The Guru Goes to the Next Round

by Michael Natelli ’14

See?  You can trust me! I haven’t steered you wrong as of yet. The Canucks are playing the Sharks and the Lightning are playing the Bruins, as it should be. Now let’s take a look at each of those matchups, and I’ll tell you who’s going to play for the Cup.

Eastern Conference Finals: Bruins vs. Lightning

Guru’s Pick: Lightning in Six

If Tampa goaltender Dwayne Roloson can play anything like he did against the Capitals, it will be seemingly impossible for Boston to light the lamp during this series. And I think he can; it was no fluke. Roloson has been making acrobatic saves this entire season, and will certainly be able to do it for another series. The injury of Bruins star center Patrice Bergeron will also make it even more difficult for Boston to work the puck and get scoring chances.

 Tampa’s front line had a series to remember against Washington. They were able to answer whenever needed, and that ability to step up in the clutch will be essential as the Lightning look to capture their second cup in the last seven years.

Western Conference Finals: Sharks vs. Canucks

Guru’s Pick: Canucks in Six

Put into simple math: 1 Roberto Luongo > 1 Antti Niemi

The goaltenders will be the X-Factors of this matchup for sure. Both sides have lots of firepower, and the ability to keep them both from firing on all cylinders will be absolutely imperative.

Now turn that around: the ability to get past each of those goalies will prove to be a tough task for offensive stars. I look for Sharks winger Dany Heatley and Canucks winger Alex Burrows to be the offensive X-Factors of this series, because they will need to provide their superstars, Joe Thornton and Ryan Kesler, as much help as they can.