The final four teams are ready to start the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, possible Finals matchups are already being processed. Out of the four possibilities, we are going to rank each possible matchup from least exciting to most exciting.
Bruins vs. Blues OR Sharks
As most sports fans noticed, teams located in Boston are very good. In fact, there is a chance for Boston teams to have won every single championship this year. The Bruins are continuing that trend perfectly. However, there’s just one problem if they go to the final: it’s repetitive. Nobody likes to see repeats, unless you’re a fan of that team. Boston teams winning the championship just gets boring for the rest of the league for all sports. Football especially; it seems the Patriots win it every year and that just gets boring. So, if Boston were to make it to the Finals against either St. Louis or San Jose, it won’t be as exciting for the rest of the league.
Looking at it from Boston’s potential opposition’s point of view now, Boston isn’t a bad team. This isn’t to discredit the Bruins in any way; they really are a spectacular team. With Tukka Rask playing insanely well (2.02 GAA and a .938 SV%) it’ll be tough for any team in the West to win. Especially with the pressures to win their first Stanley Cup for St. Louis and San Jose. Boston has been able to score 40 goals in the post season so far. Forwards Brad Marchand (13) and David Pastrnak (11) are leading the charge with the most points on their team and their play reflects that.
So, despite the Bruins being one of the more talented teams left in the playoffs, it won’t be the most exciting series to watch if they go to the Stanley Cup Finals against either matchup. The Bruins playing the Blues would be the more exciting of the two. St. Louis has yet to win a Cup in franchise history. Seeing them win it would just be more exciting than San Jose.
Hurricanes vs. Sharks
The Hurricanes have continued to play the underdog role of the playoffs. As a wild card team, most assumed that they’d get swept in the first round by the Washington Capitals. Surprisingly, the Canes proved everyone wrong and followed it up with a series sweep against the New York Islanders themselves. Not bad for a bunch of ‘Jerks.’
What makes this series more exciting than either Boston series is it’s just going to be satisfying. Seeing a team with the odds stacked against them go to such a historic place is exhilarating. Carolina has made the Eastern Conference Finals in all four of their playoff appearances since their relocation to Raleigh. Seeing that trend continue is already satisfying, but seeing them go to the Finals would just be even more satisfying. Winning the Cup would be even better, but one thing at a time for the Canes.
However, seeing them play San Jose just doesn’t seem like an exciting series. Sure it’ll be a bounce back for either team, but it just doesn’t seem to be an attention grabber series. Sure San Jose has the potential to win their first Cup in their own franchise history, but they don’t have the same ‘under dog status’ that Carolina does. The possibility for everything being taken away from the Canes just would feel heart breaking. A lot of fans are starting to root for Carolina too. In fact they just came out with a new t-shirt promoting their success. In a recent tweet the Hurricanes page posted the shirt design with the caption, “New fans. Old fans. We don’t care. Every Jerk is Welcome to Join the #Canes Family.” They’re embracing the fact that people from other fan bases are cheering for them.
Although it would be nice for San Jose to win a Cup for the first time in franchise history, Carolina would have a tougher time against the Sharks. It would just be heartbreaking to witness.
Hurricanes vs. Blues
This series will be nothing other than a Cinderella story for either club. The Blues have had a roller coaster of a season. Being dead last in the league in January to the Western Conference Final in May. That’s just how crazy the Blue’s season has gone. On top of that, they themselves have never won the Stanley Cup in their franchise history. Seeing them complete their comeback of a season by reaching the Finals would be insane to comprehend.
As mentioned above, the Hurricanes, too, have the chance to fulfill their underdog status by reaching the finals. Both of these teams have something to prove and seeing them both possibly battle it out in the end for the ultimate goal is just exciting. It honestly wouldn’t matter who wins the Cup in that series; fans from all over the league would love to see either team win. It would be a satisfying ending either way and that is why it is the best possible matchup for a Stanley Cup Final.
Despite Boston having a really good team, seeing another Boston team go to the championship would just be boring. San Jose has something to prove, but aren’t seen as underdogs this playoffs. The Hurricanes and Blues both have ‘Cinderella stories’ to fulfill and would make for a very exciting matchup.