Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stanley Cup Finals Predictions

A fantastic first round of 7-1 in predictions for the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs quickly turned sour.  After going 2-2 in the second round I went an abysmal 0-2 in the Conference Finals to stand at 9-5 overall.  While it's not bad, it was time to call in the experts.  It's the Stanley Cup Finals with special guest from Yahoo's Puck Daddy Sean Leahy.

2011 Stanley Cup Finals

#1 Vancouver Canucks

#3 Boston Bruins

Regular Season Series: Bruins win 1-0

Not since 1994 has the city of Vancouver been this excited for the local hockey club.  While perhaps sedated for a year by the success of the backbone of their team, Roberto Luongo, won gold for Canada on their ice they are finally back in the Finals.  Backed by the Sedin twins, Luongo, and Ryan Kessler they look to bring the Cup back to Canada for the first time since 1993.  The hopes of an entire nation ride on their backs and they intend not to let them down.

To think they could have been here last year.  After blowing a 3-0 series lead, and a 3-0 Game Seven lead, to the Flyers in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals they saw the Flyers breeze through the Canadiens to reach the Finals.  Perhaps that's why they appreciate this chance to lift Lord Stanley that much more.  As the only team in Boston to not win their respective championship in the past decade pride and city credit rides on their blades.

In a match up of two stellar goalies, both nominated for a Vezina this season, the hope of both teams is built from the back out.  Both teams also have a steady defensive corps.  While Boston has the bigger name/man (Zdeno Chara), the Canucks are deeper.  The biggest deciding factor in this series is not fatigue, both teams have played 18 games.  The deciding factor is not desire, both teams are yearning for this.  The deciding factor becomes offense.  While the Bruins have a nice group of forwards that blend together well no one equals the punch of Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, or the aforementioned Kessler.  Add to that the return of Manny Malholtra from a brutal eye injury and the Canucks have a clear edge.

Prediction- Canucks 4-2

Case and Point Interview: Sean Leahy- Yahoo's Puck Daddy

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