On behalf of the Detroit Red Wings, we would like to thank you, the fans of Hockeytown, for your support throughout the season. We are lucky to have the greatest fans in the world and you’re what makes ‘Hockeytown’, Hockeytown. We couldn’t have done it without you and are looking forward to making our next Stanley Cup run for the 25 consecutive season! #ThankYouHockeytown #LGRW

Our father who art in the Joe. Hockey be thy name. Thy will be done. The cup will be won. On ice, as well as in the stands. Give us this day our hockey sticks. And forgive us our penalties as we forgive those who cross-check against us Lead us not into elimination. But deliver us to victory. In the name of the fans, Lord Stanley, and in the name of the Wings. Amen
NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2015 Preview and First Round Predictions

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2015 Preview and First Round Predictions

As the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs come under way, it’s interesting to see how the dynamic of the league can change. The pressure in the league tends to heat up and a lot more of an intense game goes underway. Many news outlets are reporting the predictions of many NHL pundits, while having more intensive coverage of each game. This is because as of right now, every game for every team can make a huge difference on the direction of who can be our 2015 Stanley Cup Champion. I’m hoping that in two months from now I’ll be able to stand on Broadway in New York City watching 2014-15 Rangers Captain Ryan McDonaugh hold up the Stanley Cup.  After taking a look at Sports Illustrated,, and ESPN, I was able to get an idea of how many sports writers in the league felt about the possible winners of the first round.

Eastern Conference:

Ottawa Senators vs. Montreal Canadiens

Sports Illustrated:   OTT: ¾ MTL:  ¼ OTT: 9/15 MTL: 6/15

ESPN: OTT: 6/13 MTL: 7/13

Personal Prediction: Ottawa Senators in 7

With last night’s victory for the Canadiens, I still feel that Ottawa has the potential to slowly climb to the top. With so many young players ready to come in and take on all-star level goalie Carey Price, it will be interesting to where this series may take us.

 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings

Sports Illustrated: TBL: 4/4 DET: 0/4 TBL: 15/15 DET: 0/4

ESPN: TBL: 13/13 DET: 0/13

Personal Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning in 5

When Steven Stamkos ready to go for the Lightning, they are sure to come in as a strong contender for these 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs.  The Red Wings are unfortunately not that strong of a team this year, which is why almost every outlet unanimously has the Lightning going on to the next round.

New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Sports Illustrated: NYR: 4/4 PIT: 0/4 NYR: 14/15 PIT: 1/15

ESPN: NYR: 13/13 PIT: 0/13

 Personal Prediction: Rangers in 5

With the Rangers having the best record in the NHL, they are coming in strong for the playoffs. Pittsburgh is a bit weak on the defensive side and will likely be crushed in a fast first-round series. The Rangers are ready to take home the cup this year.

Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders

Sports Illustrated: WSH: ¾ NYI: ¼ WSH: 12/15 NYI: 3/15

ESPN: WSH: 11/13 NYI: 2/13

Personal Prediction: Capitals in seven

With the Islanders struggling during the end of the season, they have in like a lion and out like a lamb. With strong goaltending on both teams, and hungry all-stars like Ovechkin and Tavares looking to bring their respective teams a cup, we can’t be too sure on how this series might play out. 

Western Conference:

St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild

Sports Illustrated: STL: 0/4 MIN: 4/4 STL: 9/15 MIN: 6/15

ESPN: STL: 12/13 MIN: 1/13

Personal Prediction: Blues in 6

When we get a chance to take a look at what was predicted by the news outlets, I found it interesting that the people at Sports Illustrated had some very different opinions than the others. The Blues have had a great year with Vladimer Tarasenko and I feel that they will find themselves victorious in this series.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Winnipeg Jets

Sports Illustrated: ANA: ¾ WPJ: ¼ 11/15 WPG: 4/15

ESPN: ANA: 8/13 WPG: 5/13

Personal Prediction: Jets in 6

With the Jets finally finding themselves as a contender, they are taking on one of the strongest teams in the West. Winnipeg has some tough players in which I feel they will be able to squeeze themselves into many victories against the strong contender that is Anaheim.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators:

