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Stanley Cup Championship Preview

We started the year with 30 teams. By the start of the playoffs, we were down to 16. We are now heading to the Stanley Cup Final and we're down to two teams, and at the end of this journey, only one team will stand. Here are our two finalists... ( W1 ) Vancouver Canucks vs. ( E3 ) Boston Bruins This is the first time the Canucks and Bruins will play each other in the postseason. The following is a quick recap of the Boston-Vancouver game that was played on February 26, 2011: Manny Malhotra gets the Canucks on the board with 3:02 to go in the first period. Raffi Torres and Christian Ehrhoff picked up the assists. Nathan Horton ties the game at 9:56 of the second, assisted by Milan L...

Western Conference Final Preview: Canucks vs. Sharks

*Click here to see full-sized graphic* If you asked most people what one word could encompass the play of the San Jose Sharks and the Vancouver Canucks in recent years, it would probably be the word "choke". The San Jose Sharks have spent most of the years of the new NHL favored to win the Stanley Cup, only to fail in all of their outings. The Vancouver Canucks, on the other hand, have spend the last few years losing to the Chicago Blackhawks. Even this year, both the Sharks and the Canucks found themselves on the brink of disaster, blowing 3-0 series leads against the Red Wings and Blackhawks, respectively, only to salvage their runs in game sevens. Hell, even their other opponents,...

Unsung Heroes Key to Lord Stanley's Mug

Two rounds are in the books as we march along through this years playoffs. From a fan's perspective there isn't much more we could ask for from the NHL's elite as the last month has been remarkable to say the least. Two historic comebacks - or meltdowns depending on your viewpoint - were halted at the last moment, a first round marred by suspensions and non-suspensions, goaltending controversies aplenty and a plethora of heart stopping overtime action is the Coles Notes version of the first two rounds. Not too bad so far, eh? Last night the San Jose Sharks joined this years Vancouver Canucks by narrowly avoiding going down in the annals of hockey history as only the fourth team to ...

Eastern Conference Final Preview: Bruins vs. Bolts

*Click here to see full-sized graphic* There may not be a more interesting series in these entire playoffs. Two very different teams. Two very different coaches and playing styles. Yet two very similar paths to the Eastern Conference Finals for 2011. The Tampa Bay Lightning started their journey against a Pittsburgh Penguins team devastated by injuries, and they struggled to get past them in seven games, coming form behind to win the series against a Crosby-and-Malkin-less Pittsburgh. Similarly, the Bruins were facing their arch-rival Montreal Canadiens, also devastated by injury and arguably playing over their heads for a portion of the season. The Bruins also needed seven games to b...

Third-Round Playoff Preview

With the second round finally over, it's time to look at the Conference Finals. EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS ( 3 ) Boston Bruins vs. ( 5 ) Tampa Bay Lightning This is the first time the Bruins and Lightning will play each other in the postseason. However, in the season series, the Bruins took 3 of the 4 games, including a decisive victory in one of the Bruins home games. With Roloson in net for Tampa, this might be an even series. WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS ( 1 ) Vancouver Canucks vs. ( 2 ) San Jose Sharks This is the first time the Canucks and Sharks will play each other in the postseason. However, in the season series, the Canucks took 3 of the 4 games. And now, my picks... ...

A Canadien Fan Or A Canadian Fan?

A Canadien Fan Or A Canadian Fan? Also Read Pat Storto's take: They Will Not Force Us. Before I begin to convey my thoughts on this topic, I have to disclose certain facts. As an aspiring professional in the sports world I am not supposed to be a fan of any team. When I write about hockey I attempt to do it with an unbiased thought process. I do use my own views and feelings when discussing any subject, but I never let my opinions be swayed due to the team I root for. Only this way will I keep continuing to grow and one day eventually become a professional earning the respect of my peers and my readers. That said, I would like everyone to know that I am and will always be a fan ...

Lord Stanley's Foreshadowing Trail Of Conquered Teams

Does being eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup winner signify anything about a team? Other than the fact they were at the dance, probably not. Unless you believe in karma, good omens that defeating specific teams can bring, or are a gambler in desperate need of some crazy far-fetched edge. It's often said that being eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup champions is the best consolation for a team ousted from the NHL playoffs. Horsespit. Only fans (and players) who are looking for some quick shallow cover will resort to that reasoning, but surely experienced no less anguish due to their victor hoisting the Cup shortly after their own demise. It is however interesting to see which ...

Eastern Conference Semifinal Preview: Flyers vs. Bruins

*Click here to see full-sized graphic* The final series of the second round almost needs no introduction. After four meetings against each other in the seventies, it took 32 years for the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins to meet in the playoffs once again. And when they did, it definitely ended up being memorable. The then-third place Bruins faced off against the seventh place Flyers in the 2010 semifinals, and quickly put up a 3-0 series lead against the Pennsylvania team. They would see that lead dwindle and fade away, and the series head to a seventh game. We all know that 0-3 comebacks in the NHL don’t happen that often, but it was on everyone’s mind. Well, the Bruins wer...

Eastern Conference Semifinal Preview: Caps vs. Bolts

Click here to see full-sized graphic The Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning have taken road to the Eastern Conference Semifinals that are both different and similar in certain ways. It was a season of catharsis for both teams. The Capitals lost a personally embarrassing series to the Montreal Canadiens last year, and head coach Bruce Boudreau decided that wasn’t going to happen again, putting in place a defensive system that would limit, maybe even stifle the offensive output of the amazing European talent on that team, but also ensure that they wouldn’t lose when they didn’t have to. The result was another successful regular season and Eastern Conference title, an...

Western Conference Semifinal Preview: Sharks vs. Red Wings

Click here to see full-sized graphic It was only a year ago that these two teams met in the exact same round of the playoffs. The San Jose Sharks had won the Western Conference during the regular season, but the Red Wings had finished an uncharacteristic 5th place in the conference. San Jose had defeated the Avalanche in six games, while the Wings had gone the distance with the Coyotes and were spent. The end result? The Sharks would defeat the Wings in that year, 4 games to 1. But despite this, it took them four one goal games to get it done, and the one game the Wings won, well, it was a 7-1 blowout. As we all know, the Sharks would go on to the Western finals to get swept by the soon-...