I could brake down all the stats, power plays vs penalty kills and which goaltender is better then the other, but why? Every year in the NHL playoffs teams prove us wrong with stats, they mean NOTHING in the playoffs. And they certainly don’t mean anything from series to series, as teams tend to play differently in each series round.
Take the Blues for example, everybody predicted the Blues to beat the LA Kings, purely just because of stats. Why? When it comes to NHL predictions, especially in the playoffs it comes down to which team wants it more, it’s as simple as that. Yes of course great goaltending helps too.
When I said back in the 2011 summer that the LA Kings will be the team to beat come playoff time, I didn’t expect them to be 8-1 in the playoffs. I certainly did not expect them to finish 8th in the West and struggle to score goals all season long. And to top that all off, they are finally scoring to their potential conveniently enough at the right time of the year.
The LA Kings are doing everything I expected them to do all season long and straight into the playoffs and it’s very hard to think they don’t advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.
As for the Phoenix Coyotes, they finally made it to the Conference finals for the first time in NHL history and what perfect timing. Gary Bettman has been trying to find a buyer for how many years? And ironically enough, they Coyotes are riding high and Bettman has found a seller, secretly wearing a Coyotes white out shirt under his $5,000 suit.
The Coyotes have one man to thank for being in this position, and his name is Mike Smith. Without him, the Coyotes are not even in the playoffs. Or is it really Mike Smith?
The Coyotes goaltending coach, Sean Burke seems to make every goaltender who comes through Phoenix, shine. Ilay Bryzgalov for example shined in Phoenix just because of Burke, now Bryzgalov is in Philly and look at the horrific numbers he put up this past season. Burke has even made backup Jason LaBarbera shine when he actually gets playing time.
This series is either going to be very entertaining to watch or very boring, depends on what style of hockey you prefer. If you prefer a lot of scoring in a hockey game, this is NOT the series to watch. On the other hand if you like low scoring games with a tight goaltending battle going on, then this is the series to watch.
In order for either team to advance, scoring will be a must. Looking at both rosters it’s very difficult to think the Kings won’t advance to the Finals. Mike Richards, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter and Dustin Penner. I could keep going on if you would like?
Unless of course Mike Smith has some magic powers to not allow any goals in this series, the Coyotes may not even see more then 2 wins. On the bright side though, the Coyotes just may be staying in Phoenix…which leads to the question of, What NHL team will move to Quebec for the 2013-2014 season?
SERIES PREDICTION: LA Kings to win the series in 6 games.
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