Finally a sports related article that I know a bunch of you that read this are thinking where did his sports articles go? Well I want to practice here and there on many topics, but for this week enjoy another Sports blog, hockey related enjoy!
The shortened hockey season is slowly dwindling down to a close with four teams about to play in the Conference finals. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, LA Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks each made it to the third round their own way and will hopefully bring out some fantastic hockey to watch. Frankly I picked my finalists weeks ago like many hockey fans did and my two finalists are the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the LA Kings. This is just a prediction and I could easily be wrong, but the way these two teams have played so far in the 2013 NHL playoffs says that they could easily face each other and win the Cup.
First off Pittsburgh vs. Boston, Crosby vs. Chara, Iginla vs. Jagr etc etc. these two teams have been very good for the past couple of years and are recent Cup winners, 2009 (Pens) and 2011 (Bruins). Pittsburgh as you know face the New York Islanders in the first round and Ottawa Senators in the second round. In these two rounds the Pens out scored their opponents 25-17 (Islanders 6 game series) and 22-11 (Ottawa 5 game series) in total that is 47-28 which is ridiculous, but not that surprising. The team is jam packed with super star scoring and have 6 players with 10 or more points in this post-season, Evgeni Malkin (4 goals 12 assists, 16 Points) Kris Letang (3-13-16) Sidney Crosby (7-8-15) Jarome Iginla (4-8-12) Pascal Dupuis (7-3-10) and James Neal (6-4-10) they also have other players who contribute in many ways and always managed to find ways to score. The Pens did walk into some goaltending issues with Marc-Andre Fleury, but their back-up goalie Thomas Vokoun has been lights out for the Pens.
The other Eastern Conference team is as mentioned before the Boston Bruins, a team to not be taken lightly and although injuries and some veterans aging the Bruins are still a strong team. We all remember that they were the team to eliminate the Maple Leafs and were part of that game 7 where Toronto blew a 4-1 lead in the third period. The Bruins took out the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Rangers while out scoring their opponents 22-18 (Toronto 7 game series) and 16-10 (New York 5 game series) in total for the Bruins 38-28 a lot of the games for the Bruins in their playoff run have been close games scoring wise, but they dominated when need be. David Krejci for now is leading the NHL playoffs in scoring with 5 goals 12 assists for 17 points. Nathan Horton also has 5 goals and 12 points. Their scoring has not been as explosive as Pittsburg, but it seems like in every win there is someone who steps up and scores for Boston.
At the trade deadline it was believed that Jarome Iginla was headed to Boston, but in the end he was traded to Pittsburgh. Brendan Morrow and Douglas Murray were traded to the Penguins as well, while Jaromir Jagr and Wade Redden went to Boston. It is funny to see that both teams in the Iginla sweepstakes made it to the eastern final now we shall see if he made the right choice. Pittsburgs trades have worked out much better for them, especially Iginla while Jagr has yet to score in the playoffs. The way I see this series is after Chara Boston’s defense is a tad battered by injuries and a bit weak, this could be an issue against the high-octane offense that the Penguins throw at the Bruins. The Penguins weakness could be their goaltending, but they may have solved it temporarily with Vokoun. I see this series going 6 games 4-2 in favor of the Penguins, I just think the Pens will over power the Bruins with their offense and that the Penguins defense could easily shut down Krejci and the few guys who make a real impact game in and game out, but as always only time will tell. Check back soon for my Western Conference prediction.
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