by PuckStopsHere on 06/09/13 at 02:53 PM ET
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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