Wednesday, June 03, 2015
2015 Stanley Cup Predictions - Round 4
The only thing consistent about these playoffs for me is the unpredictability of these series. I went O-2 last round which I guess CHI/TB fans can thank me later. I don't think I have a prediction jinx like other bloggers and broadcasters do, but it's still good enough to notice that the President's Trophy curse still holds up. The New York Rangers have folded up while blogs are already talking about tearing down and trading players. NHL Radio's "Boomer" Jim Gordon is already speculating that they will have some trouble having given up a lot of draft picks in recent years to build for today.
So, Tampa Bay and Chicago are two hockey franchises that are strong and passionate about their teams. The bigger cities have already tossed around the typical stale taunt of low-ratings turnout, but I'm not concerned how this will play out nationally. The biggest ratings will be at the Cup-clinching games, but they'll still be great now that they're off basic cable and directly on NBC.
Stanley Cup Championship Final
Chicago v. Tampa Bay
I'm not going to bog people down with advance stats or "CORSI", but rather use my own intuition in my final attempt to predict something well enough this season.
The main focal point of this contest rests within the Lightning "win at all costs" offense with the Hawks "domination" of a defense. Keith and Seabrook have things locked down on defense.
Also, the other key matchup is the Corey Crawford vs Ben Bishop goalie comparison. Corey struggled in the first series but rebounded to a 9-4-1 record. Bishop was steadier with a 12-8 record, but gave up 15 goals in the last series.
Look for Brad Richards to make a story for himself on the ice and North American media to talk about him once raising the Cup over his head. He was once a member of the TB Lightning and now he's playing against them as a member of the BlackHawks.
Prediction: BlackHawks in 6