The cousins and I put our heads together (seriously, Cheerless head-butted both Fearless and myself trying to get the bracket all to himself so he could pencil in the Cleveland Barons as Stanley Cup champion) and came up with a truly inspired bracket for our entry in the NHL Bracket Challenge...
(click on picture for larger image)
We're thinking that in the first round...
- Ottawa's hotness will prevail over Montreal's Carey Price.
- Tampa Bay's almost anonymously fine season continues.
- The Pens get a couple of fine performances from Crosby and Malkin, but the Rangers are just far too deep at every position.
- The Caps are healthier than the Islanders.
- Dub stubs his toe against St. Louis.
- The Blackhawks get a dose of Kane just in time.
- Winnipeg fans get to cheer another day; Bruce is disappointed once more.
- Calgary is more than Johnny Hockey.
In the second round...
- The Ottawa run will end, but not in the second round.
- The Rangers perform to their possession level.
- It's just St. Louis' turn.
- Winnipeg's feisty, frisky style overwhelms the Flames.
In the conference finals...
- All good things come to an end, and you can only stay hot for so long, Senators, so... so long.
- St. Louis is just better.
And, in the finals...
When all is said and done, Alex Ovechkin gets the prize that eluded him for ten years, and no one is going to be ignorant of who Nicklas Backstrom is and his place among the game's best.