DrewDoughty

 

 

The Expert Panel makes their selections for the Stanley Cup Final


 

Despite a tough Conference Final that saw us go 0-2 with our consensus picks, the Expert Panel still sits at a respectable 10-4 for the playoffs.

 

Leading the way is Imbeau at 12-2, Daoust at 11-3, and remarkably, a really handsome and intelligent guy still sits at a perfect 14-0. Somehow I had New York beating Los Angeles from the very beginning and it’s still intact.

 

With just one series left we have included our Conn Smythe picks as well. Feel to let us know your picks for the finals and how you think the series will shake out in the comments section.

 

Expert

NYR vs. LAK

Conn Smythe

Current Record

Dobber

LAK in 6

Kopitar

7-5

Amato

NYR in 7

Lundqvist

14-0

Laidlaw

NYR in 6

Lundqvist

9-5

Brouwer

LAK in 6

Doughty

7-7

Campkin

LAK in 7

Doughty

10-4

Collins

8-6

Daoust

LAK in 6

Kopitar

11-3

Drance

Fisher

LAK in 7

Kopitar

10-4

Fragopoulos

NYR in 6

St. Louis

6-7

Guzzwell

NYR in 6

Lundqvist

9-5

Hoos

LAK in 6

9-5

Imbeau

NYR in 7

Lundqvist

12-2

Kennedy

Kwiaton

 LAK in 6  Gaborik

7-5

Lancione

LAK in 6

Doughty

10-4

Miller

LAK in 6

Doughty

9-5

Roos

LAK in 6

Doughty

9-5

Ross

LAK in 6

Kopitar

6-6

Wallace

NYR in 7

St. Louis

5-9

Wassel

LAK in 6

Kopitar

9-5

Wilson

LAK in 5

Williams

10-4

Consensus

LAK in 6

10-4


Here is some rationale from the experts on their choices:


Amato: So far so good for me on the picks, so I’m not changing now. I thought New York finally had some secondary scoring to go along with Lundqvist’s strong play and I’m sticking to it.

 

Dobber: I wanted to say Kings in four because they are such a dominant playoff team. But they always make things hard on themselves, falling behind in games or in series. Whatever provides a challenge, they'll make it happen so it's not easy for them.


Campkin: LA is definitely the superior team, but they tend to play close games. I think Lundqvist keeps the Rangers in a lot of games (and maybe even steals a couple). The play will be dominated by LA, but I believe the scores will remain close and I think the Rangers can get enough bounces to at least keep them in the series. In the end though, LA is too good to lose and should emerge as cup champs.


Roos: The Rangers have the fans of New York cheering for them, along with the hearts of everyone who's heard the emotional stories of Martin St. Louis and Dominic Moore, while LA is probably running on fumes after having played a jaw dropping 169 regular season and playoff games since January 2013.  But after what we've seen so far, I have to pick the Kings, especially given that they still have 15+ players from their 2012 Cup winning team and - simply put - they find a way to win.  Plus, as great as Henrik Lundqvist is, at this point I'll take the shaky but more playoff tested 2014 version of Jonathan Quick over him when it's truly all on the line.


Lancione: With LA becoming the first team to survive three games seven road contests in successive rounds, it appears destiny is theirs. The gauntlet they fought to get here was more daunting than one would expect through all four rounds normally. Look for Jeff Carter and Marian Gaborik will continue to shine up front while Drew Doughty continues his perfect season.


Brouwer:  I have gone with my heart with every pick this season and have been wrong. I really would like to see the Rangers win so I am picking against my heart and saying the Kings win and hope I am wrong.


Miller: At the beginning of all this, I predicted LA would be the last team standing (I just thought it would be against Boston), so I'll stick with my original prediction. Kings in 6


Daoust: The Rangers have really come together as a team and possess the better goalie based on recent play but the Kings just have an ability to flip a switch and become unstoppable. It really takes an outstanding team to come out of the West. Their up-and-down play will cost them a couple games (and could ultimately cost them the championship) but I get the feeling that they will once again morph into a steamroller as we get deeper in the series.


Wassel: I am taking the Los Angeles Kings in six games. For some reason, the New York Rangers can still make a goalie look good. Dustin Tokarski nearly outplayed Henrik Lundqvist last round so let that sink in for a few minutes. While the Kings are used to just playing knock down drag out hockey mixed in with offense, the Rangers may  eventually break down. Between "That 70's Line" and the Kopitar-Gaborik duo, the Kings have a little much for the Rangers to handle in a close series. 



Wallace: I can't remember a time I have done this poorly in the playoffs. I began overthinking this, again, and convinced myself to pick LA on narrative-based means. New York has had an easier road to the cup, and I don't think LA is so much better that they can dominate a much fresher New York team. If this goes to seven games, it will be the first time a team has played 28 games in the NHL playoffs (and maybe even in North American sports). If you like narrative, it would be so Canucks for Vigneault to win the cup his first year out of Vancouver.

 

Kwiaton: With 3 goals in the Stanley Cup final, Marian Gaborik would tie Crosby for the most goals in a playoff season (15) since Joe Sakic scored 18 in 1996.

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