NHL Conference Finals start on today for the Western Conference and Monday for the Eastern Conference. NHL.com has the schedule here.
In the West, the Los Angeles Kings (#8) will face their Pacific Division rivals and division champion Phoenix Coyotes (#3). It is the first time that Pacific Divisions rivals will face each in a Western Conference Final. The series in the West have been difficult to pick as parity in the league has made it a very competitive post season. Both teams have played well defensively as they both have had outstanding and quality goal tending. The King has shown true grit as they have defeated the top two teams in the East and attempt to beat the third division champion this year. However, I feel that the King have not faced much adversity to this point. Both teams may find it difficult to get going in game 1 after a 4-5 days off. The Flyers did not do well after a week layoff with Devils, so the teams that comes to play tonight will have advantage in the series. NHL.com has details about the series here.
The winner of the series will get to face the winner from the Atlantic Division in a true East versus West match up in the Stanley Cup Final.
In the East, the New York Rangers, the top seed in the East and Atlantic Division champion, will face their division rivals, New Jersey Devils (#6). As like in the West, the veteran goal tending has been strong for both teams when it has counted. But, unlike the Kings, the Rangers have had their share adversity in both series. Going to 7 games in the first two series, the Rangers may run out of the gas to getting to the Finals since 1994. However, it can make a team stronger and confidence as it faces a division rival. The Devils have shown quickness in their game, and if this forces the Rangers to run around, the Devils stand a good chance to advancing. Expect a great series from these two teams. NHL.com has details about the series here.
I was 5-3 with picking one more game than was played through the quarterfinals. However, I was 2-2 in the semi-final round while picking one less game than was played. Overall, my record is 7-5 with picking the correct number of games played to date.
Here are my picks for this round:
Kings in 6
Rangers in 7
NHL Conference SemiFinals start on Friday for the Western Conference. Here are the match ups in the West and in the East.
|Blues – Kings||Blues in 6|
|Coyotes – Predators||Predators in 6|
|Rangers – Capitals||Rangers in 7|
|Flyers – Devils||Devils in 7|
I will have links to the schedule after tonight’s games.
Update: Second Round schedule is found here.
Here is a recap of the my NHL Conference Quarterfinals predictions:
|Rangers – Senators||Rangers in 5||Rangers in 7||+2|
|Bruins – Capitals||Bruins in 6||Capitals in 7||+1|
|Panthers – Devils||Devils in 6||Devils in 7||+1|
|Penguins – Flyers||Penguins in 7||Flyers in 6||-1|
In the East, I was 3-1 with a +3 in the number of games played.
|Canucks – Kings||Canucks in 5||Kings in 5||0|
|Blues – Sharks||Blues in 6||Blues in 5||-1|
|Coyotes – Blackhawks||Blackhawks in 7||Coyotes in 6||-1|
|Predators – Red Wings||Predators in 7||Predators in 5||-2|
In the West, I was 2-2 with a -4 in the number of games played.
Update: corrected title of post.
The chase for the 2012 Stanley Cup begins tomorrow. In the States, NBC, CNBC, NBC Sports Network, and NHL Network (US) will be broadcasting the games. NHL.com has great coverage for this year’s playoff. Check out the schedule link and each of the quarterfinal links below.
|Rangers – Senators||Rangers in 5|
|Bruins – Capitals||Bruins in 6|
|Panthers – Devils||Devils in 6|
|Penguins – Flyers||Penguins in 7|
|Canucks – Kings||Canucks in 5|
|Blues – Sharks||Blues in 6|
|Coyotes – Blackhawks||Blackhawks in 7|
|Predators – Red Wings||Predators in 7|
NHL.com announced the nominees for the Jack Adams Award. The Jack Adams Award is presented annually by the National Hockey League Broadcasters’ Association to “the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success.” The winner is selected by a poll among members of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association at the end of the regular season. This year all the finalists for first time nominees. They are Joe Sacco of Colorado, Dave Tippett of Phoenix and Barry Trotz of Nashville. Check out the NHL.com article for bios on this year’s nominees.
I have to say that Joe Sacco and Dave Tippett have done a great job to get their teams to the playoffs this year. So, Mr Tippett would be my first choice. On short notice and with little expectations, he guided this team to number 4 seed in the Western Conference.
The winner will be announced at the NHL Awards Show on June 23 in Las Vegas.
Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils), for the ninth time, along with Ilya Bryzgalov of the Phoenix Coyotes and Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres are this year’s Vezina Trophy nominees for best goaltender announced by the NHL on Monday.
All these goaltenders played well to earn their nominations. Ryan Miller has been a consistent contributor and may well be the choice this year. However, the dark horse of this group is Bryzagalov, who had a big impact on the Coyotes reaching the playoffs this year and second place finish in the Pacific Division. Yet, Brodeur put up great numbers for a veteran goaltender.
I like Miller to win it.
The winner will be unveiled during the NHL awards show in Las Vegas on June 23.