2014 NHL Playoffs, round 3

Time for the conference finals, and time for me to sneak in my picks — as I write this the Rangers/Habs game has just dropped the puck.

Summary so far:

  • First round: 6-2, and my cup final picks made it through.
  • Second round: 3-1, but my eastern pick to make the finals — Boston — goes down to Montreal. Boston was also my pick to win it all, so, oh well.

Overall: 9-3, which is pretty good.

Now we’re down to four teams and the conference finals. Winners of these series fight for the cup. My predictions:

Eastern Conference: New York Rangers vs. Montreal Canadiens — Price vs. Lundqvist. I’m trying to decide if the Canadiens were better than I thought or if they matched up well against the Bruins. However they did it, they deserved to win that series, and Price was a big part of it and seriously outplayed Rask. So we have two big stud goalies playing big stud hockey. There’s a lot of history in this series and a lot of people to root for. I think I’m going to take the “Martin St. Louis” factor of the Rangers playing to win for him and combined with Lundqvist, going to pick the Rangers in six.

Western Conference: Los Angeles Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks — the series of the recent Cup winners going head to head for another shot at it. Quick looked tired during parts of the series against the Ducks, but in game 7, he and the entire Kings team dug deep and came out with an absolutely dominating performance. I’m not as convinced that Crawford is at the same level as Quick, but I’m really looking forward to seeing how the top players on both sides go up against each other:  Kane and Towes and Hossa vs. Kopitar and Gaborik and Doughty. Wow. I do think the Kings will take this, so Los Angeles in 5.

Summary: Rangers and Kings.

The Kings were my original choice to win the West but lose to Boston. With Boston out, I now annoint the Kings as my prediction for the Cup this season. I also think if the final is Kings/Rangers, it won’t be as interesting as these two series should be. I don’t think the Rangers will be as competitive against the Kings as the Hawks should be.