With the NBA Finals in full effect (series tied at 1 game a piece), comes the Stanley Cup Finals. The Colorado Avalanche have clinched their place in the finals after a thrilling comeback north of the border in Edmonton, to sweep McDavid and the Oilers 4 games to nil. MY Rangers are up 2 games to 1 over the back to back defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals. Tonight's game will play a heavy role in the series.
Preplayoff Prediction: Avalanche vs Hurricanes
No one likes being wrong, but I can certainly live with it on this occasion. I had my Rangers bowing out to Carolina in the second round of the playoffs. Fortunately, Kreider and Zbanajed stepped up and MVP candidate Igor Shesterkin came into form to help New York eliminate the Canes.
The Rangers failed to put away the champs in game 3, after leading 2 0 midway through the game. Tampa Bay was able to get a go ahead goal with less than a minute remaining to steal the victory and change the outlook of the series.
While the Lightning are more than capable of winning this series, the Rangers are no stranger to adversity. The Blue Men were able to comeback from a 3-1 series deficit against the Pens, including consecutive elimination games trailing 2-0 early in each game. The Rangers were able to comeback and beat the Canes in the next round with another series rally. Meanwhile, TB swept through the President's Cup winning Panthers, proving they are still the kings of Florida. This series vs NY will prove to be interesting.
Onto the West
These playoffs have been the year of the Avalanche. I've consistently called it the "who's going to lose to the Avs" playoffs. Colorado has looked every bit of the dominant team we expected them to be, with two sweeps in their run to the finals. Both NY and TB can provide a formidable challenge. I believe both could force 7 games and its anyone's Cup from there.