How's everyone been doing so far? I had a better second round than my first. Only picked one of the series wrong (I had the Islanders beating the Lightning), but did a pretty decent job with the rest.
It really has been an exciting playoffs. Without any disrespect or sarcasm at all (I swear), it is really kind of awesome to see teams like the Sharks and Blues finally slay some demons and make it to the Western Conference Finals. In the East it's a little bit different story, two teams who have been in this position before at least a couple times.
So without further adieu, I give you....my conference finals predictions.
San Jose Sharks Vs. St. Louis Blues
Both of these teams had to go the distance in their last series, so neither has the rest advantage. It's also worth pointing our that both teams have decently healthy squads as well despite the battles they've already been in. St. Louis has looked so deadly at times throughout the playoffs so far, but what has really stood out to me is the emotion that veteran guys like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have shown us this year for the Sharks.
I feel like it's been a long time coming and much like the year that the Vancouver Canucks finally slayed their demons and made a run for the Stanley Cup, the Sharks will do just that this year. The question will be, will they take home the prize or will they fall short as Vancouver inevitably ended up doing?
Sharks take this one in six.
Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
This series has already gotten underway as I write this and some questions have already popped up. The Lightning have taken Game 1, but Bishop was taken off the ice on a stretcher in the 1st period. This didn't seem to affect Tampa as they went straight to work, taking down the Pens 3-1 to take a 1-0 series lead, but the question will be whether Bishop is out for the remainder of the playoffs or not. With that said Vasilevskiy did look pretty good making 25 saves, but until we've seen him string together another couple of good games, the jury will be out.
With all that aside, I said at the start of the playoffs that Pittsburgh was the hottest team coming in and I am going to stick to my guns. I think it's about time Sid the Kid makes it back to the Stanley Cup Final before that moniker becomes unusable.
Penguins take this series in six games as well.
Let me know what you're thinking!