The NHL has reached the Conference Championships in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Allsports, owner and operator of All sports on the Web

Allsports
“No Guts No Glory”

The Stanley Cup Playoffs have now reached the Conference finals in the sports news and sports on the web. The sixteen teams that started this journey back in April have been whittled down to four. Now the winner of each conference final will get the opportunity to represent their Conference in the Stanley Cup Final. Who can stay healthy and push forward to reach the Stanley Cup Final. There is some light at the end of the tunnel but there is still a lot of pain ahead to get the gain of getting to and winner the Stanley Cup. Is it any wonder that the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win in pro sports.

The original bowl was made of silver and is 18.5 centimetres (7.28 inches) in height and 29 centimetres (11.42 inches) in diameter.

The Stanley Cup

So how did we get to this point in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and by the way Allsports did manage to pick all of the teams to go through correctly in this round although the number of games did not match. The biggest surprise for Allsports was Chicago sweeping the Wild away in four straight games. Other than that Allsports was pretty close in the other Stanley Cup Playoffs series but then again you can judge for yourself by looking at the previous post. After all it really does not matter what Allsports thinks, what matters is what the readers think.

So now there are four teams remaining in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Tampa and the New York Rangers in the east, and Chicago against Anaheim in the west. Who do you like in these Stanley Cup series matches? Who will move on to represent their conference in the Stanley Cup Final.

I must apologize  for being a little later with this post as the first game of the Tampa and Rangers Stanley Cup series has already been played. So what’s with the Americans and having to watch the sports in the afternoon? Don’t they know that you enjoy the day first, then watch hockey at night. It is not called “Hockey Night in Canada” for nothing. Anyway I am also trying to quit smoking too. Yep you guessed it; I always had a smoke going while writing so it has been a bit difficult with that too.

The Eastern Conference Logo of the National Hockey League

Eastern Conference Logo

Anyway in the East we have Tampa and the New York Rangers. The Rangers enjoy a 1-0 Stanley Cup series lead thanks to s late goal that went in off Dominic Moore’s shin guard. Allsports still thinks Tampa will win this Stanley Cup Playoff series. The Bolts owned the Rangers in the regular season and Allsports believes they have just a little too much speed and firepower for the Rangers to handle. Mind you the Rangers have playoff experience in their favour and have managed some comeback victories over the last while. When push comes to shove though, Tampa is better at putting the puck in the net. The Rangers though do play quite well without the puck, just ask the Capitals because that was the main reason the Rangers advanced from that Stanley Cup playoffs series. Better overall team defense. That said, Tampa in seven games.

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Eight teams advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs

 

Allsports, owner and operator of All sports on the Web

Allsports
“No Guts No Glory”

The Stanley Cup Playoffs have moved on to the second round in the sports news and sports on the web. Allsports had mediocre prediction results for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs but as stated in the last post where the predictions were made. There could really be no upsets due to the parity of the teams involved. The whole series could swing on one save or one missed opportunity. Look at St. Louis, great regular season but frustrated again in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They spend all kinds of money on Paul Stastny last off season but Allsports is shaking his head saying, where is your goaltending to get you there. Well boys and girls, the Blues are gone because their goalies were not as good as Devan Dubnyk  in the Wild net. Funny, Dubnyk could not play goal in Edmonton or Arizona but he comes to the Wild, with a little structure on defense and low and behold. The Wild become a Stanley Cup contender.

The original bowl was made of silver and is 18.5 centimetres (7.28 inches) in height and 29 centimetres (11.42 inches) in diameter.

