With the first game of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final set to begin in just over 24 hours, five members of the Hockey Independent writing staff have come together to predict which team will be hoisting the holy grail of hockey high above their heads at the end of this series. The contributing authors to today’s piece will be Cris Cohen (New York Rangers), Seth Levin (New Jersey Devils), Bill Philp (Tampa Bay Lightning), Chris Triantafilis (New York Islanders) and myself, Benjamin Woodward (Boston Bruins). Each writer has also included his/her series “X-Factor” for the series. In each case, the performance (or lack thereof) of the “X-Factor” could determine the outcome of the series. Enjoy!
(4) Boston Bruins vs. (1) Chicago Blackhawks
Cohen– Bruins win in 7 . X-Factor –> These are two teams with rosters full of players who have been here before and won it all. Almost evenly matched, the Bruins’ edge in the physicality department will be the difference.
Levin– Bruins win in 6 . X-Factor –> Zdeno Chara
Philp– Bruins win in 6 . X-Factor –> Tuukka Rask
Triantafilis– Bruins win in 6 . X-Factor –> Tuukka Rask… The Penguins couldn’t score on the Bruins, so why should Chicago?
Woodward– Bruins win in 6. X-Factor –> Can Boston’s second defense pair (Ference-Boychuk) slow down Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp?
Conn Smythe Award Winner
Cohen — Zdeno Chara (Boston)
Levin — Tuukka Rask (Boston)
Philp — Tuukka Rask (Boston)
Triantafilis — Tuukka Rask (Boston)
Woodward — Tuukka Rask (Boston)
About the Author: Boston Bruins writer for Hockey Independent. Contributor to the New England Hockey Journal. Have written for The Hockey Guys and SB Nation Boston. Follow me on Twitter @_BWoodward or shoot me an email at BWoodward.HI@gmail.com.