Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

Stanley Cup Final Prediction

I have one final prediction to make for the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.  That of the finals is still outstanding.  I went 1-1 with my semi-final predictions, which makes it the worst success rate of any round to date at only .500.  I picked Pittsburgh over Boston.  Who would have predicted Sidney Crosby would be held with no points in the semi-finals?  Was he healthy?  I suppose I can have a worse success rate in the finals if I get it wrong.  Adding that 1-1 to my 4-0 record in the second round and my 6-2 in the first round, I stand at 11-3 so far in the 2013 playoffs.

I have two contradictory opinions in my finals prediction.  The East Conference has had a much easier time in terms of travel as I have written a few times.  This gives the East team an edge in the finals.  On the flip side, Chicago is a better more talented team than Boston.  The question is will the talent difference likely be bigger than the travel advantage and I think it will.

Chicago Blackhawks defeat Boston Bruins.  My biggest concern regarding Chicago is that their best offensive players have not been their best offensive players in the playoffs so far.  Jonathan Toews has been limited to one goal - who would have predicted that?  Patrick Kane may have finally came alive with a hat trick in game five on Saturday (that is half of his playoff scoring in one night).  Even without their dominance, it is quite possible that Marian Hossa or Patrick Sharp could be the top offensive player in this series - just as it is possible that for example David Krejci could be the top offensive player - but Chicago has more top candidates - especially Kane and Toews.  Neither team is an elite team but they are above average teams that are the kind of teams that should make the Stanley Cup finals in this salary capped era where the best have been weakened.  This could make for a solid series.  The kind we used to see in the 2nd or 3rd round 20 years ago.

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Comments

Nathan's avatar

Could you expand on Chicago being the better and more talented team? I don’t disagree, but I think the Bruins have shown yet again that all us fans have underrated their skill level. As match-ups go, it seems to me the Bruins match up well with Chicago because they have obviously shown they can shut down top end talent and frustrate opposing D with their forecheck. This is exactly the recipe that almost allowed the Wings to upset the Hawks, and the Bruins have more experience than the Wings (geez, when was the last time I said or even though that) in playing that game, and better players with which to do it.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/10/13 at 09:40 AM ET

Avatar

I would say its a good year for the West team. Chicago only had one long series and it was easy travel vs Detroit, The Wild series was short and easy on travel and the one long travel series they had was over in 5. I don’t see the travel issue being all that had on the Hawks this year.

Posted by paul k on 06/10/13 at 11:00 AM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

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