Image via Masshole Sports.
This is a weekly feature that will highlight The Good, The Bad and The *fill in the blank* exciting things that are currently happening in the NHL. The Finals are here! (Good) All the teams that were actually good during the 82 game regular season, are not even contenders (Bad) Let’s see if there will be more than five games played before a champion is crowned.
The Finals are finally here! This means that we are that much closer to seeing the Canucks playing hockey again. Yes, that is about as good as it gets for me. I honestly didn’t think that it would be the New Jersey Devils advancing in the East to face off against the LA Kings in the final showdown for NHL’s Holy Grail. I was secretly hoping that it would be the New York Rangers, only so that the coaches from the 2004 Final could have a rematch. Also because the Rangers had something in common with the Canucks: they were both number one seeds coming into the playoffs. The Rangers could have potentially been the toughest opponent for the Kings to to have faced. Plus they have a Vezina nominee, Henrik Lundqvist. But no, it’s the Devils that are next in line to be assassinated by Kopitar and crew, even though their goalie, Martin Brodeur, is a multiple recipient of the Vezina Trophy.
Does anyone think the Devils even stand a chance? The Kings have been specialists at destroying teams in these playoffs. The sixth seeded Devils bring little intimidation when you’ve already beaten the first, second and third seeds, all in five games or less. We will most certainly witness a franchise winning a Stanley Cup for the first time. This is good because it will help with visualizing the Canucks’ future.
The team that will win the Stanley Cup this year will not be the Canucks. Even though enough time has passed and I should be over my lofty and idealistic dream, I am not. I really thought that this was their year and I hate being wrong. You know what else is wrong: EA’s NHL predictions. Last year the famous EA sports simulation showed us all images of the Vancouver Canucks winning and raising the Cup over their heads. I believed in you EA! You were smarter than humans and their emotions and their frailty. You were smarter than seawalls and pumping tire comments and concussions and broken backs. None of that mattered to you, so it didn’t matter to me. And you know what, you broke my heart EA. We all know how last year ended and you were WRONG!
This year, the EA NHL Simulator predicted that that the Stanley Cup champions would be the Pittsburgh Penguins, that was back in October. Oh look EA, wrong again. Then the other day the genius computer came out with another premonition: The LA Kings will be the 2012 Stanley Cup Champions and it will take them 6 games to do it. Well, last night they ticked off yet another Game One win. Wait, could EA be right about this? Personally I think this series should go to 7 games because it’s just not fair for the Kings to have it so easy. They have to suffer at some point. It was harder for them to make it into the playoffs than it has been playing through them. Winning a Stanley Cup should not be this effortless. They are an eight seeded team and no eighth seeded team has ever won a cup before. They way that they have been breaking records though, I am pretty sure that the Kings are about to make history.
And The Canucks Connection
It’s been a very strange playoff run. We are left with two teams in the Finals who have suffered minimal injury getting here it seems, the Kings and the Devils. And while they both have their star players and goal scoring Captains, there are a couple of familiar faces on each bench. The Canucks connection (look for good where you can) sees two former Canucks players face off on opposite ends of the rink; Steve Bernier with the Devils and Willie Mitchell for the Kings. So while the Canucks will definitely not be Stanley Cup champions this year, at least one of two former Canucks, will be. And at least it won’t be someone we hated.