Monday, June 10, 2013

Previewing the Stanley Cup Final

And then there were two.

The Boston Bruins will meet the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final in an Original 6 matchup which may be the best finals meeting in a while.

So who will win? So far this year, I am at 10/14, my only mistakes being Anaheim over Detroit, Washington over NYR, NYR over Boston, and Pittsburgh over Boston (man, I've really underestimated Boston). But who will win Chicago vs. Boston? Let's see.

If you don't remember, I choose this by doing head to head battles in Offense, Defense, Goaltending, Special Teams, and Miscellaneous (stuff like home-ice). Let's get started, shall we?

Offense: Chicago. Boston got it done against Pittsburgh, and David Krejci was fantastic, but I don't know if it will last. This is really close, but Kane, Toews et al. is still more formidable than Krejci and Bergeron.
Defense: Boston. They completely shut down the high-power Pittsburgh offense, and can do the same to Chicago. Torrey Krug, Zdeno Chara, and the rest of the D has been spectacular. The Blackhawks D has also been good, but even with Duncan Keith back and Brent Seabrook doing well, they are not as good as the Bruins.
Goaltending: Boston. Tuuka Rask is a Conn Smythe contender. Corey Crawford has kept the Hawks in games. This is not even close.
Special Teams: Chicago. The Hawks PK has been surprisingly stellar, while Boston's has been underwhelming. Boston did well against Pitt, but overall are still not that great. Both teams have atrocious power plays. This is close, but Chicago has the #1 playoff PK, so I'm going with them.
Prediction: Chicago in 7. This is close, and I don't want to underestimate Boston again. But the truth of the matter is, this Hawks team has beaten Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Quick; they can beat Tuuka Rask. Their D has been much improved and will be ready for the surprising Bruins attack. This will be a very good series, but I'm gonna go with Chicago to win for the second time in four years.

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