgary will ultimately prevail, but with Grubauer on fire in the net and Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and crew scoring, Colorado will be sure to make it fun.

    San Jose vs. Las Vegas - San Jose has been on a real slide lately, and haven't been looking too impressive lately. Vegas has looked dangerous in the 2nd half. They've just got Fleury back from injury recently, and the Mark Stone trade has been a massive win for the Golden Knights. I think Vegas will win. Martin Jones has been too inconsistent for the Sharks in net for them to make a real run.

    Eastern Conference

    Tampa Bay vs. Columbus
    - Columbus's new acquisitions at the trade deadline gelled within the nick of time for Columbus, who used a late surge to make the post-season. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay is one of the best teams in regular season history, with the star power I've detailed above. I think Tampa Bay wins, but Columbus will give them a couple of close games, provided Bobrovsky doesn't revert to his usual playoff form for the Blue Jackets.

    Boston vs. Toronto - The first round matchup that has been known for about 2 months is going to be a good one. There'll be stars all over the ice. If you want some offensive fireworks, this will be the series for you.

    Washington vs. Carolina - The Capitals followed up their Stanley Cup-winning campaign with another sterling performance, winning their division. Ovechkin also won the Richard Trophy, scoring 51 regular season goals. They'll play host to one of the hottest teams in hockey, the Hurricanes. I think the Capitals will win, but if Carolina gets momentum, look out.

    New York Islanders vs. Pittsburgh - Barry Trotz has done a remarkable job of turning New York around in the span of one season, despite franchise cornerstone Jon Tavares walking last offseason. They play some great defense, and have gotten great goaltending. Pittsburgh has been maddeningly inconsistent this whole season, seemingly unable to put 60 minutes of good hockey together. Matt Murray has caught fire of late, and will keep the Penguins in nearly every game, but he'll need some help. They've got the edge in talent over the Islanders, but whether that talent will bring their A-game remains to be seen. If Pittsburgh is able to match the Isles' effort and intensity, I think they win. If the inconsistent version of the team shows up, the Islanders will waste no time grabbing the initiative and winning the series.
     
  11. Shadowlight

    Shadowlight Master

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    Thanks Jack for the playoff previews. Well done as always.

    Just a side note. Saturday was a good sports day overall until they showed Connor McDavid smash into the goal in their final game of the season. Everyone including Connor ( my favorite NHL player) thought he suffered a broken leg and or ligament damage but results of the X rays and MRI came out negative.

    Thank God. He is one of the greatest most spectacular athletes in the world so it comes as a great relief he didn't suffer anything serious. His wheels are second to none. Too bad his Oilers can't seem to make the playoffs (similar to Mike Trout and the Angels) but the important thing is McDavid will be fine after a few weeks rest.

    I am rooting for Tampa Bay with Steven Stamkos and probable MVP Nikita Kucherov.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  12. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Let's go, Pens!! Can't wait for the playoffs to get started tomorrow.
     
  13. Shadowlight

    Shadowlight Master

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    A little off the Playoff subject but by luck I bumped into the NHL draft lottery last night on the NHL network. Chicago, New York and New Jersey were the last three left for the jack pot and New Jersey won the number one prize.

    The NHL is loaded with great young talent and next season New Jersey will have C Jack Hughes, their upcoming number one pick, on their roster.

    Hughes is a special talent with blinding speed. He falls right in line with the likes of Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid so the Devils landed a big one.
     
  14. Shadowlight

    Shadowlight Master

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    I will leave the Penguins comments to Don and Jack Lambert. I just saw bits and pieces of that series as the stingy (some might say boring) Islanders surprisingly disposed of the listless Penguins in four straight. I don't even think Crosby scored a goal in the series. Maybe not even an assist I would have to look that up.

    But the biggest shock was mighty Tampa Bay getting swept by the Blue Jackets. Basically the only series I have watched so far I couldn't believe my eyes. After dominating the first period of the opening game Tampa Bay lost their mojo and never got it back. They were on their heels the entire series.

    Didn't help they lost star Kucherov for game three and defenseman Hedman was out the last two games with an injury.

