Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

Predicting the Stanley Cup Playoffs: Part 2

#1 Vancouver Canucks vs. #8 Los Angeles Kings

Canucks in 6. The Kings are the New York Rangers West. Both have Vezina candidates for goalies and both struggle to score at a high rates, even as they have some immensely talented forwards. The Canucks may be sans one Sedin twin, which further hampers their ability to sweep an opponent that just barely made it in the playoffs. Nonetheless, the Canucks won the Presidents’ Trophy for most regular season points for a second straight year, displaying a perfect blend of special teams, goaltending, and offensive firepower. The only way the series goes the Kings’ way is if UMass alum Jonathan Quick elevates his game even higher and steals a few games by playing out of his mind.

#2 St. Louis Blues vs. #7 San Jose Sharks

Sharks in 7. This is my upset pick. If the Rangers and Kings were akin, then so are the Sharks and the Capitals. The Sharks have made two consecutive Conference Finals, but have always floundered as the prohibitive favorite. The Blues have been the NHL’s darling this year, coming out of nowhere while riding the goaltending of Jarislav Halak and Brian Elliot to a second seed. But a lack of offensive talent and an inexperienced defensive corps will be the Blues’ undoing.

#3 Phoenix Coyotes vs. #6 Chicago Blackhawks

Hawks in 6. This is the one series that could go to seven games, or one of the teams could sweep. The Hawks will win if Toews returns from a concussion and Corey Crawford plays admirably – both are HUGE ifs. The Coyotes, who are the higher seed, despite garnering four less points while playing in a less talented division, have relocation issues and a goalie who may be a byproduct of their defensive system, rather than being his own talent. There are just too many factors at play to be sure of who wins this one.

#4 Nashville Predators vs. #5 Detroit Red Wings

Predators in 7. Just like the 4v5 matchup in the East, both teams could conceivably beat any other team, but their first round draw means one incredibly talented team will lose in the first round. The Preds won their first playoff series last year, and find themselves with added offensive talent in Radulov, Gaustad and Kostitsyn to complement their always stellar blue line anchored by Weber and Suter. The Wings are no slouches though; they have the experience to carry them through yet another postseason berth, their 21st straight. I can’t guarantee who will win this series, but I can guarantee that it will go the full seven games.

Mark Bruso can be reached for comment at mbruso@student.umass.edu.

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