So, I felt the need to update our readers on the sports world for a few reasons, but most importantly the NHL matchups for the Conference Finals are quite interesting:
Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks
This is the first time in franchise history that Nashville has made it to the third round. Will they be the first of the young expansion teams (Minnesota, Columbus and Atlanta/Winnipeg being the others) to make it to a Stanley Cup? My favorite matchup would be Nashville vs. Ottawa for the coolest reason: it would be the first time since Anaheim and Ottawa met up a decade ago that neither team had won before. Rival defenseman PK Subban would love to take on an old rival, and the team would be able to prove that hockey truly belongs in the deep South, a thrill for Commissioner Bettman. This also leads us to a nother fun matchup – Anaheim vs. Ottawa. That would be a re-match that Ottawa would sorely love to take revenge for, and likely would be one of the fastest paced in recent memory. Bobby Ryan would love to prove his old team wrong for letting him go to Canada as well. First, of course, we have to go through the Conference Finals themselves, and I think Anaheim is the clear choice to win – they dominated their division in the regular season and have the higher goal differential. This is all swept by the wayside by the playoffs, of course, and Nashville defiantly had the hot hand by May, sweeping Chicago and ousting St. Louis in six. That means Nashville is an extremely shiny pick, while still maintaining their underdog credibility. My heart goes with Nashville while my gut goes with Anaheim, the team that came back several times to stave off the upstart Oilers. I’m so very excited for this, though. Anaheim in six.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators
So I didn’t mention the Penguins at all in the first paragraph, mostly because I’m kind of disappointed that the Washington Capitals didn’t make it. It’s disappointing as a fan of parity, and disappointing to see Alex Ovechkin wait around not hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup. Also, as a Devils and Sharks fan, they were my least favorite team going into the round of sixteen. To be halfway to another consecutive Cup is irksome, to say the least. They may be the most deserving team to be here, though, as they handled the Blue Jackets so well, and hammered home the point that they dominate the Capitals at every turn. So when coming to the unlikely Senators, they may not seem to have their hands full, but it’ll still surely be a fair fight. Craig Anderson kept Ottawa alive, and while the Penguins look like they’re the better team on paper, like Anaheim, they’ll have their work cut out for them. As for those matchups? If they play the Nashville Predators, it’ll be a reunion for some players, the biggest of which is for James Neal, a stellar performer in Steel City in years past that hasn’t kept up his quality this postseason. Will he have an easy time against his former backstopper? How about the Ducks, which makes for the most “intimidating” Stanley Cup Finals ever. I love the thought of asking my friends to go watch the Ducks-Penguins game. So ridiculous, I love it! This is also the first time a Canadian team has been in the final four since Montreal lost to the Rangers in 2014, and could be the first Canadian team in the Finals since Vancouver lost spectacularly to Boston in 2011. Unfortunately for them, I’m thinking it’s Pittsburgh in 5.
So what’s your choice for Finals: Predators-Penguins mid-west blowout? Senators-Ducks re-match? Penguins-Ducks hilarity? Senators-Predators? Comment responsibly!
Oh, right. I mentioned the NBA. Well, it’s as boring as ever. San Antonio vs. Golden State, yawn. Boston will likely beat Washington tonight to advance to face off against LeBron and the Cavaliers. Snore. Anyway, as originally predicted, it’s gonna be Cleveland vs. Golden State, unfortunately. Would’ve been more exciting with some parity.