Previewing the Conference Finals

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Three Original Six teams, including one team from Canada, as well as the Los Angeles Kings, the original SoCal team.

Full playoff schedule here. Note the start times are ideal for Winnipeg as most games are at 7:00 CST.

Memorial Cup schedule, featuring the Guelph Storm and Scott Kosmachuk, is available here. All games are on all Sportsnet channels.

Montreal Canadiens vs New York Rangers

The New York Rangers have played on 14 games already these playoffs while the Montreal Canadiens have played in 11. Although that seems insignificant, teams that have played seven games in the first round have never won the Conference Final (stick tap to Chris Boyle at EOTP). The Rangers and Habs have both received tremendous scoring from their bottom six and defense.

SBNation Sites:

Habs Eyes on the Prize

Blueshirt Banter

Habs Injuries: Alex Galchenyuk (cleared for contact, will play in this round)

Rangers Injuries: None

Wild Cards

Habs: Nathan Beaulieu- the young blue liner was inserted into Montreal's lineup for game six against Boston. Though Therrien has not played him in much, he has been highly effective on the ice and helps Montreal carry the play.

Rangers: Rick Nash scoring. He should be able to break out soon and is getting terrible luck, but him scoring could be a wild card in this series.

Essential GIF:

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via i.imgur.com

Chicago Blackhawks vs Los Angeles Kings

As with the New York Rangers, the Los Angeles Kings have already played 14 games and the Blackhawks have only played 12. Remember that stat from Chris Boyle and game sevens? Apply it here as well. This should be a great matchup entertainment wise.

SBNation Sites:

Second City Hockey

Jewels from the Crown

Blackhawks Injuries: Andrew Shaw (LBI, hasn't started skating yet)

Kings Injuries: Willie Mitchell (LBI, skating), Robyn Regehr (UBI)

Wild Cards

Blackhawks: Match-ups. Jonathan Toews struggled greatly on the road against the Minnesota Wild; specifically Mikko Koivu. If he doesn't sort himself out and ends up playing against Anze Kopitar, the series could become a series that is won based on home ice and goaltending.

Kings: Slava Voynov. The Hawks generally keep Toews and Patrick Kane apart, meaning that the Doughty/Martinez pair gets one, leaving the Voynov pair to the other. This could become a difference in the series.

Essential GIF:

Xtxv3ig_medium

via i.imgur.com

Predictions:

Teams Truck Arby Cara Justin Yaw Axis
Montreal Canadiens Lose in 6 Win in 6 Lose in 6 Win in 6 Win in 6
New York Rangers Win in 6 Lose in 6 Win in 6 Lose in 6 Lose in 6
Chicago Blackhawks Win in 7 Win in 6 Win in 6 Lose in 6 Win in 6
Los Angeles Kings Lose in 7 Lose in 6 Lose in 6 Win in 6 Lose in 6
Right so far 9 8 6 8 9



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