The National Hockey League season ended last night, with the Pittsburgh Penguins winning their second championship in as many years. For Pens fans, it was a moment to savour. For fans of other teams, the reaction was more like “finally, it’s over!” It’s time to dream anew of what next season might bring.
Of all the series I’ve attempted to predict thus far, this one might be the toughest. On the surface, this should be a rout: The Penguins are the defending Stanley Cup champions, they have the best centre in the world in Sidney Crosby, and they just knocked off the top team in the NHL this season, the Washington Capitals.
Yesterday, I wrote about how the Ottawa Senators were the only team to open the playoffs as a home underdog, and a big one at that. It makes sense – the Boston Bruins’ underlying numbers are some of the best in the league, and the Senators are the only team to qualify for the playoffs as a negative goal differential team.
After nabbing three of a possible four points against the pitiful Detroit Red Wings this week, the Ottawa Senators now appear to be a lock to make the playoffs. Their magic number is down to one, meaning all they need to qualify is a single point either gained by them or lost by the Tampa … …