The field has been cut down to four lone survivors on the quest to drink beer out of the greatest cup known to mankind. The second round didn’t offer as much drama as the first, but there were still shining moments all around.
We saw five overtimes in the second round, two of which came in elimination games. St. Louis-Dallas gave us overtime in game seven. There isn’t anything better than the heart-stopping action this provides. Game seven overtimes are great, just ask Brent Seabrook.
The Four Feathers crew performed at even strength with one another last round, with all four guys predicting two series correctly and two series incorrectly. How have Patrick Comiskey, Ron Luce, Tony Marchese, and Jonnie Nonnie done through the entire playoffs so far?
The teams are halfway to the cup. Three will fail, one will hoist it. We only have three series of hockey left this season. So, let’s dive in and preview and predict the Western and Eastern Conference Finals.
San Jose Sharks vs. St. Louis Blues
Preview: A rematch of the 2016 Western Conference Final, the Blues and Sharks are poised to match up for a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Both teams experienced a game seven in the second round to get here. San Jose also went seven games in the first round. Pat Maroon punched St. Louis’s ticket here when he won game seven against Dallas in double OT. The Blues have been the hottest team in hockey since January and will look to continue their improbable run. San Jose continues to find ways to win, even when they look down and out. This should be a good one. St. Louis has been good at keeping pucks out of their net, while San Jose has been scoring with ease. Something has to give.
Regular Season Series: 2-1 San Jose
Comiskey: Blues in 7.
The nightmare continues as St. Louis advances to the Stanley Cup Final. I predicted them to get to the Final and lose to Boston at the beginning of these playoffs, so hopefully we at least get that.
Luce: Blues in 7.
It’s no surprise that this Blues team is doing what they’re doing. We’ve said it before, they are the hottest team in the 2019 calendar year so far and it’s hard to imagine that a Sharks team who has now played in two seven-game series can keep up with arguably the deepest team in the league.
Marchese: Sharks in 6
My last round strategy didn’t go as well as planned, but I didn’t come up empty-handed. In fact, I’m sitting comfortably ahead of the pack by two games so I’ll continue to ride this until I can claim my title as the Stanley Cup Prediction Champion of the Four Feathers crew. In all seriousness, the Sharks have had a special run thus far. They’ve had to survive not one, but two game sevens. The Blues also have a rich history of choking in the playoffs. No nightmares here for Hawks fans, Sharks in 6.
Nonnie: Blues in 6.
As much as it pains me to say it, the Blues will advance to the Stanley Cup Final. Jordan Binnington has taken the hockey world by storm and I expect him to continue his solid play in net. The Sharks will certainly still get their goals because Logan Couture (9 goals, 5 assists in the playoffs) wills it. However, I think back-to-back seven-game series will take a toll on the stamina of the Sharks causing them to run out of gas by game six. Give me a couple of forks because I’ll have to puncture my eardrums when the Blues play Gloria en route to the Stanley Cup Final.
Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Preview: The unlikely ride continues for the Hurricanes, as they swept the New York Islanders to reach the Eastern Conference Final. To note, the two teams who swept their opponents in the first round lost in the second round. Boston beat two worthy opponents to get here: Toronto and Columbus. The Bruins have the best playoff power play, cashing in on 28% of their opportunities. Carolina has scored the second most goals per game and allowed the second fewest goals against per game these playoffs. Tuukka Rask could be the difference, as he has been the best goalie in these playoffs. In the other net, Petr Mrazek missed two starts in the second round due to injury, but it appears he may be back for game one. If he’s not, it’ll be Curtis McElhinney in Carolina’s net.
Goaltender Matchup: Tuukka Rask (8-5) GAA: 2.02 SV%: .938 vs. Petr Mrazek (5-3) GAA: 2.22 SV%: .913
Regular Season Series: 2-1 Boston
Comiskey: Bruins in 6.
I picked Boston to win the cup and I am more convinced of that now than ever. Carolina plays suffocating defense, but in the end, I believe Boston’s electric power play and solid goaltending will lead them to the Cup Final.
Luce: Hurricanes in 6.
So, contrary to what was said on the latest episode of Four Feathers, I did pick the Hurricanes to win it all. So my pick is still very much intact. In fact, I am the only one to believe in the Bunch of Jerks as most picked the Lightning (which let’s be honest, was a safe pick). So, I will continue to ride and die with the Bunch of Jerks, the Cinderella of 2019, our sweet boy Turbo, and all who rep the red, black and white. Go Canes!
Marchese: Hurricanes in 7.
Boston is strong, but this has been the Canes year all along. They have certainly banded together and there is just something about them that screams Stanley Cup or bust. Plus I’m pretty sure Nonnie will pick Boston. Let it ride.
Nonnie: Bruins in 7.
This one is extremely tough to pick. Despite picking against the Canes in every single round so far, I do actually like them. There are plenty of great storylines surrounding them and like Ron mentioned, I love me some Teuvo time. However, they’re going up against Boston. The luckiest sports city in the world will once again get undeservedly rewarded. The Red Sox are off to a slow start and parade kid is getting worried.
Don’t worry you spoiled little brat, the sports gods will send the insufferable Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final to cheer you up. Jake DeBrusk will literally decapitate Teuvo Teravainen, 6’9″ Zdeno Chara will leave his feet to hip check 5’11” Sebastian Aho‘s head into the boards, and Charlie McAvoy (AKA Chuckie Cheap Shots) will spear Mrazek in the ribs all to create space for David Pastrnak (PAAAHHHHHSTAAAA) to slam home the series-clincher in game seven. Blues/Bruins Stanley Cup. Book it.
There you have it. The Four Feathers Crew, as always, has you covered for another round of hockey. The playoffs are half over. Four teams remain in action. Enjoy every second, because you know you’ll be missing hockey come July.
Featured Photo: WCVB Boston