The Conference Finals of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs Start on Friday. Meaning we are Getting Closer and Closer to the Stanley Cup, Who Will Win it? Follow This Series to Find Out!
BREAKDOWN OF THE TEAMS FIRST ROUND: Ottawa has played two amazing series’ so far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, one against the Bruins that was an absolute war and then the Rangers who forced the Sens to expand scoring and push their special teams to play. As for the Penguins, they ran through the Blue Jackets who were a surprise all season and then had a seven-game war against the Capitals who were first in the Eastern Conference and NHL. Both teams have the depth and goaltending, however, there can only be one winner.
Article continues below ...
Mar 23, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators defenseman Cody Ceci (5) skates with the puck in front of Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) in the third period at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Senators defeated the Penguins 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) skates with the puck against the Washington Capitals during the third period in game six of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 17, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
The Sens also have three defensive lines that can help contribute and keep the puck out of the net. Marc Methot, Karlsson, Phaneuf, Cody Ceci, Ben Harpur, Wideman, and Mark Borowiecki have been great all postseason for the Sens allowing 33 goals against. The Penguins have allowed fewer goals against but not by much only allowing 31 compared to Ottawa’s 33. They already have three deep lines, now imagine when Kris Letang returns? Because Ian Cole, Schultz, Maatta, Daley, Brian Dumoulin, and Ron Hainsey have been lights out.
May 6, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) follows the puck against the Washington Capitals in game five of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Craig Anderson has been great in the postseason but can definitely get some support to help his play get better. So far he’s got an 8-4-0 record with a .914 save percentage and a 2.49 goals-against-average with one shutout. Mike Condon also came in relief during one game and in doing so didn’t register a win or a loss and posted a .900 save percentage with a 3.03 goals-against-average. Now another place the Penguins have an edge is in net, Marc-Andre Fleury has somehow found his second wind and has been a cornerstone for the Pens in the post season. He owns an 8-4-0 record as well but has a better save percentage at .927 percent, but his goals-against-average is a bit behind Anderson’s at 2.55 and shares one shutout with Anderson as well.
This series is going to be great, but to be honest the Penguins have faced tougher opponents than the Sens and have come out on top. So the heavy favorite is obviously Pittsburgh but Ottawa won’t go down without a fight.