Sports Illustrated: CHI: 4/4 NSH: 0/4 13/15 NSH: 2/15

ESPN: CHI: 12/13 NSH: 1/13

Personal Prediction: Nashville in 7

With Patrick Kane back from an injury, the Blackhawks will come in strong during the playoffs. Though, I feel that they will not be able to match the Nashville Predators who are hungry for a strong playoff run.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flame:

Sports Illustrated: VAN: ¾ CAL: ¼ VAN: 7/15 CAL: 8/15

ESPN: VAN: 7/13 CAL: 6/13

Personal Prediction: Calgary in 6

This might have been the series that was a tossup for many NHL pundits. I’m leaning towards a victory for Calgary, a team that I personally feel might want this cup just a bit more.

-Andrew Rocco

Top Goals, Saves From Stanley Cup Playoffs Round One

By Ryan Mayer, CBS Local Sports

We’re through four games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the series and we’ve had our fair share of highlights so far. With one team already making it through after the Ducks completed the sweep of the Jets last night, let’s look at the top goals and saves in separate categories.

Top Goals

Emerson Etem Dances To A Goal

This came as part of the 5-2 victory for the Ducks last night in sweeping the Winnipeg Jets. Etem tied the game by leaving two different defenders in his wake and flipping the puck casually into the top shelf where grandma hides the peanut butter. 

That’s just nasty. Poor Winnipeg, those fans were so happy just to be back in the postseason.  Well, there’s always next year. 

Vladimir Tarasenko Dekes Dubnyk 

Another goal from last night, Tarasenko is known throughout the league for his dangling ability and he showed off against the Wild in Game 4 last night. A half-breakaway for him turns into a forehand backhand move that leaves Dubnyk with no shot of getting his pads on it. 

Unfortunately, there will be no more Tarasenko highlights in this postseason as Minnesota took home the 4-2 series win. The Wild continue to be one of the best stories in the league. 

Patrick Sharp Spinning And Winning

This is an incredible display of skill both to be able to snipe the top corner from in close, but also skating ability as he’s able to execute that spin in tight quarters in front of the crease before burying the puck. 

Another postseason, another Blackhawks team primed to make a Stanley Cup appearance. These guys are ridiculous. They’ll get red-hot goalie Devan Dubnyk and the Wild in Round 2 though. 

Top Saves

Frederik Andersen Robs Andrew Ladd

I don’t mean to continue to pick on the Jets here, but this save by Andersen is a big reason why they’re going to be making an early trip to the golf course this spring. The game was tied at 4-4 in Game 2 of the series and the Ducks goalie absolutely denied access to Jets F Bryan Little who had a wide open net with 1:08 left in regulation and the Jets on the power play.  

Carey Price Stops Zibanejad From Highlight Reel Finish

That honor belongs to Carey Price who made a great pad save on a shot from Zibanejad after he decked through three different defenseman. It’s not as flashy as Andersen’s save, but it’s more impressive because of his quick ration and recovery. Watch it and see how Price is actually trying to poke the puck off the stick of the Sens forward only to find it out of reach and then have to quickly stick of the right pad as he’s sliding away from that side of the net. 

The Senators did get two wins against Price and the Canadiens, but Montreal closed them out in Game 6. Now they await the winner of the Detroit Tampa Bay series. Speaking of which…

Petr Mrazek Absurd Stick Save

I was trying to find the right adjective to use for Mrazek’s stop. Absurd was the word that I kept repeating to myself over and over again while watching this. If you didn’t see it live, prepare yourself. If you did, then just bask in the glow of how ridiculous this save is. Also, further evidence of how unbelievable this was, the announcer thinks it’s a goal at first. 

Unfortunately, it didn’t help his team much because Tampa Bay still struck for 5 goals in a 5-2 win to force Game 7. Not a bold prediction, but nothing will beat this save in the playoffs. 

The magic will continue throughout the chase for Lord Stanley’s Cup and we’ll be watching for more amazing goals and unreal saves. 

via CBS Baltimore