Last Saturday I made my Western Conference Predictions. I chose LA to be the team to represent the Western Conference in the Finals. Who’s going to be hoisting the Holy Grail come June?
1.Washington Capitals*- Alex Ovechkin had an off season last year, but still had 85 points. The goaltending improved, adding Tomas Vokoun, and the defence is almost unbeatable. This is the best the team has been in a very long time.
2. Boston Bruins*- The 2011 cup champs return with almost the same squad as last year. Tim Thomas looks to bring his Vezina trophy talent back to Beantown, and with players like Seguin,Chara, Marchand and Lucic, the team is looking to win back to back championships.
3. Philadelphia Flyers*- Philly made some real risky moves this off season, sending Jeff Carter, Mike Richards and Ville Leino to new homes. In return, they got Wayne Simmonds, Jamoir Jagr, Brayden Schenn, Jakub Voracek and Ilya Bryzgalov. Are they better? Only time will tell. 4.New York Rangers- The Rangers landed prized free agent Brad Richards this summer to play on the top line with Dubinsky and Gaborik. In net, they are set with King Henrik Lundqvist, and Marc Staal, Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh, the D is solid.
5. Tampa Bay Lightning- The team didn’t improve during the summer, with backup goalie Mathieu Garon being the biggest signing. Dwayne Roloson probably won’t have the type of season he had last year, but the offense will make up for that.
6.Buffalo Sabres- The Sabres improved by a huge margin this summer. Ville Leino replaced Tim Conolly, Robyn Regehr replaced Chris Butler and Christian Ehrhoff comes in for Steve Montador. These guys are my sleeper.
7. Pittsburgh Penguins- Without Sidney Crosby, how will the Penguins perform? They did well without him last year, but couldn’t do anything during the playoffs. Malkin returns from injury to add to the scoring, and Steve Sullivan adds scoring to the third line.
8.Toronto Maple Leafs- Toronto fans may have a chance to celebrate. James Reimer will be in his first full season, the team has found a number 1 center in Tim Connolly, and JM Liles and Cody Franson will make it hard for any defenceman to make the team.
9. Montreal Canadiens
Eastern Conference Stanley Cup Final Rep: Washington Capitals- History has not gone well in the Capitals favor. But this is the best the team has been in years. The time is now.
Stanley Cup Winner: Washington Capitals- Yes, the Kings are a much better team this year then they were last year. But with the amount of skill the Caps have, it’s going to be tough to beat them.
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