STAMFORD, CT – Billy Buckner died on Monday at 69 of dementia. If you were treated like Buckner by the Boston fans and media, you might want to forget who you were, too. Sure, they “forgave” him and gave him the #StandingOvation in 2008, but we all know that never would have happened had the Red Sox not broken the curse and won a World Series. The greater Boston area boasts some of the most miserable humans in the country.
The Red Sox and Patriots have already won championships in their most recent seasons and now the Bruins are trying to make it three of the four major sports in one year. The first game of the NHL finals was on Monday against the St. Louis Blues. The whole country outside of Boston is rooting for the Blues, who have never won a Stanley Cup.
Luckily, the Celtics were bounced in the second round and only the Raptors stand in the way of another Warriors title. Here are my Predictions for the NHL and NBA finals.
The Blues rise from the ashes of last place in January is well-known. They have a deep, big blue line and a dynamic, balanced attack. The turnaround came with a change in head coach to Craig Berube and a change in goalie to Jordan Binnington.
Binnington was an afterthought for the Blues, he was not considered a legitimate prospect. But he got his chance, pitched a shutout in his first game, and never looked back.
The Bruins have a slight edge up front, with one of the league’s top lines in Bergeron, Marchard, and Pastrnak. They are loaded with skill up front and the back end is stocked as well. The underappreciated (by the d!cks in Boston anyway) Tuukka Rask is the current favorite for the Conn Smythe. The guy is playing out of his mind.
The biggest factor in Boston’s favor is experience. Bruins players had 1,294 minutes of Finals experience going into Game 1. The Blues had a combined 61 minutes (David Perron). And while Bennington has looked unflappable to this point (apart from the OT hand pass/loss to San Jose, where he was pretty flapped), he’s still a rookie.
The Pick: I’ve lost too much money betting with my heart against Boston teams. This Blues are tough, but the Bruins have no weaknesses.
Bruins in 7
This will be shorter. The Warriors are still plenty deadly without Boogie and KD, and maybe more fun to watch. Steph and Klay handle the splashes, Draymond runs around like the building is on fire, and everyone else falls in line.
Kawhi Leonard has been carrying the Raptors on his back. The Knicks need to back up a truckload of cash for this guy, but he seems too smart to come play for Dolan. But quick, name the Raptors’ second leading scorer?
That would be Pascal Siakam. Yeah, I thought it was Kyle Lowry, too. Even with home court, this team doesn’t have enough weapons to hang with the Dubs.
Maybe you were considering pulling for the underdog But they have Drake. Is there anything worse than a celebrity fan trying to insert themselves into the game?
The Pick: The magic has run out for the Raptors.
Warriors in four.
There you have it. The first game of the NBA finals is not until Thursday, but I think that series will be over before the NHL finals. As I write, the Bruins and Blues are tied at two going into the third. The Bruins shook off some rust and took over the game late in the second. It’ll be a hard fought third period and a hard fought series, but the Bruins will find a way.
Sigh. F’ Boston. RIP Buckner.