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 The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Third round predictions

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Metal is my Life
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PostSubject: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Third round predictions   Sat May 17, 2014 12:47 pm

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Montréal Canadiens (3rd in Northeast Division) vs. New York Rangers (2nd in Metropolitan Division)
All eyes are on Montréal after they defeated the Boston Bruins, who had the NHL's best record during the regular season, in the second round of the playoffs. Montréal hopes to bring the Stanley Cup back to Canada for the first time since they won back in 1993. The Canadiens face the New York Rangers in the Conference Finals, who defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round (Pittsburgh had defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in the opening round). This series pits two of the NHL's best goaltenders (Carey Price for Montréal and Henrik Lundqvist for New York). Price was sensational in Montréal's first round sweep against Tampa Bay and the second round meeting against Boston. This is only the second time since their Cup win in 1993 that Montréal has made it to the Conference Finals (in 2010, they lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Philadelphia Flyers in five games). The Rangers are in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1997. The Canadiens and Rangers last met in the playoffs in 1996, in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, when the Rangers won the series in six games.
Prediction: Montréal in six games.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Chicago Blackhawks (3rd in Central Divison) vs. Los Angeles Kings (3rd in Pacific Divison)
The last two Stanley Cup Champions face off against each other in the Western Conference Finals. The Blackhawks aim for their second Stanley Cup win in a row, while the Kings are Western Conference Finalists for the third consecutive season. Last year, when the Kings and Blackhawks met in the Conference Finals, Chicago won the series in five games, and then went on to win the Stanley Cup, defeating the Boston Bruins in six games in the Stanley Cup Finals. Los Angeles have the playoff's leader in goals and points, Marian Gaborik, who has six goals and 13 assists so far this post-season. The Blackhawks hope their defense, led by Norris Trophy finalist Duncan Keith, will be able to shut down Gaborik. During the regular season, Chicago won all three games against the Kings, outscoring them 9-4 in the process.
Prediction: Los Angeles in seven games.
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Third round predictions   Sat May 17, 2014 5:37 pm

I'll take Montreal in 6


and Chicago in 6 as well.
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Svengo
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Third round predictions   Sat May 17, 2014 11:47 pm

Even though I'd rather see NY win I certainly didn't anticipate them hanging 7 goals on Montreal in the first game especially in Montreal's building.

In the other series even though the smart money might be on Chicago I'm gonna go a bit against the grain and predict LA in 7.

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Lari
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Third round predictions   Mon May 19, 2014 1:19 pm

Hawks - Rangers is what I'm rooting for. I predicted the Rangers to win the East before the playoffs, put some money on them too, so if they win the Cup I'll get just over $200. They have great D, possibly the best top 4 d-men in the league, and they are backstopped by Lundqvist.

Obviously the Hawks are my team though, so I'm rooting for them all the way. As an insurance, the little money I'd win is just to comfort me in my loss, if Rangers-Hawks were to happen.

As for the other two teams - the Kings are tough as nails, and are incredibly hard to put away in a best-of-seven. They also now have Jarrett Stoll healthy - he is an extremely important defensive forward. They have also added Marian Gaborik for some scoring (leads the playoffs in goals now), and last season they lost Mike Richards to an injury in game one against the Hawks (Dave Bolland caught him with a hit in the dying seconds of that game). The Hawks were a dominant team last season, but they have lost some secondary scoring and forward depth from a year ago (Bolland, Frolik...).

So this should not be over as quickly as it was the last time around (Hawks won 4-1 last spring), though Hawks drew first blood yesterday.

The Canadiens... out of the four teams left they are the only team I didn't count as a "contender" prior to the season, or even before the playoffs started. They don't have the top end skill as some of the other teams do, they are small, and their best d-men are either old (Markov) or at times reckless in their own zone (PK Subban). They do have speed, and I think Carey Price is a top 5 goalie in the league, but I think they're overachieving a little. Not saying they are 7-2 bad, just that they won't win the cup this year. Kings and Hawks are too good. The Rangers could beat a Western team, because of their defense. But can the Rangers beat the Habs?
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Svengo
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Third round predictions   Mon May 19, 2014 5:19 pm

Lari wrote:
. But can the Rangers beat the Habs?

Considering Price is now out for the rest of the conference finals and his backup hasn't ever won a playoff game you may not have to worry about that.
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Lari
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Third round predictions   Mon May 19, 2014 6:06 pm

Svengo wrote:
Lari wrote:
. But can the Rangers beat the Habs?

Considering Price is now out for the rest of the conference finals and his backup hasn't ever won a playoff game you may not have to worry about that.
Yeah, I just read that. The moment I saw Chris Kreider barrel into Carey Price I thought the Habs are screwed: getting routed AND losing their best player in the process. Then I saw him continue playing for awhile and only got yanked because the team sucked (or so I thought). But now Price is out and a never-heard minor leaguer called Tokarski is starting in net.

Right now, I like my 23:1 odds I got for my Rangers bet...
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PostSubject: Re: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Third round predictions   Mon May 19, 2014 7:44 pm

The Canadiens are turning into the Toronto Maple Leafs fast.
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