13 May 2012

2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Conference Finals Predictions

There are four clubs left in the fight for Lord Stanley's Cup. In the Eastern Conference, we have the (New York Rangers and the) New Jersey Devils (and the Washington Capitals) and in the Western Conference, we have the Phoenix Coyotes and the Los Angeles Kings. Who will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals? Here are my predictions.

TV Schedule

(1) New York Rangers vs. (6) New Jersey Devils
Talk about one heck of a rivalry to decide one half of a Stanley Cup Final. Who doesn't remember that legendary Eastern Conference Final between these two clubs in the 1994 postseason, with Mark Messier's guarantee and Matteau, Matteau, Matteau as the Rangers were able to edge the Devils then and they later won their first Stanley Cup since 1940. And what did the Devils do after that heartbreak? They've won three Cups since to New York's zero. I think the key for the Devils will be if the now forty-year old Marty Brodeur can hold up and I think he can because the Rangers' offense really has not been that good this postseason as they helped make Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson and Washington goalie Braden Holtby look tremendous as their lack of offense caused both series to go to seven games. New Jersey's offense is good enough and has the starpower to get past the great Rangers defense and their elite netminder in "King" Henrik Lundqvist. This will be a great series, nonetheless.
Devils in seven

(3) Phoenix Coyotes vs. (8) Los Angeles Kings
This is certainly a surprising series in the West, even as the Coyotes were the three seed, not many folks thought they would even get past the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round. Both of these clubs are riding elite goaltending to the conference finals as Phoenix has been carried this postseason, as they have all season, by Mike Smith (8-3 with a .948 save percentage this postseason) and LA is led by who may be the best goalie in the league in Jonathan Quick (8-1 with a .949 save percentage). I certainly do not expect a lot of scoring thanks to the aforementioned goaltending plus both have really good defensemen but somebody will have to score and the Kings have a much stronger offense than does the 'Yotes. Dustin Brown and Dustin Penner have both been great this season and like Don Cherry mentioned in the Coach's Corner last week, they play every shift like its their last. Los Angeles will be the first eighth seed to reach the Finals since the Oilers in 2006.
Kings in six

1 comment:

  1. Love the Devils pick. I think Pheonix could pull off the upset but after last night, I don't think they will.