NHL 2014 Playoff Picks: Round Three

NYC 008

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Chicago/Los Angeles: The two best regular season possession teams meet again in the conference finals, with the Kings the only team remaining in the playoffs with a Fenwick close better than 50%. The top two scorers in the playoffs thus far are both Kings (Kopitar and Gaborik) as well. Small sample sizes (see also: Corey Crawford’s.952 4v5 SV% in the playoffs) aside, although adding Gaborik makes the Kings more of an offensive threat than they were in last year’s playoff loss to Chicago (11 goals scored in 5 games), the Blackhawks still have the better defense and are deeper up front. Canuck rooting interest: Willie Mitchell, who missed the Ducks series with a lower body injury. Also: farewell, Teemu. Blackhawks in six.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

New York Rangers/Montreal: Both of my Flyer fan coworkers are rooting for the Rangers. It’s mostly because of Lundqvist, respect (they beat the Flyers), and there’s really no one to hate on the Rangers (other than Carcillo), plus the perception of Montreal as dirtier. The Rangers were the much better regular season possession team; the two teams are more evenly matched (both slightly below 50% Fenwick close) thus far in the playoffs. Both goalies have been outstanding, with 5v5 SV% of .944 (Lundqvist) and .936 (Price). Montreal has the best skater (Subban) and arguably the best forward (Pacioretty, though you could argue Richards, Vanek, or St. Louis, I guess), but I think the Rangers are deeper, better defensively up front, and somewhat better behind the bench. Canuck rooting interests: Alain Vigneault and Dale Weise, of course, but also Raphael Diaz and Mike Weaver (or as I referred to him for no reason when he was with Vancouver in 2007-2008, Mike Weasel). Nonetheless, this is awesome. Rangers in six.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: