As all good fans know, the Stanley Cup is hockey’s Holy Grail. The competing teams play their best for the entire season with the hope of bringing home that silver cup to display in a place of honor. Bragging rights are included, of course.
The National Hockey League, or NHL, team that rises to the top of the conference then goes on to attempt to beat the best of the opposing conference. The winners of the very-large trophy keep it only until the next season’s final when another team may become the best in professional hockey. Champagne (or any other variety of refreshment) is sipped from the silver bowl by each of the team members upon receiving the coveted award.
This year the competition is quite fierce. The two Eastern Conference teams left in the competition are from New Jersey and New York, where the winters are cold and hockey is revered. The New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers will go into their Hudson River rivalry match tied at one game apiece, and if games one and two are any indication, it will be quite a physical meeting. The formidable wall created by goalie Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers versus the seasoned Devils’ goalie, 40-year-old Martin Brodeur, should keep the scores low and the action intense.
The Los Angeles Kings and the Phoenix Coyotes have not been without brutal physical action either, and it could cost the Coyotes dear. A one game suspension of their critical forward, Martin Hanzel, issued for a game misconduct after boarding the Kings’ Dustin Brown, left the Coyotes at a distinct disadvantage for game three as they were already trailing the Kings by two games.
Any of these four remaining teams will put up a fierce battle in the finals. It may come down to a matter of who wants it most; the Kings or Coyotes – neither team has ever won a Stanley Cup. The Devils and Rangers, teams that have each seen plenty of action and tasted success, may fight harder for the prize.
Gambling on the outcome
To gamble successfully on the final outcome of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs will take real in-depth knowledge of the game, familiarity with the last two teams standing, and of course an element of luck. Much like winning a seat at the high stakes tables on partypokerbonuscodes.com knowing your game and the players very well is always better than throwing down a blind bet.
In this year’s NHL playoffs, the top seed team to beat is the Rangers. They tend to play with more determination when they aren’t at the top of the heap. The Kings have the distinction of being low man on the totem pole this time around but are playing like they really want to bring home the Cup. The Coyotes and Devils are not the two that the sports writers and the media want to talk about when the finals begin to take shape. Knowing that they aren’t really favored just could light a fire under either team and send them steamrolling over the favorites, just to prove the media wrong.
Photo courtesy: http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2012/04/08/phts-2012-stanley-cup-playoffs-central/