It’s here. The Stanley Cup Finals are here, and just like we all expected, it’s an expansion team vs the Washington Capitals. Obviously. So let’s make some guesses.
Here’s history’s greatest idiot, Keith, a Coin.
Keith, a Coin, is a 1990 quarter minted in Pennsylvania. He is the Son of Keith, a Coin I. He is right half of the time.
A quick summary of loffs predictions so far:
|Nashville beat Colorado||🌮||🌮||🌮|
|Boston beat Toronto||🚽||🚽||🌮|
|Pittsburgh beat Philadelphia||🌮||🚽||🚽|
|Tampa beat New Jersey||🌮||🌮||🌮|
|San Jose beat Anaheim||🌮||🚽||🌮|
|Winnipeg beat Minnesota||🌮||🌮||🚽|
|Washington beat Columbus||🌮||🚽||🚽|
|Las Vegas beat Los Angeles||🚽||🌮||🌮|
|Las Vegas beat San Jose||🌮||🌮||🌮|
|Washington beat Pittsburgh||🌮||🌮||🚽|
|Winnipeg beat Nashville||🚽||🚽||🌮|
|Tampa beat Boston||🌮||🌮||🌮|
|Las Vegas beat Winnipeg||🚽||🌮||🌮|
|Washington Beat Tampa||🌮||🌮||🚽|
Note: I’m using the emojis established by Jamie Hersch. I understand that you don’t agree with some of the emoji choices; that’s fine; hush up.
Peter: I can’t believe we’re here, but here we are. Schmidt is gonna try to shut down Ovi, and he might succeed. Niskanen is gonna try to shut down Karlsson, and he might succeed. Both teams have weak fourth lines and third-pairing defense. Both goalies are superb, but one has been playing inhumanly since the end of the regular season. It’s marginal, but the Caps will get the edge on most matchups. Then, when the Caps earn power plays (which they should given how well they’ve been controlling possession during 5-on-5), I suspect the Ovi Spot and the Backstrom-to-slot pass will overpower the Engelland-anchored Vegas PK. Add one steal from Holtby and a version of MAF that is anything like mortal, and the Caps will win their first ever Stanley Cup. Washington in 6.
Ian: I originally thought the Capitals would be bounced in the first round against the Columbus Blue Jackets. And after the regular season, I had every reason to think that would happen; they played terrible defense and relied heavily on superstar performances from individual players to pull out games. But, after losing their first two games to the Blue Jackets in overtime, something beautiful happened in Game Three. Braden Holtby returned to the lineup like the Zen God he is, the forwards started playing better hockey in neutral and the D-zone, and the Caps came together as a team. Since that game, the Caps been virtually unbeatable, playing great defensive hockey. Here are two stats for you to consider. In this year’s postseason, the Capitals have scored the second most goals per game (3.5) and given up the third least per game (2.5). That’s what the Capitals did to win the Presidents’ Trophy last year, but they’re actually doing it in the playoffs.
In the Stanley Cup Final, the Caps will be going up a team that will make them very uncomfortable. The Golden Knights are an impossibly fast bunch, which allows them to pressure the puck carrier constantly. They also have the ability to jump on teams quickly — look no further than the 3-0 drubbing they laid on the Caps in December 2017. On top of that, Vegas is also getting incredible goaltending from Marc-Andre Fleury. Regardless of who wins the Final, he may be the most deserving of the Conn Smythe Trophy.
But I believe this is where Vegas’s run ends. They can’t match Washington’s skill and they can’t handle the Caps’ physicality. The Knights have run roughshod over every team in the West, but this series is where they get a taste of their own medicine. Washington in 5.
Okay, your turn. Share your picks below.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.