NHL Playoffs- Thoughts 5/20

Although I watch the occasional Bruin game as a dutiful Boston sports fanatic or a Sunday morning NBC matchup, I often don’t get exposure to the sport of hockey. Television availability certainly serves as a hindrance to my interest in the sport, but come playoff time, all bets are off–I am forced to endure the sickening quality of online sports streaming websites and watch perhaps the most exciting and passionate play any sport has to offer.

So as I keep my eyes peeled for any interesting events in this 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, I have formulated a few predictions:

1) Only ONE of the number 1-seeded teams will advance to the finals, which would be very much indicative of the chaotic parity a lockout season brings in any sport. Currently, the Detroit Red Wings are up 2-1 against President Trophy winners Chicago Blackhawks–if the Wings hold their lead for the remaining 15 minutes they would take a 2-1 series lead, with the prospects of returning to the Windy City on the brink of advancing. So there’s one possibility to fulfill my gut-lead “prophecy”…

2) Now I may be caught in the Black-and-Gold fervor that has seized Boston, but doesn’t it just feel that this Bruin team is destined for a miraculous and satisfying conclusion to an injury-ridden ’13 campaign?

Both Boston and Pittsburgh appear as locks to defeat their respective 2nd-round opponents, therefore setting up a conference finals between these two Eastern juggernauts. Note that both of these teams have overcome the injury bug at some point this year, and are curing up at just the right time. I still think the Bruins will just progress along the path for Lord Stanley, a sense of ‘destiny’ stemming from a stupefying 1st round Game 7, and will beat Pittsburgh in a close series.

And if this entails revenge against the Penguins for swiping Jarome Iginla right under Boston’s nose at the trade deadline, than all the better. Furthermore, the Bruins have two key occurrences that all successful playoff teams experience: the solidifying of the goalkeeper (Tuukka Rask is making fans forget about Tim Thomas by the day) and the emergence of a young gun (Torey Krug has 2 goals and an assist in the playoffs so far).

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