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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 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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