With one more stop before the Stanley Cup Finals, it’s time to crown ur conference champions! In case you’ve missed any of the action so far, he’res a quick recap:
Boston Bruins vs Philadelphia Flyers
These two teams were just built for a playoff rivalry. The history between them is filled with drama, emotion, and classic moments. Who could forget the 2010 collapse that saw the Flyers soar past in game 7 of the second-round in the most emphatic way possible?
Can the Flyers find a way past 10 years later? That’s a very tough question to answer. The Flyers actually won the regular-season series 2-1, but even that was filled with chaos. The Brad Marchand shootout whiff headlines a series of intense games that saw Philadelphia go stride-for-stride with the cream of the Eastern Conference crop, but ended the season on 11 less points overall. Both wins against the Bruins also came against a goaltender not-named Tuuka Rask, so that’s at least worth noting
Points matter not in this series and the Bruins may be a powerhouse, but I feel like there’s so much history here and anything can happen over a single series. The Flyers’ were able to win both shootouts against Boston this year. Is it really crazy to think they can at least finally get back to the big dance?
It almost hurts to pick. I want to scrunch my eyes and just blindly pick this game. I do think the Flyers have the most realistic chance of overthrowing the Bruins of any team in the Eastern Conference. The difficulty here is the pressure on the shoulders of a young player like Carter Hart, who is so vital to his team’s success, something Rask felt as a 23-year-old back in 2010. But this man has been in plenty of big games before…and I have a feeling he’d put on a stunning show in an emphatic win.
Winner: Philadelphia Flyers
St. Louis Blues vs Vegas Golden Knights
This series would be beyond enticing. The Golden Knights actually won the regular-season series 2-1 over the reigning champs, but these games have been absolute slobber-knockers in every sense of the word.
I would personally love to see the Golden Knights return to the finals and upend the Blues in a really surprising result, and feel like the energy of this series, in particular, may depend on how the round-robin matchup between them ends.
But for now, this is my series so I’m going to ride Max Patioreccy and Reilly Smith here, setting up a Stanley Cup Finals series like no other.
Winner: Vegas Golden Knights
Photo Credit: Alex Mcintyre