The Stanley Cup

Allsports finished with a 5 of 8 record in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the second round won’t get any easier to predict. The three first round Stanley Cup Playoff series where Allsports choked were picking Winnipeg over Anaheim, (wishful thinking). St. Louis over Minnesota (thought they could overcome their goaltending) and Ottawa over Montreal (close games that Sens were on the wrong end of).  But life goes on and it’s time to see where we stand for the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Here was the best save of the Stanley Cup playoffs to date as far as Allsports is concerned

In the East

The Eastern Conference Logo of the National Hockey League

Eastern Conference Logo

The Washington Capitals travel to the “Big Apple” to tangle with the Rangers. This Stanley Cup Playoff series starts tonight at Madison Square Gardens. The Rangers won the President’s trophy this year, which is awarded to the team with the best record during the regular season. Allsports likes the Rangers because they are solid through a deep lineup with one of the best, if not the best goaltender in the league with Henrik Lundqvist. The Capitals have Alex Ovechkin but Allsports thinks the speed and depth of the Rangers will where down the Caps over the course of the Stanley Cup series and the Rangers will advance. New York in six games.

Tampa Heads out to Montreal in the other eastern Stanley Cup Playoff series. The Lightning have a bee in their bonnet this year too. Last year they lost their number one goalie, Ben Bishop, just before the Stanley Cup playoffs began and Montreal put Tampa out in four straight games. You can be sure that Steven Stamkos and company won’t be letting that happen this year. They have a long memory and in fact did not give the Habs a sniff at a win in all four meetings during the regular season. The Bolts were the highest scoring team in the league this year and Montreal has trouble putting the puck in the net. Tampa got past Detroit without a single goal from Stamkos, which does not happen often. Montreal could be in for a beating if Stamkos starts lighting the lamp. All things considered, Carey Price could win this Stanley Cup playoff series all on his own, he has been that good. But he won’t, lots of rubber will come his way and he will be great but unless Bishop poo poo’s the bed Allsports can’t see Montreal advancing. Tampa in seven games. And the only reason I am going seven is out of respect for the goaltending of Carey Price.

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The NHL Playoffs second season is starting, who will win the war of attrition

Allsports, owner and operator of All sports on the Web

Allsports
“No Guts No Glory”

The NHL Playoffs, also known as the second season in the NHL is about to get underway and it is promising to be quite the war of attrition between the combatants. The NHL Playoffs should be front and center in the sports news and sports on the web. The rest of the West is breathing a little easier this year because the defending Stanley Cup Champion, L.A. Kings failed to make the grade and qualify.

The original bowl was made of silver and is 18.5 centimetres (7.28 inches) in height and 29 centimetres (11.42 inches) in diameter.

The Stanley Cup

As I said in the SEO  title of this piece, there really are no underdogs or upsets in these playoffs. In the East it took 98 points for the wild card entry and from 1st to 8th there was a difference of 15 points. In the West it was even tighter. Winnipeg needed 99 points for the wild card but Calgary was the lowest entry with 97 points in their division. The difference from 1st to 8th was a paltry 12 points. So with that in mind Allsports would not be surprised by any outcome in any of the series in this opening round. That adds up to a wild ride through these playoffs for the fans because there are no series where they should be over quickly. Every series will be tough to advance and that is why they call the NHL Playoffs or Stanley Cup Playoffs if you will, the toughest grind in professional sports. Who will come out on top? Well we will need about 10 weeks of fierce competition to find out.

Alllsports has now put together, who he thinks will advance to the second round. Tough picks indeed.

The Eastern Conference Logo of the National Hockey League

Eastern Conference Logo

In the East, Allsports is picking the Ottawa Senators to get past the Montreal Canadiens in seven games. Carey Price has had an amazing year and if not for him, you would have to wonder if Montreal even makes it into the NHL Playoffs. Ottawa has had a huge second half and been the best team in the league in the new calendar year. Ottawa did everything Toronto did not. Ottawa over Montreal  in 7

Well Allsports thinks Steve Stamcos will be too much for the aging wings to handle. The Wings goaltending has been a little suspect lately as well. Tampa over Detroit in Six.

