KK Members Blog
by PuckStopsHere on 05/29/12 at 04:04 PM ET
It is time to complete my playoff predictions today by looking at the Stanley Cup finals. Here are my first round predictions, here are my second round predictions and here are my semi-final predictions. These predictions haven`t gone well. I have a 5-9 record, which is worse than a random coin toss should be able to do. I see that as a success in Gary Bettman`s aims for the NHL. One thing Bettman wants is parity. Essentially this means that no team is better than any other. There are no best teams. Anyone can wind up in the Stanley Cup finals. It can be an eighth seed versus a sixth seed. Neither of those teams is particularly memorable but they will give us a Stanley Cup final. It may be the worst Stanley Cup final in terms of the talent playing in it - its major competition here is 2006 when Carolina and Edmonton met in the finals. Those two teams have only been good enough for one playoff berth since that year. The fans do not get a memorable Stanley Cup final. They are cheated by the NHL system. Their prize is a potential shutdown of the league for the beginning of next year.
Onto the prediction. First I predict a forgettable final. Ten years down the road many hockey fans will struggle to remember who played in it. Second I predict:
Los Angeles defeat New Jersey Neither of these teams is a traditional Stanley Cup winner. Neither excelled in the regular season. Los Angeles does have a top goalie in Jonathan Quick. New Jersey has a legend in goal in Martin Brodeur who is no longer at the top of his career. I argue Brodeur was the worst goalie to make it out of the first round (the strongest argument might by Ilya Bryzgalov who has outplayed Brodeur in the last few seasons). It would be a great story if Brodeur wins the Stanley Cup and retires. It would really help in building the Brodeur legend - even though he is no longer an elite goalie. Los Angeles has the best defenceman in the series in Drew Doughty. New Jersey lacks a defenceman of an elite talent. At forward there is less of a clear advantage for either team. New Jersey had the better offence in the regular season but Los Angeles is significantly improved with the additional depth of Jeff Carter, which has allowed extra freedom to the other King forwards. Los Angeles should win but they are far from the best team in the league.
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