    Still for a team that was parading around the Stanley Cup before the series---talk about taking a jinx bath-- this is a stunning fall from grace considering how many wins they racked up in the regular season.

    Tampa was fighting hard in the second period last night, which featured great tense hockey, and I kept saying just get it back to Tampa. Both Stamkos and Brayden Point had beautiful goals but Bobrovsky the Columbus goal tender was nabbing most of the shots. In the end Columbus was just better and always had an answer.

    But what a bitter end for the Lightening. Even star and possible league MVP Kucherov was mostly muted throughout the series.

    Now who the hell do I root for? Not the Capitals. And forget the Blue Jackets and Islanders. Perhaps the Avalanche? Or the Bruins who are up against a tough multi weapon Toronto team and now down 2-1.
     
  15. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    "Listless" well describes the Penguins' performance, in fact that's being generous. They lacked the heart and desire to give the Islanders much of a pushback once they realized they were up against a hungry and disciplined team. From the team that won the Stanley Cup three years ago with unstoppable speed and determination, the Penguins have become old, slow and lethargic.

    Crosby, Malkin, Letang and Kessel are all in their 30s now; just as the Kings and Blackhawks declined quickly after winning multiple Cups, it looks like the Penguins are following suit, but that's to be expected in a salary cap league. The only team that successfully defies the salary cap is the Patriots in the NFL, and of course no one will dare "copy" their formula. But in the NHL many teams have copied the Pens formula and now Pittsburgh has to reorganize and make substantial adjustments. Letang and Malkin are both undisciplined and dumb, while Kessel is lazy and limited. All three are uncoachable and I wouldn't mind seeing them go via trade, especially Kessel.

    But the core did win three Stanley Cups in a nine-year span including back to back in '16 and '17, so I'm grateful for that. Thanks for the memories but it's time to rebuild and discard the players who refused to buy into Mike Sullivan's system.

    Columbus got hot down the stretch as the trades they made at the deadline finally started paying dividends. Tampa ran into a buzzsaw and it'll be interesting to see how the Blue Jackets, who had never won a playoff series before, go from here. They have a lot of talent and may be this year's version of the 2012 Kings, who were the 8th seed in the Western Conference but mowed down everyone on their way to the title.
     
  16. Truthteller

    Truthteller Mentor

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    Based on the amount of talent in the organization, no team in the NHL has underachieved more than the Columbus Blue Jackets the last two seasons. Both season's Fonzi Tortorella's club barely sneaked into the playoffs, despite a wealth of talent and very good goal-tending. Personally, I think they could've been more exciting and scored a lot more goals had they dumped Fonzi (as was rumored at points this season), who in New York forced his Blue Shirts to play a slowed down, very ugly style of hockey trying to win every game 1-0 or 2-1. He also caught the wrath of his players in Manhattan, forcing them to constantly block shots, even in games they were down 6-1. NHL season isn't enough of a grind, how about having a raving mad coach forcing you to constantly lay down to block 90 to 100 mph slap shots from the point. Were there enough ice bags in NYC to cool down all the body bruises the players sustained from blocking shots in meaningless situations?

    If anyone doubts my opinion on their organizational talent level, look at the 2017 Expansion draft. Columbus' roster was so deep, that they handed Vegas their lottery pick (#13 overall) in exchange for the Golden Knights not touching a group of 4 or 5 prospects/upcoming players, including Josh Anderson. Despite that, Vegas was still forced to pick a Blue Jacket and walked away with William Karlsson, who scored 43 goals last year and 24 this season for VGK. That's 67 goals in two seasons, despite the sharp decline his 2nd year in the Desert. For Vegas, that has to be one of the best deals in recent NHL history. In Columbus, playing for Tort's, Karlsson had 15 goals in two full seasons. Tort's really knows how to get the least offensive output he can from his players? Also in addition to selecting Karlsson, Vegas flipped the Eurasian kid they selected 13th overall as the centerpiece in the deal for All-Star Max Pacioretty. Vegas made out like Bandits!

