Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Stanley Cup Finals begins Saturday
Thank you Gary Bettman for starting the Cup Finals on Saturday night. I was afraid we were going to get an afternoon tilt on NBC. Thank goodness for that! My initial thoughts on this series is that this will not be a walkover as many are predicting. Everyone will bring up how strong the Western Conference is, which I agree with, and the fact that the Flyers were a 7th seed in a bad conference. But I say throw all of that out the window. This is a different Philadelphia team from the regular season. They are healthy and very talented with young players like Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, and Claude Giroux. The Flyers are a faster team than San Jose, and in my opinion they have better depth than the Sharks. This promises to be a very entertaining final that may go six or seven games. HockeySureShot will have an in-depth preview of the Finals in the next day or two.
The Hossa Curse?
2008 Stanley Cup Finals Marian Hossa's Penguins lose to Detroit.
2009 Stanley Cup Finals Marian Hossa's Red Wings lose to Pittsburgh.
2010 Stanley Cup Finals Marian Hossa's Blackhawks ?
If you believe in curses you probably should bet the Flyers. Marian Hossa is in our opinion one of the keys for Chicago to win. He has only registered two goals this postseason and will look to improve on his flimsy three points in last years Stanley Cup Finals. We expect him to be motivated and compliment the Kane-Toews-Buf line very well. One would expect to see Pronger on the ice every time Byfuglien jumps off the bench, so Chicago will need Hossa to produce.
Steve Yzerman named new GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning
With Ken Holland firmly assuming the GM duties in Detroit for as long as he wants, Steve Yzerman had to go to another organization. The man who was responsible for putting Canada's gold medal winning team together, will face a big challenge with the Lightning. First and foremost is goaltending. Mike Smith is signed for next year, but it is very questionable if he is a true #1 goalie in this league. Backup, Antero Nittymaki is an unrestricted free agent. When looking at Tampa's salary cap, lots of money is locked into, Ryan Malone, Mattias Ohlund, Andrei Mezaros, and Vinny Lecavalier, who is signed through 2020 at $7.7 million per year. There is a load of talent on the roster led by Steve Stamkos as it will be very interesting to see what they do this summer and who will coach the team.