So here we are, June 9. It’s down to two teams. Depending on how the finals go, it may be almost July before before the cup is awarded.
this bothers me. I’m frankly ready for something other than hockey, as good as the playoffs are. And it’s a reminder that this lockout-whacked season is, well, whacked. Not a reminder I particularly wanted. But then, I didn’t want June hockey, either. ohwell.
That said, there’s been some great hockey, some really good teams have been sent golfing (the good news: it’s late enough in the year that snow won’t ruin your golf date), and we’re down to Chicago and Boston.
Okay, seriously. Did anyone who hasn’t seen a game live in Boston Gardens pick the Bruins to beat the Penguins? Did anyone in the universe pick them to sweep? No, me, neither. Upsets this drastic are typically first round things, not conference finals. And it’s not like Pittsburgh played badly. It’s not like their goaltending faltered. Instead, it’s that Boston had a really good idea how to play against the Pens — and executed their gameplan very well. My respect for Tukka Rask has gone way up, too. it’s not that I didn’t think he was a solid goaltender, but he’s exceeded expectations.
And in the West? I thought Quick and the Kings would beat the Hawks — and Crawford and the Hawks refused to let it happen. That was a great series, two very good teams playing well, and playing hard. There’s very little I can say bad about the Kings, other than the Hawks were simply a bit better.
But that means I was oh-fer for the conference finals. 0-2, which makes me 8-6 for the playoffs, which means no matter what, I’m over .500 for the playoffs this year, but I’d rather be 9-6 than 8-5.
The finals are hard to judge, though. I like the Hawks. I like the way the Bruins are playing now. I like Crawford, but Rask is impressive. I can make an argument for both teams. I can make arguments against both. And I’m unsure which way to go. I want to see Chicago win, but my gut keeps saying watch out for Boston.
So I think I’m going to pick the Bruins, in six games.
I’ll be happy either way, really. Especially because it means that hockey will be over. for a few weeks, and then it’ll be time for training camp. Don’t expect either of these teams to be able to repeat in 2014 — this schedule makes it impossible.