The Conference Finals are set to begin tomorrow, June 1st. If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that Jonathan Quick will be damn near impossible to score on, the Chicago Blackhawks will be resilient, the Pittsburgh Penguins will blow the roof off, and blow their opposition out, at least twice, and the Boston Bruins will do their best to make hockey as unbearable to watch as soccer. After all, those are the trends that have emerged as these NHL Playoffs have taken shape and assumed a life of their own, so the smart money says that we’re in for more of the same.
However, if the past – distant history, if you will – has taught us anything, it’s that the script is often subject to change. Just when you think you see a pattern emerging, the hockey gods throw a banana on the ice, and a series gets turned upside-down, much to our delight. Hot teams suddenly go ice-cold; stone walls (aka, goalies) become Swiss cheese; underdogs shock the world. Predicting which teams are going to survive the Conference Finals in order to meet in the showdown that will determine who gets to lift Lord Stanley Cup is boring; it’s time to cast our vote for which of the following wild predictions is MOST likely to come true.