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|
Here are the known 2011-2012 NHL Awards winners to date:
President Trophy (League best club)
Campbell and Prince of Wales Trophy winners will be known when the Conference Finals are played in May. Later this month, NHL will announce the nominees for the remaining awards this month. These award winners will be announced at NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas upon the conclusion of the playoffs.
Well, the Boston Bruins did it! With most penalty minutes in 25 years, the Bruins played their style of hockey to win game 7 in Vancouver in a impressive fashion, 4-0. [Recap here] The Bruins 5-on-5 play throughout the playoffs paid big dividends in this series by limiting the impact of the Canucks top players. The physical played it toll as well as the Canucks defense could not continue with their play that allowed them to take an early 2-0 series lead. But, in the end it was all about goal tending. There was no doubt that the Conn Symthe Throphy would go to Boston goal tender Tim Thomas after game 4. Many predicted the scoring leaders would win, but I knew he would win it regardless who would win the series. He sent many records in this year’s playoff and in the Finals. It was great way to end an excellent hockey season.
While all the experts were picked the Canucks to win it this year, I was happy to have picked the Bruins based upon their play prior to this series. I finished with a 11-4 record and was 4 over on the number of games played this year. Now, it is time to give out the awards next week in Las Vegas. Looking forward to seeing it next week on Versus.
Well, the Stanley Cup Finals starts tomorrow evening in Vancouver. NBC will be broadcasting the first two games this week.
Both teams have played well to get here. Both have two solid scoring lines. Both have gotten excellent goal tending by their goalies. Vancouver definitely has the edge on the power play, but Boston is more healthy on the blue line and has played the best 5-on-5 hockey. Overall, Boston owns the series between the two teams, 66-25-17. In fact, Vancouver has not much success winning at Boston, so I can see home teams winning their games. If Boston can get their power play working, they have a great chance to taking this series to seven and even winning it. All the experts I have read are picking the Canucks. In fact, EA Sports simulator picked the Canucks, although I thought I read it picked the Bruins. Even the omens are in favor of the Canucks.
Whoever does win, I am looking forward to good series going 7 games.
Well, the Vancouver Canucks are returning to the Stanley Cup Finals. They defeated San Jose Sharks, 3-2 in double overtime last night to take the series, 4-1. The story can be found here.
It has been 17 years since they last made the Finals eventually losing to the New York Rangers in 7 games. This team has had it flashes in the Conference Finals and Roberto Luongo came up big in this game. In review of the series, I have to say that this team continues to be inconsistent. They showed little offense in the last couple games. But, they made it count when the opportunities arose. The 3 goals scored during 3 5 on 3 opportunities in game 4 swung this series into their favor and sealed the Sharks fate.
Congratulations to the top team of the league!
Now, I am 9-4 overall in this year’s predictions with +5 on number of games played.
In reviewing my Western Conference picks, I correctly pick the correct winners, going 2-0. Overall, I am 8-4. I predicted the total games correctly, 13, but I had the number of games for each series reversed. So, I am unchanged at +3 overall. The schedule for the next round can be found here.
These two West Coast teams are pretty familiar with each other. Although Vancouver took the regular series 3-1, three of their games were one goal games involving a shoot out. So, there is a good chance that there will be multiple overtime games in this series. Each team has had contributions from different players to date. Anyone on their team could be a difference maker in this series. The big question is who will it be? Vancouver has gotten some rest, but rest does not guarantee success like Washington found in the prior round. Yet, both teams have dealt with series in which they had to win game 7 after taking a commanding 3-0 lead.
Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo has to deal with yet another demon in this round. This time around it is Sharks goalie Antti Niemi, last year’s Stanley Cup goalie. Luongo was out played by Niemi last year in the Conference Finals and must play well for his team to reach the Cup Finals.
From the games I watched on TV, their inconsistent play in their respective series does not give me a warm fuzz in predicting a winner in this series. On paper both teams are pretty much evenly matched. This series has the potential to go 7.
Pick: Canucks in 7
On Monday, the NHL announced the nominees for the NHL Foundation Player Award in their contributions to charitable organizations. They are NHL has nominated L.A.’s Dustin Brown, Washington’s Mike Green and Vancouver’s Daniel and Henrik Sedin. NHL story is here.
All these players deserve to win a honor that will give additional $25,000 to their charities he supports. So, it is always hard to pick a winner from this group. Brown and Green are returning nominees. And the Sedin twins are becoming great players off the ice with their own work. This has been a great year for the Canucks and their fans, therefore, the Sedin twins will win this year’s award.
The 2011 NHL Awards will be held at the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas on June 22. The ceremony will be broadcast by VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada.