by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/13 at 11:59 PM ET
The Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup win a 3-2 win. This gives them a four games to two victory in the Stanley Cup finals.
My playoff predictions have done remarkably well this season. I picked 12 series right of the fifteen playoff series. That gives me a 12-3 record (or 80% success rate) for the playoffs. You can look back at my predictions in the first, second, third and final rounds. I think one of the biggest surprises in this year's playoffs was how predictable they were.
My biggest thought on today's game is how quickly it went from a Boston 2-1 lead to a 3-2 Chicago victory. With time running out I had prepared myself for a game seven. With 76 seconds left it was a tie and I started thinking about overtime but only 17 seconds later they took the lead.
The Conn Smythe Trophy was a problem. Chicago won the cup and voters wanted to give the Conn Smythe to a Blackhawk. Problem is the best forward in the playoffs was David Krejci, the best defenceman was Zdeno Chara and the best goalie was Tuukka Rask. None are Blackhawks. Patrick Kane was the best player in the Stanley Cup finals, so he was given the award. The problem is he did not play particularly well until the late third round. Nevertheless he was the Blackhawks top playoff scorer.
Chicago is no elite team. They clearly lack an elite goalie with Corey Crawford in their goal. Nevertheless they become the first team to win the Stanley Cup twice in the salary capped era. That is a solid argument that they have been the best team in that era.
It is a shame that the team was torn apart due to salary cap reasons after their 2009 Stanley Cup win. I wish I could have seen how good they could have been. I think there is a strong chance they could have been an elite team and we were robbed of the chance of watching it.
The biggest thing we learned this season is that the NHL will have a lockout whenever they want and they have full immunity from the fans. The fans come back whenever the lockouts end. I am not looking at next season optimistically. The dropping salary cap will likely give us an even weaker Stanley Cup champion next year and a weaker Stanley Cup champion. The Chicago Blackhawks are not an elite team but they are close enough that it was worth some discussion. I think there is a good chance next year's Stanley Cup team won't measure up to this year's Blackhawks. The real problem is that the NHL doesn't care and it isn't clear how or when another elite team will ever be built.
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