Game 7 Previews
By Peter Santo
Get ready for one of the most exciting events in all of sports. Game 7 in the NHL Playoffs. With a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line, the Blackhawks will battle the Ducks and the Rangers will battle the Lightning. A few days ago I picked the Ducks and Lightning to close their respective series’ out in six games, I was wrong, but my loss is a win for the game of hockey.
Expect a battle for the ages tonight, expect hard hitting, spectacular goals, and announcer calls that will ring throughout the night. Expect at least one game to go to overtime. Expect the more experienced team to come out on top.
While I expect the Blackhawks and Rangers to come out victorious, game 7s are always full of surprises, and wins by the Lightning, Ducks, or both would not surprise me in the slightest.
Both games will be on national television, however their ratings will almost certainly be lower than their NBA conference final counterparts, and 90% of SportsCenter will be anchors rumbling on in awe of Stephen Curry and LeBron James. They will fail to acknowledge the greatness of offensive juggernauts Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Rick Nash, Steven Stamkos, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry and the superb goaltending from the likes of Ben Bishop and Henrik Lundqvist.
The Anaheim Ducks have been one of the most successful franchise in the NHL in recent years, however you wouldn’t know it if you’ve spent any time in LA recently. Tampa Bay residents are so old they can barely make it out of their houses, never mind to the arena to watch one of the best teams in hockey.
Steven Stamkos is one of the best players in the game, but his talents are wasted in front of the pathetic fans of Tampa Bay. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry make one of the most dynamic duos in the NHL, but no one in Anaheim would know.
Luckily, for every Tampa Bay and Anaheim, there are hockey crazy cities such as New York, Boston and Chicago. MSG will certainly be rocking friday night, with thousands of fans eager to see their Rangers make a return trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. The NHL should be extremely disappointed that the Western Conference Finals will conclude at the Honda Center in Anaheim, rather than a raucous United Center.
Here’s to two great nights of hard hitting playoff hockey. In the immortal words of Dan Hicks, expect anything different?