    In fairness, Fonzi has calmed down a bit in Ohio. He's no longer demanding players put there career's at risk blocking every slap shot and has juiced up the offense quite a bit since since his muck and grind days in New York. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how far they go? Outside of the Islanders, who will be at huge disadvantage having to play in Brooklyn, and that team with ugly uniforms based in Raleigh, N.C, I can see any of the remaining teams (Columbus, Toronto, Boston and Washington) in the East making it through and winning it all.

    As far as Tampa Bay, I loved watching and following them this season. I don't remember the great Montreal teams from the 1970's, but the Lighting must've been the closest team, in terms of offensive firepower, since the 1990-1992 Pittsburgh Penguins to those great teams. Hope Tampa does not completely change their style of play, like the Washington Capitals did 4 or 5 years ago, to become much less aggressive on offense. Losing Victor Hedman and others on defense at the end of the season certainly didn't help their cause, but their play was hard to explain: After racing out to a 3-0 lead in game one, they were outscored 19-5 in 10 periods of play.

    Totally inexplicable, but that's the NHL playoffs? Back in 1991-92, the wretched Hartford Whalers (only 65 point season) made the playoffs -- only teams worse in the NHL were Quebec and the expansion San Jose Sharks in 91-92. Those Whalers were likely the worst team to ever make the playoffs in a U.S. major sports league. Nonetheless, with a minor league goalie from Pittsburgh's AHL team, the Whalers took the mighty Canadians to double over-time of game 7. That was a total joke. If that team could take Montreal to game 7 double OT, why should any results surprise, even now with goalies being more important than ever?

    The previous year, 1990-91, an almost equally bad Minnesota North Stars team (rumored to be moving to San Jose) made the cup finals, before losing to the Penguins. One good thing about adding nine teams since 1992, is terrible teams like that no longer make the playoffs. But huge upsets are still commonplace. Montreal, by the way, won their last cup the next year, 1993.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  17. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    The Hurricanes just beat Washington to force a Game 7 on Wednesday. The home team has won all six games in the series.

    The Bruins vs. Maple Leafs and Sharks vs. Golden Knights both play Game 7 tomorrow. Toronto is already the last Canadian team left.

    The number one seed in the West, Calgary, went out in five games to #8 Colorado, joining the Lightning and Penguins as early upset losers. If the Capitals lose Game 7 to Carolina, this year's playoffs will be wide open, with all eight remaining teams rightfully feeling "why not us"?

    The excitement level in the various arenas is through the roof in the games I've been watching. The arena in Raleigh, hardly known as a hockey hotbed, has been crazy loud for all three Hurricane home games against the Capitals, reminiscent of how Nashville went bonkers for the Predators two years ago. Most home teams also have thousands of fans gathered just outside their arena, watching on big screens.

    I'm not watching the NBA playoffs but I'll be surprised if the passion and excitement of basketball fans equals that of hockey fans. I think if anything the TV networks downplay just how passionate hockey fans are, in accordance with the lie that hockey is just a "niche" sport compared to basketball (and baseball and football). In spite of having Gary Bettman for commissioner and the oft-times backward thinking of some of the owners, the NHL is doing quite well these days.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  18. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    I've never seen anything like the Sharks-Golden Knights Game 7. Vegas was up 2-0 going into the third period, then scored to go up 3-0. San Jose was finished, then Joe Pavelski was hammered and injured so the Sharks get a five minute power play, and promptly score four times within five minutes after being scoreless until then!! to take the lead. Then Vegas scores with almost no time left to tie it and it goes into OT. The Sharks score late in the first OT period to win 5-4, absolutely incredible game.

    Boston also won their Game 7 against Toronto for the second straight year. I feel bad for the Maple Leafs and Canada in general. It just doesn't seem right that once again no Canadian teams are serious contenders; the last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup was Montreal back in 1993.
     
  19. Freethinker

    Freethinker Hall of Famer

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    Another big upset in this year’s playoffs. The defending champion Washington Capitals were eliminated at home, in double overtime by the Carolina Hurricanes. That leaves the eastern conference wide open with Boston now emerging as the likely favorite. However with things going the way they have, would anyone be surprised if Columbus upset them too?

