Tracking the Storm

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 - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72