Category Archives: 2017 NHL Playoffs

Rolling Rock (Unofficially) Presents: The 2017 Bench Life Stanley Cup Prediction Battle

 

The Bench Life team are taking the gloves off for a winner-take-all prediction battle to prove once and for all (at least for now) who is most in tune with playoff hockey. Winner of the challenge gets a case of ice cold Rolling Rock beer paid for by the losers. Whoever finishes dead last will get punished in some sort of humiliating way, so stay tuned for whatever that ends up being. I had envisioned some sort of tie Goldberg to the net situation but that could potentially be too harmful. This is a classic TBD situation.

Without further ado, here are the categories for the challenge with each of our various picks.

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Stanley Cup Finals Preview and Prediction

Another round of the NHL Playoffs has come to an end, and we’re left with only two teams. In the Western Conference, the underdog Nashville Predators have been the surprise of the playoffs this year, taking down Chicago, St. Louis and Anaheim on their path to the Finals. From the Eastern Conference, the Pittsburgh Penguins are looking to be the first back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions since the Red Wings repeated in 1997 & 1998. They beat out Columbus, Washington and Ottawa en route to their shot at the Cup. With Game 1 set for tonight, let’s take a look at the series and I’ll tell you why the Predators are going to stun the defending champs. Read more

NHL Conference Finals Preview and Predictions

On Wednesday night, the second round of the NHL playoffs came to an end in one of the most exciting ways possible: not one, but TWO Game 7’s.

First, the Penguins went into Washington and shutout the Capitals on their way to another series win for Crosby over Ovechkin. After coming back from a 3-1 series deficit to tie the series at 3, the Capitals looked to head back to the Verizon Center and complete the comeback. Honestly, I was really looking forward to all the “Pittsburgh blew a 3-1 lead” jokes. And for the sake of my bracket, I was hoping that Washington would move on. However, the Penguins decided they didn’t want to be added to the list of teams to have blown a massive lead in the last year or so. Washington struggled to generate offense, Ovechkin was quiet and Marc-Andre Fleury was playing like it’s 2009, making 29 saves. Pittsburgh advanced with a 2-0 win, and will look to get ready to take on the Senators.

The second game of the night featured the young, up and coming Oilers against the older and experienced Ducks. After putting up 7 goals in Game 6, Edmonton looked to be in control of the series heading into the final game. But it turns out they should’ve saved some of those goals, because they could’ve used them in Game 7. After scoring early in the game, the Oilers offense was held in check, being held to just 3 shots in the 2nd period and 8 shots in the 3rd. Andrew Coglianio tied the game in the 2nd, Nick Ritchie scored the game winner a few minutes into the final period, and the Ducks managed to hold on for the win and will move on to play the Predators. Read more

Approaching this Leafs-Capitals Series with 2 mindsets: The Homer vs. The Buzzkill

The REAL playoffs start tonight and I’m feeling pretty conflicted. While I’m ready to get on the hype train, the Leafs have crushed my spirits at every turn. Being a Toronto sports fan in general has made me a bit of a cynic and at the end of the day I have come to hate that about myself. I’d love to yell at my TV like an idiot, fully-decked out in Leafs gear, but anytime you fly that high the fall is all the more tragic. Read more