Saturday, June 01, 2013
The Conference Finals
Of the four teams left standing after two round of elimination play, two are favourites, one a defending champion and the final one a survivor.
The Hawks and Penguins perhaps pegged by many to be the Stanley Cup Finalists back when the early part of the truncated schedule which started in January finally began to shake things out.
The Kings, by way of their defending Cup Champ status, were more than likely thought to go at least one round, though the early match up with St. Louis may have given many cause for thought as to whether they could last through the playoffs to defend their Championship status, a hard fought series with the Sharks again testing the faith of the true believers of the Kings.
Yet here they are, one round away from a chance for a repeat, all that stand in their ways a Chicago team that struggled quite a bit with the Red Wings and battled back from 3-1 deficit to move on to the Conference Finals.
And then there are the Bruins, all but eliminated in the first round after stumbling against the Leafs, only an epic third period collapse in Game 7 by Toronto saved the Bruins from the second guessing and inevitable change that comes to a team that exits early.
Instead, in the space of ten minutes they saved their season, their playoff ambitions and now are but 4 wins away from a Stanley Cup Final berth.
To get there, they have to go through the Penguins, a team firing on all of its cylinders at the moment, as dominant of a team as we've seen thus far and one that unlike the Leafs and the Rangers, knows how to turn it on to win when required.
All of that preamble now however, part of the past.
The playoffs are like a new season every round, you turn the page from the last effort and move forward to the task at hand.
Click on each series below, to find out mare about the teams looking to grab their placement in the Stanley Cup Final.
Los Angeles and Chicago
CHICAGO WINS the series 4 games 1
Botson and Pittsburgh
BOSTON WINS series 4 games to 0