Though my similar prediction in regards to the Eastern Conference Finals ended up being wrong (not that I can complain, it worked in our favor), I expect the B’s and the Hawks to play a highly competitive series with at least two games decided by one goal (that held up in the last round, but it was clear the Bruins were in control). I actually have a historical comparison in mind, but don’t take it as a solid prediction – Just something to gnaw on going into Game One tomorrow night.
The last time a season was decimated by a work stoppage (not counting the non-season of ’04-05) was in ’94-95. The Red Wings came away with the league’s best record and, with their stacked roster, were considered favorites to bring home the Cup. In the Finals, however, they were stifled by a team that made a living off of stopping the other team from scoring – Jacques Lemaire’s New Jersey Devils. Now considered a certain to be first ballot Hall-of-Famer, goaltender Martin Brodeur was an unsung hero up until that point in his career, considered a good goaltender but not among the elite. Sweeping the dominant Wings changed all that, and the accolades only increased for Marty over the years. Sound familiar based on recent events?
The Bruins have as good a chance of winning it all as Chicago does, and doing so will most certainly bring Tuukka Rask to elite status. He’s already shown what he can do against a good offense. But the rest of the team needs to work it, too – Chicago is much more well-balanced than Pittsburgh and more effective on defence (let’s be honest, Brooks Orpik wishes he was Duncan Keith). The forecheck needs to be fearsome and the big presence forwards such as Lucic and Horton need to do their job well. The Krejci line has been magnificent the whole postseason as it is, but let’s hope they can keep their momentum going.
My tentative pick:
Bruins in 6.
As was said in my favorite Jerky Boys prank call, “LET’S GET IT ON!”