    The NHL playoffs are once again great drama.
     
  20. Shadowlight

    Shadowlight Master

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    Running simultaneously with the NHL playoffs is the U-18 international hockey championships. The USA has been smoking and play Russia in the semifinals Saturday.

    Two players have stood out most. Diminutive Cole Caufield (think Calgary's Johnny Gaudreau) has been racking up the goals.

    And the number one draft prospect for 2019 heading to the Devils, Jack Hughes. Because of his size 5'10 170 he is conjuring up comparisons to the Blackhawk's terrific Patrick Kane. Watching him skate, actually he doesn't skate he floats, he reminds me most of former Red Wings Steve Yzerman. Not saying he will reach those almighty heights but just mentioning Hughes in the same breath gives you an idea of his otherworldly talent.

    Back to the NHL the only Eastern team left I like is the Bruins. I am glad the Capitals are out though.

    I like the Avalanche but I could live with the Stars advancing too. Colorado speedster Nathan MacKinnon is very exciting.
     
  21. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Carolina dominated both periods of overtime (the third period of regulation play as well) and deserved the win on the road. The Washington players looked like they were skating in cement in OT, appearing totally gassed. Glad they finally won a Stanley Cup last year but even happier they won't be repeating.

    Whoever wins it now will have been one of the underdogs coming into the playoffs, which are so grueling that younger, very hungry teams often have an advantage over more talented but less driven established teams, who know how incredibly difficult it is to prevail in four best of seven series to hoist the Cup. All four of the conference semifinals series are compelling in their own ways, but I'm most interested in watching Columbus-Boston and Carolina-Islanders, at least until some new storylines develop. Whether it might finally be San Jose's year is another great plot line.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  22. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    The Bruins-Blue Jackets series is really fun to watch, very physical and intense with great goaltending and lots of skilled players on both teams. It's tied 2-2 currently after Boston won in Columbus tonight and I expect the winner of that series to win the Cup in the finals over the winner of the Sharks-Avalanche series (also tied 2-2), but who knows in this wild playoff year.
     
  23. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Boston is about to sweep Carolina (who swept the Islanders, who swept the Penguins) and move on to the Stanley Cup Final. They are playing at a very high level and bringing it every single game. They're very well coached, disciplined, relentless, fast, and have lots of talented players. Tuukka Rask has been terrific in goal, nearly flawless.

    Can't see either San Jose or St. Louis beating them in the final. I'm hoping San Jose wins the West, which would add some more drama given they've been a good team for a long time and have a group of veteran stars led by Joe Thornton, who broke into the NHL back in 1997 and who most likely will not get another shot to win a Stanley Cup. The Sharks might have a chance at pulling off the upset, but the Bruins look very much like a team that's on their way to a championship.
     
  24. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    The Blues dominated the Sharks in Games 5 and 6 and move onto the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 49 years. They made it to the finals their first three years in the league as a second six expansion team, but all six expansion teams played in the same division with four making the playoffs and then battling each other and the Blues were the clear class of the second six, but were clubbed in the Finals all three years by an original six team, going 0-12.

    So this turns out to be a rematch of the 1970 finals, the one with the iconic picture of Bobby Orr flying through the air after scoring the winning goal. The Capitals finally won their first Stanley Cup last year, now it may be the Blues' turn to finally win one. But the Bruins will be very tough to beat as they attempt to give Boston the champion teams in football, baseball and hockey at the same time. The first game isn't until Monday night in Boston. Given how the Blues have been coming on, I expect a close series.
     
  25. white lightning

    white lightning Hall of Famer Staff Member

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    Lets go Blues. It would be great for the sport. In all 4 of the major sports you always have about 3 to 5 states that win almost all of the championships the majority of the time. At least it is mostly what I see. To see the Blues win is good for the lifelong fans and also good for small market teams. Other than that except for the Pats in football I hate Boston Teams since I was a kid. It should be a good series!
     

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