Chicago Blackhawks: 2013 Stanley Cup Champions

 I  II  III  IV  V 

I don’t have a lot to say that hasn’t already been said, but let’s take a moment to relive the last moments of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

Dear Bruins: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! — Sabres Fan

I don’t believe in supernatural beings or deities, but damn it if that isn’t some pretty excellent evidence that the hockey gods are real.  Sure, the Bruins beat the Leafs in Game 7 of their series without getting blown-calls in their favor or otherwise winning cheaply and undeservedly.  Sure, the Leafs somehow gave up a three-goal lead in the final minutes of Game 7 and frankly did not deserve to win in overtime (in my opinion).  That didn’t make it any less schadenfraude-tastic when the Bruins had their own lead in an elimination game stolen from them by their opponent in the final 76 seconds of regulation.  It was fantastic.

All that said, this was easily the best Stanley Cup Final series I have ever seen.  Both teams were evenly matched.  The largest lead was just 2 goals.  The first two games were won by teams who never even held a lead.  There was triple overtime.  The series lead shifted twice.  The goaltending was unreal.  The arena atmospheres were electric.  I’m not going to spend much more time talking about it; check out any number of professional blogs for recaps, highlights and/or opinions.

Walking around Boston on the evening of Game Six, I could feel the energy in the city.  It was just wonderful.  In the end, the Blackhawks won, just like I wanted them to.  They even closed the series out in six, just like I predicted they would.  While NHL predictions are a total shot-in-the-dark wild-ass-guess, I feel pretty accomplished to have picked the winner from the start.  Let’s take a look at that bracket!

predictions5My final rank: 28,200.  That’s in the 80th percentile.  Not a bad place to finish, given all of the red on my bracket there.  Two days after the end of the season, I’m all ready to get started on next year’s bracket.  It’s going to be a long summer– wait, no it’s not; the draft is in 4 days, free agency starts in a week, and it’s looking like there will be no shortage of excitement, be it via trades, contracts, re-alignment, or franchise relocation.  Like the whirlwind that was the 2013 NHL season, this off-season is going to be wild.

And finally, my completed 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs bracket.

Playoffs 2013Now with 100% larger champion logo!  And that’s all for this year.  Back into the vault you go until the league straightens out the playoff format for 2014.  That, or whenever I get the creative itch again.

Happy off-season, NHL fans!

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