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The Finals: Who Ya Got?

Wednesday, 06.10.2009 / 9:56 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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The Finals: Who Ya Got?
I wasn’t sure that I would even watch it when it started, but I’ve really been enjoying this year’s Stanley Cup Finals.

Paul Branecky
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Although I didn’t see a second of Game 1 (after nine months of non-stop hockey and a series loss fresh in my mind, I needed a break) I’ve been on board for every game since. When Detroit won the first two I wasn’t quite as enthused about a possibly quick series, but you can’t beat Game 7 in the finals. 

I’d say it’s been a great series, but a few of the games have been surprisingly lopsided. It doesn’t quite have the same in-game drama that Canes/Devils 2009 had (last night’s game an obvious exception – great finish), but it’s been a fun ride nonetheless.

While many Canes fans will watch just to watch, it’s hard not to develop a rooting interest. This might sound blasphemous to those who subscribe to a certain theory, but I’ve found myself rooting for the Pens a little bit more. 

Besides just winning the series against Carolina, they didn’t really do anything to make me hold a grudge (“I’m not even mad - I’m impressed!” a great man once said), and their top-end guys really are a lot of fun to watch when they’re victimizing a team other than your own. Even though they don’t play in Carolina, it’s always nice to see one of Eric’s brothers get a big goal for some reason.

Also, while I have a world of respect for the Red Wings and how they manage to field a Cup contender year after year with no questions asked, I get a little bored with the same team winning in consecutive years. I’m all for some new blood at the top.

I’d be interested to hear how the rest of Carolina fans feel about it. Bitter against Pittsburgh? If you have to lose, would you feel a bit more justified in losing to the eventual champions? Neutral? Not watching?

Also, what’s your pick? With the exception of Games 1 and 3 (Detroit wins the opener at home, Pittsburgh gets a must-win to get back in the series), my gut feeling has been wrong for almost every game so far. My gut is telling me that Detroit gets it done on Friday night, which is great news for Pittsburgh, not that they need the help with a great superstition going their way

For the record, those of us at the RBC Center go way back on that tradition. Occasionally, it’s been known to get out of hand. Has Bylsma ever gone for two? What about three? Yeah, that’s what we thought.  Amateur.

Things are still pretty quiet around the office here – not sure we’ll have any announcements until next week at the earliest, but keep your eyes open all the same.  Updates to come later today.  Update: Confirmed - no announcements this week.

There is one bit of news to report, as there’s been a new addition to the Canes family. Franklin Robert Sundheim (baby behind the guy?) was born this past Saturday at 12:13 p.m. The first-born of Mike and Leah checked in at just under eight pounds, and everyone is healthy and doing just fine. Congratulations to the Sundheims, and please forgive Mike if he doesn’t blog for a little while as he learns the finer points of diaper changing. Doug and Jon, meanwhile, have no excuse.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
K. Versteeg 63 11 22 -6 33
E. Staal 63 10 23 -3 33
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81