Today, just hours before the NHL drops its first puck in Finland, we’re going to preview the Western Conference.

Chicago Blackhawks

Even though the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks gutted the squad, their core is still intact

It’s worth noting that, this season, the West is substantially weaker than the East. Far fewer elite teams. Many more also-rans. Here are the Big Mouth’s rankings, from best predicted finish, to worst, in the NHL West. (more…)

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The Best and Worst of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs

2010 Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks celebrate their first Stanley Cup championship since 1961 (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The day after the Stanley Cup Playoffs end is always a very hard day. No game to look forward to. No tension building in a series. No more hockey games…for a couple months anyway. Those were, without a doubt, one of the greatest editions of the Stanley Cup Playoffs ever. The upstart Philadelphia Flyers. The ready-to-be-annointed Chicago Blackhawks. Awesome. So, before we close the book on 2010, let’s take a quick look at the things that made the 2010 playoffs so memorable. (more…)

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Top 5 Stanley Cup Finals since 1967

Dustin Byfuglien's play, and the talk surrounding it, have made the 2010 Stanley Cup Final exciting
Dustin Byfuglien’s play, and the talk surrounding it, have made the 2010 Stanley Cup Final exciting (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

If the Chicago Blackhawks win the 2010 Stanley Cup – or even if the Philadelphia Flyers come back to grab the mug – this will go down as one of the most entertaining Stanley Cup Finals ever. In fact, since the NHL expanded in 1967, I would put this year’s series squarely in the top 5 of most exciting Stanley Cup Finals. Oh, over those 43 years, there have been great games, back-and-forth, seven-game series, incredible moments and goals and saves. But I’m talking about top-to-bottom, front-to-back great series with great stories and great games and great personalities. Here are my top 5 Stanley Cup Finals since 1967.

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Fans in both Philadelphia and Chicago have played a pivotal role in 2010 Stanley Cup Final
Fans in both Philadelphia and Chicago have played a pivotal role in 2010 Stanley Cup Final (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

There are many reasons that the 2010 Stanley Cup Final has become a best-of-three series. Before the series started, I wrote about five things the Blackhawks had to do to be successful and win the Stanley Cup. http://bit.ly/dBRInd  Now that we’re sitting at two-all in games, let’s re-examine and assess. Here are the five things we said the Hawks had to do to win their first Stanley Cup since 1961… (more…)

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Goaltender Antti Niemi is now the Chicago Blackhawks’ leading candidate to win the 2010 Conn Smythe Trophy. Entering this Stanley Cup Final v. Philadephia, the Blackhawks had several players who would have been a good choice. Niemi has now broken from the pack and, unless something dramatic happens, he’ll be waving the trophy by the end of this weekend.   

Blackhawks' netminder Antti Niemi makes one of his 29 saves in G2 v. Flyers

Blackhawks' netminder Antti Niemi makes one of his 32 saves in G2 v. Flyers (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

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