In the end, the Stanley Cup Finals are giving hockey fans a great matchup of two teams that had very good regular seasons: the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues. Since our predictions only have been about half right, there’s little point in pretending we know what we’re doing here.
Basically, the Bruins were the second-best team in the regular season among Eastern Conference teams, and the Blues were in a pack of teams behind the best team in the Western Conference this year. This is not the Tampa Bay/Calgary matchup that a “chalk” playoff result would have produced, but it is pretty good nonetheless.
On paper, Boston is the better team, and the Bruins have won seven straight games in the postseason now. That’s momentum. They also won five more games in regulation/overtime than the Blues did this season, which matters in playoff-matchup analysis (or so we think).
St. Louis registered a plus-24 goal differential in the regular season, and Boston posted a plus-44 mark. The Bruins also have home-ice advantage, which counts for something. Thus, using regular-season math, this seems to be Boston’s championship to lose.
Is it ever that easy? No.
Yet the Bruins have been on a roll since beating the Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the first round. Boston has won eight of 10 since then, and that momentum cannot be overlooked, and although the Blues won three straight to close out their last series against the San Jose Sharks in six games, the postseason-roll edge goes to Boston as well.
St. Louis has not been to the Cup Finals since 1970, when it lost to Boston, ironically. The Bruins just won the Cup in 2011, although that was their first title since 1972. On paper, we say the Bruins win in five games. Sentimentally, we’d like to see the Cup go to a city that’s never won it before in dramatic fashion.
For no logical reason whatsoever, then: Blues in six games.