In the first round, I didn't predict either of these teams correctly, but for very different reasons. I thought the Wild could have won at least two games and perhaps a third, but after they lost their starting goalie in the warmup all bets were off. They put up the best fight they could given the circumstances and who knows if a healthy Backstrom would have made a difference or not. For the Wings, Datsyuk and Zetterberg stepped up in the clutch moments and outperformed the big guns on Anaheim. Given the depth on the Ducks roster, there is no excuse for letting Detroit win that series.
Now we have an original six match-up and this is where Detroit's cinderella season comes to an abrupt end.
Unlike the Ducks, the Hawks have big name players who actually perform in the clutch. Toews, Hossa, Sharp, and Kane is as good as it gets in hockey. But the fun doesn't stop there. They now have a dynamic rookie in Saad added to the mix, and proven playoff performers like Stalberg, Bickell, and Shaw in their ranks.
When these two teams met last season, most people were expected long, hard-fought series. Instead, the Kings steamrolled the Blues in shocking fashion and swept them in four games. The rest as we know, is history, but why are the Kings being favored this year? A different team has won the Stanley Cup in each of the last nine seasons and I don't know if LA have it in them to go the distance again this time around. I expect a much better showing from St Louis this year and I expect them to win the series.