6.01.2013

Stanley Cup and Cheesecake 2013 – Conference Finals Edition


EASTERN CONFERENCE


(1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (4) Boston Bruins

This is as absolutely amazing a final four as you could want. None of this 7th and 8th seed BS, just pretty much the top four teams (standings be damned) over the course of the season, squaring off for the right to go to the finals.

This matchup definitely seems to favor the Pens. After a shaky six games against the Islanders, they steamrolled the Senators, scoring goals in bunches and clicking at a very high rate on the power play. Boston's defense is deeper than Ottawa's, but they also play within a system and are not particularly speedy, which should rule out most of the chaos that Pittsburgh had such trouble with against the Isles.

The Bruins, who I frankly thought looked done and disinterested entering the playoffs, found another gear and dispatched the terrible New York Rangers fairly easily after their dramatic scare against the Leafs in round one, winning in the way that teams who have been there before tend to win. The Penguins are a whole different challenge, however, and the Crosby and Malkin lines figure to produce offense at a level they haven't yet seen.  Factor in the Bruins lousy penalty kill and I just can't imagine a way they manage to best the two-headed monster four times in seven tries. Or even twice. Pens in five.



 WESTERN CONFERENCE

(1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (5) Los Angeles Kings

This is a real battle of titans that, honestly, could go either way. Though both teams' series went the distance in round two, I think the revelation in Chicago was "Maybe the are beatable", whereas the story in Los Angeles was "Man, Jonathan Quick is really, really good!" He's gonna steal a game, and he might steal two or three.

Still, the Blackhawks showed a ton of resiliency in coming back from a 3-1 deficit against Detroit, winning win they had to, and emphatically at times. Their forwards are incredible, and if they can get rolling and score goals... especially on the road... they should be able to move on.

It's seemed all season that this was the matchup we'd see in the Western finals, and it's a series I really can't wait to watch, 'cause it's gonna be good! Kings in seven.


9 comments:

shotgun6 said...

Very Hot! Will you be coloring these?

chibi said...

hey Rob,

it's been a while but after last night i had to come see what my favorite pens fan was up to. "the Bruins lousy penalty kill".... really? you thought we had a lousy penalty kill? well, i can't imagine anyone in pittsburgh questions how good my bruins are now

Robert Ullman said...

Well, frankly, their penalty kill WAS kinda lousy heading into the series...and the Pens PP was clicking at about 30%. I didn't write this this morning, y'know.

If you wanna toss some of the millions you won in Vegas betting on 87, 71, 18 and 12 going scoreless in the series, I'll send you my address.

Anonymous said...

Wrong on both counts.

Turbo said...

Doesn't matter the outcome of these games, those are some great drawings. I love seeing your picks every year.

Kansas said...

I love my Kings. They fought like champions to the bitter end. And afterward, we got the laundry list of injuries that they were all dealing with, including Brown's torn knee ligament. Ouch! GO KINGS, GO!

Adam Danforth said...

So, Rob. If the Bruins win, will you post the illustration you did for me with the gal wearing the Thornton jersey?

Adam

Robert Ullman said...

* grumble grumble *

chibi said...

ooh! or maybe in a marchand sweater???