The special time of year that is circled by millions of hockey fans around the world has come. That's right, it is the Stanley Cup Finals.
Few could have written it any better. The touted league MVP in Sidney Crosby comes back with his trusty sidekick, Evgeni Malkin, a year wiser to face the veteran team in the Detroit Red Wings.
But with the Pittsburgh Penguins that much more experienced and the Detroit Red Wings that much older, what can we expect from this years playoffs?
Sidney Crosby will finally show his true colours.
Throughout this guy's NHL career, he has been amazing and breath taking while on the ice, but has shown little personality in the process. Sure you will see an occasional fist pump after scoring a goal once in a while, but besides that, little is seen from the superstar in the way of personality, almost being robotic while on the ice.
But after losing last year in a close Game six of the Stanley Cup Finals, he will be looking to avenge it with a win this year.
Sometimes wanting something that badly will make a man act differently. Let's see if we can get that personality that everybody has been sorely looking for.
This series will be fast and fierce.
Both sides are very well conditioned and are hard skaters. One side is a fast, finesse team, while the other is a fast, forechecking team. Both strategies will work well for each team, just at different times in the series.
Look for this series to be an end-to-end battle that will not let up and be high in scoring chances.
Both Chris Osgood and Marc-Andre Fleury will be great.
Osgood is trying to prove critics wrong by showing that he has a lot left in the tank and is still a great goaltender. Fleury is trying to prove that he is an elite goaltender who deserves recognition.
Even though there will be a lot of goals in this series, that doesn't mean that the goaltending will be bad. Both sides are, simply, great scoring teams.
But there will also be some amazing saves.
Look for both goaltenders to steal a game in this series.
This series will not make it to a seventh game.
One of two scenarios will happen with this series.
The first is that Detroit will be just too beat up and the Pittsburgh Penguins will wear them down both physically and mentally. The second is that Detroit's experience will once again be too much for Pittsburgh to handle, and they will take the series because of how well they handle the pressure.
Either way, I doubt that anybody will be disappointed with this series.
The Conn Smythe will go to either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin
Crosby and Malkin lead the playoff points race by seven points over the next leading scorer.
Who is that leading scorer?
Alexander Ovechkin who's team was beat out by Pittsburgh in the second round of the playoffs.
Unless a player on either team absolutely carries their team through the Stanley Cup Finals, only Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin should be considered for the Conn Smythe.
The only thing now to determine is which one will win it.
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