The New York Rangers play the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now here are two teams going in opposite directions. The Rangers won the President’s trophy for the best regular season record and the Pens just squeaked into the NHL Playoffs on the last day of the season, beating the worst team in the league, Buffalo. Allsports will give Crosby and Malkin the benefit of the doubt here and say the Rangers will win this NHL Playoffs series in six  games. Many feel the Penguins will be lucky to win one game. Rangers over Pens in 6

Finally Allsports is picking Washington over the New York Islanders in the last NHL Playoffs series in the East. This one is really a crap shoot, flip a coin, or what ever. Allsports likes the team defense Washington plays and feels it will be the difference in the series. Just ask the Boston Bruins about it. Washington shut them out like 3 times this year. Caps over the Islanders in 7 games.

The Western Conference Logo of the National Hockey League

Western Conference Logo

In the West, Allsports likes the St. Louis Blues to take down the Wild in 6 games. The Blues have been knocking on the NHL Playoffs door for a few years now and Allsports thinks they have enough firepower to get past the Wild.

In the Chicago, Nashville, NHL Playoffs series. The Hawks got a big boost when it was announced that Patrick Kane would be ready for game one. Nashville has been playing uninspired hockey lately. Hawks will take it in 6 games.

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Leafs Nation has to show patience yet again

Allsports, owner and operator of All sports on the Web

Allsports
“No Guts No Glory”

The state of the Toronto Maple Leafs is atrocious yet again in the sports news and sports on the web. Back in November Allsports wrote a post about the Toronto Maple Leafs season being like a roller coaster. Well let me rephrase that now. The Toronto Maple Leafs season in the new calendar year has been utter sky diving, plummeting to ground zero without a parachute to slow the fall. Since 2015 began the Toronto Maple Leafs have won three games of the twenty -two played, with one overtime loss in the mix. That’s seven points out of forty-four for those of you keeping track at home. Just brutal with the all too familiar nose dive once the games get a little harder to play, when teams are fighting for a playoff spot. The team as it is now, is just not mentally tough enough to endure the full NHL schedule and nuch like some of the games they lose, they don’t compete for the full ride.The Leafs were in a playoff position the day they let coach, Randy Carlyle go. Since then there has been no worry about playing on into April.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are a charter member of the NHL

The Toronto Maple Leafs Logo

It boggles the mind how a team that was the highest scoring team in the league during the first half of the season, can’t seem to buy a goal or two in the car crash that is the 2015 calendar year. The rebuild is starting yet again in Toronto and the Toronto Maple Leafs started the ball rolling. The club had acquired a 2015 first round pick, Brendan Leipsic and Olli Jokinen from the Nashville Predators for Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli. These were two of the Toronto Maple Leafs better performers this season but they were unrestricted free agents this summer and with Dave Nonis paying Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf huge guaranteed money long term, Nonis could not afford to sign them. So better to get something for them while he could. The biggest thing Nonis has done wrong is over valuing Kessel and Phaneuf. Phaneuf is price tagged like a number one defenseman with Norris trophy aspirations but that won’t ever happen. History shows that if Phaneuf starts to approach the minutes of a number one D man he tires out and starts to make foolish mistakes. At 7 million a year for 7 years the Toronto Maple Leafs are paying way too much for his services and he should be in the 4-5 million per year range. It will be tough to move that contract in the rebuild. Also with Kessel and an average salary of 8 million for 8 years, he will also be hard to move, although there might be some interest in Florida for his services. They need scoring and do have the cap space for his contract. Kessel is a goal scorer, there is no doubt about that but sometimes you have to wonder if he played the game with two eggs in his pants whether those eggs would survive the whole game. Of course you don’t want Kessel banging and crashing, that’s not what he is there for but that said he still has to be more involved defensively. Kessel will end up with another half descent year point wise, but if he scores you a goal but is responsible for the opposition getting two, he is still on the negative side of the ledger.

Joffrey Lupul of the Toronto Maple Leafs

Joffrey Lupul

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