SPNHL Season 34: Conference Finals Recap / Finals Preview
By: Dirty-Dietrich and YesC.
Holy fuck, I’m two episodes away from the finale of breaking bad and I am losing my shit. The slip from Walter White into Heisenberg has been completed and there is no turning back! This guy has more blood on his hands than he does money, and he has completely gone off the deep end into his pool of methylamine (or ocean, per Lydia). I’m still shaking from the last episode. However, while we’re on the subject of finales…
This is it. Two teams have outlasted eight other squads and are each four wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup. From the Western Conference, we have the Dallas Stars: the first seed in the West who have only lost one game in these playoffs and have proved to be just as dominant of a force as they were during the regular season. From the Eastern Conference, we have the Ottawa Senators: the second seed in the East who disposed of the President’s Trophy winners and have taken 12 games to get here, three more than their opponent.
The Stars disposed of the Canucks last round, who many predicted would be a much more difficult task than they were for the Stars, after they swept the Golden Knights in the first round. Their path was debatably easier than the Senators, who were down 1-2 in the opening round to the Flyers but rallied to win three straight to make it to the conference finals. In their series against the best team in the SP regular season, the Red Wings, the Senators took a 2-1 lead, just as the Wings’ first round opponent did before losing three straight, but the Senators held on to win the series in 6.
Kudos to the Canucks and Red Wings for making it to the conference finals and giving their respective opponents a challenge despite the circumstances they faced. Now, we prepare for the seven most important games of any SPNHL season, being played by one of the most exciting teams in recent years of the SPNHL against one of the most complete top to bottom teams in recent seasons (no bias at all). Let’s recap the conference finals and take an indepth look at the Stanley Cup Finals.
Jessums, hit it!
Wait, you didn’t do a conference finals recap? Oh you cuck. Fine.
Detroit Red Wings (1) vs. Ottawa Senators (2)
Result: Senators win in 6 games.
I guess I’ll take this. Yessica predicted that the Red Wings would beat the Senators in seven games, and while it looked as if it may go that way in game 5, the Senators played a dominant game 6 to win the series (which you can view at https://twitch.tv/dirtydietrich <3). With Trout being out for the week, the Sens’s lines were a bit off, and after dropping the first game 3-5 to Detroit, Ottawa’s morale was a bit low. However, they rebounded to win the next three games by one goal a piece. While the backups for the Wings stepped up for game 5, the top line dropped the deciding game as the Senators punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Here’s YesC talking about our squad!
Team: Ottawa Senators
Regular Season Record: 28-15-2
Playoff Record: 8-4
Regular Season Leading Scorer: TrueLegend07
Playoff Leading Scorer: TrueLegend07
Strengths: Depth/Powerplay. Depth has carried this team this far and it aint going to change now! This team can roll any starting 6 and win games. The Powerplay unit is firing off at a little over 32%.
Weakness: Frustration. That’s all I got. This team can only beat themselves. I’ve been writing about it since the beginning of the playoffs and it did appear it was about to happen in the first round. I expect Dallas to get more in their heads than the other two matchups, so who knows? Maybe I’ll be right.
Recipe for success: Staying grounded. If this team wants to beat the Stars they are going to have to fight through EA and capitalize on their chances.
I am not going to throw a prediction this round since this is versus My Stars. I expect this to be one of the better finals we have had in awhile. As my good friend Jake would say, this is the new guard. Have a great weekend SP!
Dallas Stars (1) vs. Vancouver Canucks (2)
Results: Stars win in 5 games.
In a result that the odds favoured, the first seed of the conference and the only team to challenge the Wings for the President’s Trophy were able to dispose of the Canucks in s quick five game series. While the Canucks gave the Stars a little more of a challenge than the Golden Knights, the lack of availability on behalf of the Canucks, the withdrawal of Sedin from the team before the playoffs, and the mismatch of players and the positions during the playoffs resulted in an undesirable performance from the Vancouver squad. The Stars and Canucks split the first two games, with Dallas taking game one by two goals and losing game two by a goal, but then outscored the Canucks 13-5 over the next three games to take the conference finals in 5 games. Now, let’s take a closer look at Dallas’s team as we head into the finals.
Team: Dallas Stars
Regular Season Record: 36-6-3.
Playoff Record: 8-1.
Playoff Leading Scorer: Iam_mrbean.
Strength: momentum. We could talk about this team’s offensive prowess all day, with numerous Art Ross winners and Rocket Richard winners on the team. We could go on about their Vezina and Conn Smythe winning goaltender, and their Norris caliber defense. However, you can have all the talent in the world and not know how to win, as we saw in the case of the Canucks. However, after dominating the Western Conference and only losing a single game in the playoffs, the Stars have all the momentum in the world and are looking to capitalize and put a cherry on top of their spectacular season.
Weakness: depth. Now, I have said this about the Stars previously so I feel like this is a copout answer, but there have been recent developments that have created a cause for concern. Stonerboy, a highly capable forward and defender who at one point seemed primed to take over Gamer’s spot at RD, had his PS4 unfortunately break and is ruled out of the finals (Deja Vu, anybody?). While this may not seem like a big deal on paper, a situation like this can demoralize a team and force them to use an ECU to fulfill the roster requirements of the series. While their backup options are decent, the advantage in depth still goes to the Senators.
Recipe For Success: speed and aggressiveness. This team is at it’s best when they are taking advantage of their speed, breaking into the offensive zone past the defenders or putting pressure on the opposing team to get the puck out of their zone. They’ll need to play at their fastest to counteract a tactical and methodical Senators team if they want to win 4 of the seven games in this series and secure the championship.
Well, this is it. We have four to seven games left in this season and we have two teams left who are salivating at the chance to hoist the Stanley Cup. This is a battle of styles with a cornucopia of talented players that approach the game in very different ways, and it may be the chemistry of Dallas that puts them over the top or the structure of the Senators that clinches them the cup. Regardless, like YesC said, this is gonna be one of the more exciting Finals in quite some time, and not just because the two of us are in it, or maybe it will be because of that? Who knows?
We’ll be recapping the finals at some point over the next few weeks, hopefully Thursday or Friday because I’m likely to find myself at Boston Pizza this weekend (Usman vs. Covington! Holloway vs. Volkanovski! Nunes! Holy shit this UFC card is stacked!). You can tune in and join the conversation at https://twitch.tv/thespnhl_media as we not only recap the finals but likely announce the winners of the awards for season 34!
Best of luck to the Stars and my friend YesC tonight, as we prepare for an extremely competitive series. With a team full of many of my friends and former teammates, this will be an incredibly hard fought and emotional series, so make sure to tune in to https://twitch.tv/dirtydietrich to catch all the action!
DD and YesC.