NHL Playoff Predictions: Finals

I did okay in the third round, going 1 – 1, for a rather unimpressive overall record of 5 – 9. Since I had chosen both of the teams that didn’t have home ice advantage, that means that home ice advantage also went 1 – 1, for an overall record of 7 – 7. Home ice advantage wasn’t much of one this year.

Finals

Boston vs St. Louis: Boston has to be the favourite here, as they’re the top-ranked and most consistent team left in the playoffs, have won it before with a lot of these players and so have the experience, and have home ice advantage. However, they are coming off a sweep and no team that won by a sweep this year has done much in the next round, and Boston is at the end of a sweep chain where every team that won with a sweep in that chain was swept in the next round. While I don’t really think it will be a sweep, this year it seems clear that rust is a larger factor than rest, and with St. Louis winning in six they did manage to get quite a bit of rest themselves. I remember this same thing happening to the Senators against Anaheim a number of years back, where they decided at the end of the Anaheim series — after the Senators swept — to have more days off before the start of the finals, to the chagrin of the Senators. The Senators did not do well in those finals, and I think it likely that Boston won’t either. And St. Louis is a far better team than their record indicates, and so are probably pretty close to Boston in terms of skill. Given that, any little advantage can be crucial. Unless Binnington collapses from the pressure — which he hasn’t done so far in these playoffs — I think St. Louis will ultimately take it.

Prediction: St. Louis.

Summary

Finals

Boston vs Carolina

Overall Record: 5 – 9
Home Ice Advantage Team Record: 7 – 7

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