Jun 4, 2014, 9:32 AM EST
We’re back with another round of scintillating PHT staff picks! Here’s how our band of keyboard jockeys have fared thus far:
Jason Brough: 7-1 in Round 1, 2-2 in Round 2, 1-1 in Conference Finals (and the only guy to take L.A.) — 10-4 overall.
Mike Halford: 5-3 in Round 1, 3-1 in Round 2, 0-2 in Conference Finals — 8-6 overall.
Joe Yerdon: 7-1 in Round 1, 3-1 in Round 2, 0-2 in Conference Finals — 10-4 overall.
James O’Brien: 5-3 in Round 1, 3-1 in Round 2, 1-1 in Conference Finals — 9-5 overall.
Ryan Dadoun: 4-for-8 in Round 1, 2-2 in Round 2, 1-1 in Conference Finals — 7-7 overall.
Cam Tucker: 5-3 in Round 1, 3-1 in Round 2, 0-2 in Conference Finals — 8-6 overall.
Onto the Final we go…
Brough: Kings in 7
I picked the Kings to win the Cup before the season and also before the playoffs, so I can’t really change now. I’m not sleeping on the Rangers by any means — great goalie, emerging star on defense, good depth up front and on the back end, solid mix of youth and experience, healthy, and well-rested — but I don’t think they can match the power of L.A., which has already beaten three very good teams, including the defending champs. Sure, the Kings might be a bit tired, but remember they’ll get two days off before Game 1, then another two days between Games 1 and 2, and there’s a two-day break between Games 5 and 6, if necessary. The key for me is Jonathan Quick. He needs to be better than he was against the ‘Hawks, who it should be noted have made a lot of good goalies look average.
Yerdon: Kings in 7
Heading into the playoffs, I believed that two East teams could make the West’s best sweat: the Bruins and the Rangers. That holds true today; Martin St. Louis generates buckets of chances, Ryan McDonagh keeps climbing the defensive ranks and Henrik Lundqvist is one of the few goalies truly worthy of “elite” designation. Even so, if you apply the “your life depends on it” criteria, I’d pick the Kings every time. They already survived brutal competition and carry themselves like a force that simply won’t be denied. Expect a spirited fight from the Rangers, though.
Dadoun: Kings in 6
The resiliency the Kings have shown makes them hard to bet against. They overcame a 3-0 series deficit and came from behind in Game 7 against the defending Stanley Cup champions. That’s to say nothing of the fact that they now have the all-time points leader in Game 7s (Justin Williams) and have won 10 of 11 series under Kings coach Darryl Sutter — these are just the tip of the iceberg, though, as you could point to almost any player on the team and reference an example of them being the hero in 2014. On paper, they’re hard to top and in practice, keeping them down is almost unheard of.
Tucker: Kings in 6
The New York Rangers have had a great run, especially after coming back to defeat Pittsburgh in seven games in the second round. St. Louis, enduring the tragedy of the sudden passing of his mother, has been an inspirational story for his play. But the Kings … how do you not pick the Kings? Three times in these playoffs, they’ve gone into an opposing team’s building in a Game 7 and won. It started in historical fashion in the first round and their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final was punched with another gutsy effort against Chicago. They also have the benefit of having been to this stage two years ago.
Halford: Rangers in 7
What, you thought I was going to follow the crowd? For all the talk about L.A.s’ resiliency, do remember the Rangers rallied back from a 3-1 series deficit for the first time in franchise history this postseason, and have won two Game 7s to L.A.’s three — one of them coming on the road, in Pittsburgh, to clinch their historic comeback. There’s also the goaltending factor. Lundqvist is playing like a man on a mission this postseason and, as we saw in the case of Tim Thomas during in 2011 and Quick two years ago, one hot goalie can greatly alter the outcome of the Stanley Cup Final. (And hey, it’s not like Quick has been on fire lately.)
Nov 24, 2014, 2:35 AM EST
He was 84.
Nov 24, 2014, 1:14 AM EST
Suffered a lower body injury Thursday night.
Nov 24, 2014, 12:50 AM EST
Arizona was playing in the second game of a back-to-back.
Nov 23, 2014, 11:33 PM EST
Keeps the game tied 1-1 in the second.
Nov 23, 2014, 11:00 PM EST
Colorado returns to action on Tuesday night in Arizona.
Nov 23, 2014, 10:15 PM EST
Playing in his 1,000th NHL game tonight.
Nov 23, 2014, 9:15 PM EST
Didn’t get a penalty for bumping into the goaltender.
Nov 23, 2014, 8:58 PM EST
Scores his eighth of the season.
Nov 23, 2014, 8:45 PM EST
Was stretchered off the ice Saturday night.
Nov 23, 2014, 7:45 PM EST
Beauchemin and Perry have already missed games due to the disease this season.
Nov 23, 2014, 7:30 PM EST
Had two goals in two AHL games.
Nov 23, 2014, 7:00 PM EST
Chara placed on long-term injured reserve.
Nov 23, 2014, 6:25 PM EST
Paul Maurice irate with the penalty call.
Nov 23, 2014, 5:20 PM EST
Received a two minute boarding minor.
Nov 23, 2014, 5:03 PM EST
Not much of a margin for error for the banged-up B’s.
Nov 23, 2014, 4:14 PM EST
Seriously, this is pretty harsh.
Nov 23, 2014, 4:01 PM EST
He’s appeared in 737 consecutive games.
Nov 23, 2014, 3:45 PM EST
Sunday’s starting goalies.
Nov 23, 2014, 3:13 PM EST
He set up Tyler Seguin’s breakaway goal.
Nov 23, 2014, 12:51 PM EST
Good luck with that.
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