The two Western Conference teams who reached the Conference Finals, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings, have just finished a game 7 in their past series. Each team played extremely hard and came out on top against great opponents. The goaltenders again were the main story of each team, and there is no argument as to why that is. These goaltenders, Corey Crawford (CHI) and Jonathan Quick (LAK), are the top in the league no doubt. But who is the goaltender that advances to the Stanley Cup Finals?
The Chicago Blackhawks had a beyond amazing season. They now hold the record for most consecutive games at the start of the season with winning at least one point. They went 24 games without a loss in regulation, and they kept strong the entire season. The President’s Trophy winners were backed by not one, but two phenomenal goalies. Crawford and Ray Emery dominated the league. Ray Emery made a record of his own. He was the first goaltender to go 10-0-0 in his first ten games of the season. Crawford has played great playoff hockey. He makes highlight save after highlight save, especially against the fierce Detroit Red Wings in the last series. He allowed only 14 goals against the Red Wings in seven games, with one of them being a power play goal. He only allowed seven goals against the Minnesota Wild in five games. His plays are ridiculous and could dominate the Kings.
The former Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Quick has played in his first career game 7 against the San Jose Sharks. The Kings had dominated the first two games, but lost the momentum in the next two games. The defending champions won the fifth game, lost game six, and then dominated San Jose in the seventh game. Quick was a major factor. He allowed just nine goals (including an empty net goal) against the St. Louis Blues in the opening round. When he played against the Sharks, he allowed 11 goals, stopping 25 of 26 shots in his first game 7. He has stopped 362 shots out of 382 attempts. That is a .948 GAA. Even with the momentum of being the defending Stanley Cup Champions, it will be tough to compete with the Chicago Blackhawks.
It’s going to be a tough series, but I think Corey Crawford is going to dominate the net and help Chicago defeat the Kings in six games. It is hard to predict with two great teams, but what do you think will happen? Tweet me @NardoneDylan and the site’s Twitter @TMMotS.