May 8, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) and left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky (12) celebrate with the rest of their teammates after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in game five of the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals at the Wells Fargo Center. The Devils defeated the Flyers 3-1, to win the series 4 games to one. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

BoT Roundtable - Soldiering On

Let’s start fresh: my name is Gordon, and I have severely neglected my duties as a writer.  As penance, I’ve decided to take on the task of compiling and posting a bi-weekly roundtable.  Where as before the roundtable consisted of responses solely from the BoT staff, periodically I want to include our wonderful readers in the discussion.  To get things rolling again I put this question to the writers:

What matchups would you like to see in the Conference and Cup Finals this season?  (Please note that some of the responses were done before the eliminations.)

Amy (alhgist) gives us a piece of her mind.
Western Final: Let’s pretend like LA and Phoenix aren’t going to win their next games and knock out St. Louis and Nashville respectively…because I really really really wanted to see St. Louis and Nashville go to the next round against each other. I will stand by my opinion that the only reasons to ever cheer for LA are the fact that The Great One played there (in which case there are some other teams I should cheer for as well but that’s neither here nor there), and the fact that Anze Kopitar has a really fun name to try to pronounce after one too many beers at the rink. I can appreciate Quick as a hard working goalie, but the little hometown girl in me would love  to see St. Louis and Langenbrunner rise above and take it to the next round against………NASHVILLE! Number one, I am the exact opposite of a Yotes fan…maybe I’ll like them when they move away from Phoenix…but right now I can’t take them seriously. Good on them for working really hard and proving they are a contending team, and I have a lot of respect for Smith and Miele…so if they win I won’t be too heartbroken. Unfortunately I’m a big Pekka Rinne fan, so it’s gonna sting a little to see Phoenix take it. So final prediction is LA V. Phoenix even though I really wanted to see STL V. Nashville.
Eastern Final: What’s that? I kid I kid! Flyers/Rangers all the way. Simple explanation, I saw that match up in person at the Winter Classic and I think it would make for one heck of a great series! Physical but played technically well with a lot of passion. Caps and Jersey just aren’t doing it for me right now and I wouldn’t really be stoked to see either team move forward. Without a doubt, Flyers/Rangers for a humungus beeg amazing series! That one would go to seven for sure!
Cup Final: I want to see LA take on the Flyers. I love the city of LA, I think Quick is great and I can have a vintage Kings jersey on my back in about 3 minutes if I wanted to…….but I would cheer Flyers the whole way. I fell in love with the city of Philadelphia as well during the Classic and I can honestly say that the traditions and fan base of that team won me over. Philly presents a tough, hard working team with a system that is tried and true. And hey, who doesn’t want more Bryz quotes?

Erik (Puckguy14) is keeps it short and sweet.
Western Final:Kings vs Coyotes
While I wish both teams got busted for steroids and had to default to Blues Preds, Kings may just be too strong in all aspects of the game. Unless Smith matches Quick the entire time and Phoenix can light up the scoreboard with ease, LA is a team of destiny.
Eastern Final: Devils vs Rangers
Oh the classic 1994 series comes back to my head. This would be a nasty series and the winner could be seriously banged up for the Cup Final.
Cup Final: Kings vs Rangers
A dream tv market matchup. #1 vs #2 tv media outlets. A true test at how “humangus beeg” the NHL ratings can get. Would be a great series but NYR prevailing IMO
Cup Final: Coyotes vs Rangers
Bettman’s dream series. Big market original six vs “his” team. The rags to riches Coyotes while being a “desert (under)dog” against a team who spent to get to the Cup.

Stephanie (Stephanie Lee) gets a last minute snipe in.
Western Final: Well, I’m a little late on the WCF.  But I want to see the Coyotes win the WCF matchup between them and the Kings. Not only is it good for the city of Phoenix itself, but this brings in a whole new crop of fans that might not have watched otherwise. Yes most are “bandwagon” fans, but fans have to start from somewhere right?
Eastern Final: Rangers vs Flyers is what I would’ve wanted, but with the Flyers loss tonight, I am excited to see a Rangers/Devils final. Marty B. is still a great goalie at such a advanced age. Would like to see them advance onto the Stanley Cup final.
Cup Final: Coyotes vs Devils with a Devils win. As much as I enjoy seeing the Coyotes have the success that they do, I can not envision any team but the Sharks in the West winning it. Also gives Marty one more before possibly retiring and Zach Pariese has done an amazing job as Captain this year for a team that has struggled in the past few seasons.

Darryl (The King Shark) gets a buzzer beater as I’m finishing the post.
Western Final: Looks like this is already settled as LA and Phoenix hammered St Louis and Nashville respectively. LA & Phoenix is the WFC nobody saw coming. This will come down the the goal tenders, Jonathan Quick (LA) and Mike Smith (Phoenix). Both teams play exceptionally hard on the road and travel very well. LA is more of a younger well rounded team whom honestly I’m seeing as the team that will over take the Sharks as the Pacific Divisions power for the next few seasons at least (anticipating the Sharks will drop off, sorry to say). Phoenix is riding a wave and has realized that they can win anytime and any place. I will give a slight edge to LA only because I just see this team getting much stronger the more they play, could be the first 8th seed to actually win the cup. If Phoenix gets to the finals, they could beat either Washington or the NY Rangers. They WON’T beat New Jersey. LA could beat NJ but will have to play their best hockey to do so.
Eastern Final: New Jersey took care of Philly in surprisingly easy fashion, totally outplaying them in all five games of the series. If the New York Rangers eliminate Washington in Game 6, the Rangers versus the Devils would be a toss up. If Washington wins and forces a Game 7, I feel that’s a “win win” for the Devils. NJ would beat the Rangers in a tough series, would handle Washington fairly easily.
Cup Final: If I had to pick it right now, I’d say L A Kings vs New Jersey…NJ in 7, for some reason the Devils just seemed destined…(I would not close the door on an LA win though, they could beat either NY Rangers or NJ, but as I referenced earlier they would have to play their best hockey to do so.)…
All of this said, as always this all comes with the “Iron Clad” Kingshark Prediction Guarantee. “If for any reason my picks don’t win…they will lose!”  You won’t get that guarantee any place else… :)

And lastly I toss my dream matchups in the rink.
Western Final: Kings v Coyotes.  It seems to me that the Kings are the only team left who can put the desert dogs back in the pound, but if they couldn’t make it happen then it would prove the Coyotes aren’t just on a hot streak.
Eastern Final: Rangers v Flyers.  Really there’s elements of all four teams that make me like them, so the east is a bit harder to choose, but a Winter Classic rehash?  At least four times over? C’mon who doesn’t want to see that?
Cup Final: Kings v Flyers.  Both teams have proven to be extremely physical and disciplined so far, and this would be like lighting off all the fireworks on the 4th of July.  Plus the NHL kind of already foreshadowed it.

If you’d like to see your question answered, simply post it in the comments or on our Facebook, and we’ll work it into the rotation!

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Tags: Eastern Conference Western Conference

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