With all the talk about parity in the NHL, we find ourselves with the last four Stanley Cup winners in the final four. I did not think the Los Angeles Kings were going to make it this far this season, but when you get goaltending like Quick is providing, all bets are off.
In contrast, I'm not at all surprised the Blackhawks are here, but I did not expect them to have as much trouble with the Red Wings as they did. That said, they did not face any adversity all season or in the first round of the playoffs. Once they were pushed in a corner, we saw what this team was really made of.
Let's take a closer look at the deciding factors between these two.
Both favorites, the Hawks and the Penguins, have dynamite offenses, but suspect goaltending. This is where we need to have most of our focus for this matchup. There is no denying that when the pressure is on, Quick rises to the top. He didn't have the best regular season. In fact, some could argue it was merely average. Yet, when we look at the stats page he is sitting with a .948 save percentage and the inside track to another Conne Smythe Trophy.