We had a decent set of round 2 results with three of the four bets coming in, the only one which let us down was the Penguins but our record for the NHL Playoffs 2014 now stands at 8-12 (67%) +16.45 so everything is ticking along nicely and it’s now time to look at the Conference finals as the four remaining teams battle for the a spot in the Stanley Cup final game!
Eastern Conference Final:
Montreal Canadiens Vs New York Rangers
The Canadiens have surprised a few people and I don’t think that they were given much of a chance coming into the playoffs and that may well have played in their favour with no as much pressure as the other teams. In round 1 they went out and made a statement, one which read ‘We mean business!’ when they defeated Tampa in a 4-0 whitewash. In round 2 they faced the Boston Bruins and going to Boston to win game 1 was a great start for them but they soon found themselves 3-2 down in the series but they dug in there and won both games 6 & 7 to take the series 4-3.
They come into this conference final against the Rangers in fine form, they have won 20 of their last 30 matches and they are not have any problems picking up wins on the road which is vital at this stage of the season.
The Rangers come into this game having needing game 7 in both of the previous rounds, They came up against the Flyers in round 1 and it was a topsy turvy series, neither side could take control of the series which needed game 7 for the Rangers to win it with form figures of WLWLWLW! In round 2 they came up against a much fancied Pittsburgh Penguins and although winning game 1 in Pittsburgh it went all wrong with the Penguins winning the next 3 to take a 3-1 series lead and with 2 of the last 3 games in Pittsburgh it looks tough for the Rangers but they fought back and they won all of the last 3 matches to take the series 4-3.
That means that they come into the conference finals on a 3 match winning streak and they have won 18 of their last 30 matches.
The Canadiens just edge it in the head-2-head record with a 17-13 split over the past 30 games and they have won 5 of the last 6, the sides last met in post season way back in 1996 when the Rangers took the series 4-2 after going down 2-0.
Both are coming into this series in fine form and the bookies are struggling to split them, the Canadiens have played 3 fewer games than the Rangers which start to affect the Rangers players the longer this series goes on and I just get the feeling that the Canadiens really are here to win the Stanley Cup this year, they are flying but they are also odds on to win this series so I shall go with a correct score instead and with the Canadiens on home ice for the first two games, they are 9-1 against the Rangers on home ice so they should take an early advantage here therefore I can see them landing this series 4-2.
MONTREAL CANADIENS TO WIN THE SERIES 4-2 at 9/2
Western Conference Final:
Chicago Blackhawks Vs Los Angeles Kings
There is no doubt that the reining champions the Chicago Blackhawks are a team in form and when on home ice they are to be feared! They won five of their last six regular season matches on home ice and so far in post season they are unbeaten in eight games, things did not start off great for them against St Louis in round 1 and they found themselves 2-0 down in the series but they soon turned that around with four straight wins. The opened up a 2-0 lead on the Wild in round 2 before being pegged back to 2-2 but a couple of close 2-1 victories saw them through once again with a 4-2 series win.
The fact that the Kings are here in the conference final would surprise a few people especially as in round 1 when coming up against the Sharks they were all but down and out after three games with them trailing 3-0 but they staged an amazing comeback to win the series 4-3 and on the back of 4 straight wins they took that momentum into round 2 when they came up against the Ducks, they extended their winning run to 6 games with them taking an early 2-0 lead but the ducks turned it around with them winning the next three to take a 3-2 series win. A 2-1 victory on home ice for the Kings meant a game 7 and they won it in style with a 6-2 win in Anaheim.
Chicago are the side who dominate the head-2-head record with 20-10 over the past 30 games and they are on a 5 match winning streak against the Kings. The two sides met last year in the playoffs and the Blackhawks came out as 4-1 winners.
It’s very hard to get away from Chicago in their attempt to retain the Stanley Cup, the form is there on their side and they have held the upper-hand over the Kings in recent times and for obvious reasons they are very short to win this series. I believe that the Blackhawks will win this series 4-1 or 4-2 on their way to the Stanley Cup final so I shall play them in the handicap betting.