Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals Predictions

Posted: May 13, 2011 by Keith Stone in hockey, Jason Voorhees, NHL, Stanley Cup Playoffs

It’s a little known fact that Jason Voorhees was a huge fan of the California Golden Seals and goaltender Gilles Meloche. When the team left Oakland for the greener pastures of Cleveland without ever advancing past the first round of the playoffs, Jason, inspired by Meloche’s badass dragon mask, started wearing his own and butchering camp counselors. My predictions are doing just about as well as those camp counselors. I’m 4-7 so far after going 2-2 in the Semis but I’m going to nail these picks if it’s the last thing I do. Like I said before, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are the hardest to predict.

In the East, the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning have taken similar roads to get the Conference Finals. Both had solid seasons but neither was expected to reach this far. After sweeping favored teams in the previous round, the B’s and Bolts are rested and hot. Tim Thomas and Dwayne Roloson have been fabulous in goal, respectively. However, the Lightning have a trio of big-time scorers in veterans Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier and young gun Steven Stamkos, who was second in the league in goals during the regular season with 45. The Bruins, on the other hand, are without one of their leading contributors in Patrice Bergeron, who is still dealing with a concussion suffered against the Flyers. Don’t forget: St. Louis and Lecavalier led the Lightning to the Cup only seven years ago. If Thomas gets hot, it’s going to be tough, but Tampa Bay knows what it takes to get to the next level. Lightning in 6

Out West, the two best regular-season teams meet in the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks. Regular-season is the operative word because both are known for their past failures in the playoffs. Luckily, one will finally get over the hump and make the Finals while the other will have a long summer. These teams have strong offenses, with the magical Sedin twins leading the Canucks against the Sharks’ Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. They should have plenty of opportunities to score against a couple of goaltenders that have struggled a bit so far in the playoffs. Antti Niemi is an upgrade over the skittish Evgeni Nabokov for the Sharks and won the Cup last year in Chicago. The Canucks’ maddening Roberto Luongo has mixed brilliance with putridness throughout his career and is always good for a free goal. Hopefully, it won’t be an important one. The Canucks won the Presidents’ Trophy for a reason, while the Sharks always seem to go down in flames. I just don’t want to see another riot in Vancouver like in 1994. Canucks in 7

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