Stanley Cup Final 2019: Predictions & Picks
The 2019 Stanley Cup Final is the championship series of the NHL’s 2018–19 season. The series pits the Eastern Conference champions Boston Bruins against the Western Conference champions St. Louis Blues.
The Boston Bruins have home-ice advantage in this best-of-seven series, and on top of that, they’ve had the better regular-season record. The series began on May 27 and will conclude no later than June 12, with a possible game seven. This is the fourth consecutive Stanley Cup Final to involve at least one team that is seeking its first championship. This is also an almost exact replay of the 1970 Stanley Cup Final and is the first time since then that the Blues advanced past the payoffs.
Fun fact: This is the fourth consecutive time that there’s at least one qualifying team that is playing for its first championship.
The Path to the Final
This is the Boston Bruins’ 20th appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, which happens to be six years since 2013 when they faced the Chicago Blackhawks and were defeated in six games. Bruins last won the Stanley Cup in 2011, which was their sixth overall win in franchise history. The Bruins finished the regular season with 107 points, finishing in second place in the Atlantic Division and third overall in the league.
St. Louis Blues
The St. Louis Blues have only made it to the Stanley Cup Final 3 times before, this counting as their 4th. Their last appearance in the finals was way back in 1970 against the Bruins, which ended with Boston winning in a four-game sweep. The Blues have not won the Stanley Cup since entering the league in 1967. Prior to game two of this series, the Blues had never won a game in the Finals in their three previous appearances.
After an unpromising beginning of the season, the Blues turned it around and went on a 30–10–5 run to finish the season with 99 points, finishing third in the Central Division. In the playoffs, St. Louis defeated the Winnipeg Jets in six games in the First Round, eliminated the Dallas Stars in seven games, then won against the San Jose Sharks in the Conference Finals in six games.
Stanley Cup Predictions
According to the majority of the NHL experts, the Boston Bruins are very likely to win the Stanley Cup final. On top of that, Tuukka Rask (Boston Bruins goalie) is almost be awarded the Conn Smith Trophy as the most valuable player of the postseason.
Bonus: Biggest Fights and Brawls in Stanley Cup Playoffs History
In hockey, there is nothing more representative of a tense game or a bitter rivalry than when players decide to drop their gloves and a fight breaks out. Some might say that there are few other facets of a hockey game that get the fans as excited as a fight. When two opposing teams put everything on the line, tempers are sure to flair and punches will surely be thrown. The non-fight crowd can’t even deny it; there is nothing in hockey quite like when players start throwing haymakers.
1. Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins – Stanley cup April 15, 2012
The 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs featured a whole slew of big brawls. And with bitter rivals Pittsburgh and Philadelphia facing each other, it was only a matter of time before a fight broke out. Pittsburgh had a 7-4 lead in the third frame of Game 3 in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals when then-Penguin James Neal laid a dirty hit on Philly’s own Sean Couturier. The hit ignited a fiery mess of flying fists that peppered the last few minutes of the already-contentious tilt.
2. Chicago Blackhawks vs. Phoenix Coyotes – Stanley Cup April 17, 2012
The perfect recipe for a brawl? A player lays down a nasty hit during an already tense game, making the opposing team lose their minds and take him on all at the same time. Nobody can talk about nasty NHL fights without mentioning Raffi Torres. He did, after all, make history when the NHL gave him a 41-game suspension (ouch!) in 2015.
3. St. Louis Blues vs. Detroit Red Wings – Stanley Cup April 12, 1991
The story goes that the St. Louis Blues were down 3-1 against the Detroit Red Wings in the 1991 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They eventually managed to bring it back and win the series, but that’s not the reason fans remember that game. They remember this series for the massacre that erupted when the players from both teams decided that the hockey-playing was over, and turned the hockey ring into a huge lawless boxing ring.
4. Boston Bruins vs. New York Islanders – April 17, 1980
This exchange of unpleasantries was during the second game of the quarterfinals in the 1980 NHL playoffs, which the Islanders would win, 4-1, defeating the Bruins. Many said that Terry O’Reilly definitely won that fight, but that’s for you to decide.
5. Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens – Stanley Cup May 21, 1978
The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens still hold claim to one of the fiercest NHL rivalries. Their rivalry is said to go back all the way to 1955, which means that the actual players that started it are long gone. Even if their rosters changed quite a few times since then, they still managed to keep the hate for each other alive. Now don’t get us wrong, we know that some friction within sports leagues is ‘normal’, and even encouraged by some, but this goes way beyond what’s considered a standard rivalry.
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