Okay, my apologies for being a couple days late here. To make up for it, I will take what now represents a bigger leap of faith on one of my picks. After all, I have to stick with my original picks, don’t I? Which of course would mean yet another championship showdown between Boston and St. Louis. So, with that in mind, let’s look at the conference finals (already underway):
Eastern Conference (Bruins up 1-0)
No, I’m not cheating here. The Bruins may be up, but I picked them before the playoffs and it shouldn’t surprise you in the least that I’ve been fairly certain they’d make a run to the Cup all year. They are hockey’s deepest team and now have the fortunes of a potential Finals path that does not include two major roadblocks in Tampa Bay and Washington. As impressive as Carolina has been since being down 3-2 to Washington, they simply don’t have the talent and depth to match up with the B’s. Pick: Bruins in 6.
Western Conference (Sharks up 1-0)
Again, I would have picked the Blues in this series, and in spite of the early deficit, I’m going to stick with it. St. Louis has never appeared in the Cup finals and has to figure out a way to slow the mighty Sharks, a team essentially playing with house money after they should have lost to Vegas in the opening round. But a five-minute major turned into a furious rally and now the Sharks are on the doorstep of their second final in four years. Still, the Blues have showed resilience and toughness this postseason, not to mention an uncanny ability to win on the road (5-2 thus far). If for no other reason that wanting my bracket final to come in, I’m going with the underdog in this series. Pick: Blues in 7.