Stanley Cup Final Prediction
The Stanley Cup Final is set! For the first time in franchise history, the San Jose Sharks will have a shot at taking home the Stanley Cup, while Sidney Crosby will lead the Penguins through the final for the third time in his career.
When the playoffs started I mentioned that the Penguins were the hottest team heading into the playoffs. I picked them to take out the Rangers, Capitals, as well as the Lightning. The Sharks are a much different story however, as I picked them to lose to the Los Angeles Kings in the first round.
So what will it be? This series is very intriguing. As I said in my last playoff article, I sort of feel like the San Jose Sharks this year remind me of the Canucks back in 2011. They've exorcised a few demons and finally gotten to the place we all felt they should have been to years ago. Much like the Canucks that year as well, they face an opponent who has much more experience playing deep into the spring/summer.
San Jose should be pretty solid on Martin Jones being the starter for the majority - if not all - of the games in this series, but when it comes to the Penguins, it's a little bit different story. Marc Andre Fleury made just one start in the playoffs this year since being injured in early April. That start was in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, a game in which the Penguins lost in overtime. Since that game, Murray got between the pipes for games six and seven and only let in three goals over both of them. Common sense would say to keep Murray in for the finals and that is more than likely what will happen, but it does add a question in the minds of Mike Sullivan and both goalies.
I love what we've seen out of Joe Thornton during these playoffs for San Jose and I imagine I am not the only one who thinks it would be nice to see the 36 year old life the cup for the first time. He's shown more emotion than ever before and it just feels like something special is happening in the Bay Area. It could be argued that Joe Pavelski is the MVP of the playoffs regardless of what happens as well. With that said, I do believe that much like that series in 2011 between the Canucks and Bruins that I keep going back to, the Penguins are going to end up winning the Stanley Cup.
It's more of a gut feeling than anything based on stats and such, but the Penguins "Never Say Die" attitude is one that I can't help, but stick with. Penguins take this one in seven.
It's been an exciting playoffs everyone! Hope you enjoy the final!
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