Because it's the 'Cup'

Mark Dohner & Evan Hablitzel

 

 Washington Capitals left-wing Alex Ovechkin (8) gets off a shot from his buttocks during the third period of Game six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, May 9. Washington defeated New York 2-1.

 

 


Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick stops a shot on goal by the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference Semifinals May 3. 

 

This time of year is dominated by three thrilling sporting events: the Kentucky Derby, the NBA Playoffs and the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With a rise in popularity in recent years in the National Hockey League, the Stanley Cup has become a tradition like no other that excites its fans across North America. 

     In the first round of the playoffs, the Conference Quarterfinals, eight teams prevailed to the Conference Semifinals. Of the eight games, three took all seven games to find a winner. 

     In the Washington Capitals (7) vs. Boston Bruins (2), the hot goal-tending of 22-year-old rookie Braden Holtby carried the Capitals. It was a hard-fought back-and-forth series with many twist and turns, but in the end Joel Ward’s game-seven overtime goal clinched the series victory for the Caps over the defending Stanley Cup Champions. 

     In another back-and-forth Eastern Conference series, the New York Rangers (1) took on the Ottawa Senators (8).  The Senators were not expected to put up much of a fight; however, they gave the Rangers all they could handle and took them to seven games. In the end, David could not knock off Goliath, and Henrik Lundvquist and the Rangers advanced. 

     The first seeded Vancouver Canucks of the Western Conference took on the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings. One would have thought the seeds were reversed. In this series, Dustin Brown and company led the normally stagnant Kings offense to a hot start. They were aided by the superb goaltending of Jonathan Quick in a 4-1 series triumph.

     Not to disappoint in the Conference Semifinals, the Kings swept the St. Louis Blues (2) in impressive fashion. Once again, Jonathan Quick led the charge between the pipes for the eighth-seeded Kings. Stellar play from Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar kept the Kings rolling offensively, landing them a spot in the Conference Finals against the Phoenix Coyotes (3). 

     The Coyotes beat the Chicago Blackhawks (6) in the first round, and then topped the Nashville Predators (4) in the Conference Semifinals. 

     As of press time, the Eastern Conference Finals match-up will be between the New Jersey Devils (6) and the winner of the Washington Capitals (7) vs. New York Rangers (1) game. 

   This year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs have been nothing short of unpredictable. Further proving the parody in the NHL is second to none when compared to the other major sports leagues. So sit back and enjoy the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Finals—you won’t be disappointed. 

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2012-05-17 10:33:11

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