2018 NHL Playoffs: Conf. Finals Preview and Predictions
WINNIPEG JETS vs VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
We have been saying right from the get go that the winner of Nashville-Winnipeg in the 1st Round will represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals, and there is no reason to believe that should change at this point. Now that the Jets are through to this round and survived the Predators, the path should be smoother from this point on, or is it? Nobody ever said that making it to the Stanley Cup Finals would ever be easy, and that’s why the teams that make it here absolutely deserve it. We have been doubting the Golden Knights this whole time, waiting for this fairy tale story to end. Vegas has taken out both the Kings and Sharks, and have looked really good doing it. The difference now is that they are now going up against a genuine, bonafide, legitimate Cup contender in the Winnipeg Jets and no longer have home ice advantage. Having gone way further than anyone could have imagined in their wildest dreams, you would have to think this is where this Cinderella story finally comes to an end and the clock strikes twelve, especially considering what team they are up against. Vegas might be more rested, but Winnipeg is a lot more battle-tested.
Prediction: JETS IN 7
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING vs WASHINGTON CAPITALS
The Bolts will be well rested themselves, as they have beaten both their opponents in 5 games each to get here. They have been the odds-on favourite in the East the whole time and this round will be no different, seeing as how they have plenty of experience on their roster that have gone this deep into the postseason. The Caps and Alexander Ovechkin have finally done two things that have eluded them in the past; they finally beat Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 7-Game series, and now have reached the Conference Finals for the 1st time in 20 years as a franchise. Ovi will NOT be getting on a plane and going overseas to play for Russia at the World Hockey Championships like he normally would at this time of year, nor will any of his teammates. One thing we know for sure, the Tampa Bay Lightning have been the best team in the Eastern Conference this season from beginning to end, but for the Washington Capitals now that they have gone this far there is no turning back and can smell blood. As the good book says – every dog has it’s day, and for "The Great 8" and company that one day is finally here.
Prediction: CAPTITALS IN 6
2018 1ST 2 ROUNDS PREDICTION RECORD: 5-7 (1/5 WINS IN EXACT GAMES)