November 24, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

SLIDESHOW: Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament -

Monday, November 24, 2014

CMASS holds ‘Half Empty or Half Full?: What is Sustainability?’ meeting -

Monday, November 24, 2014

UMass women’s basketball splits weekend series in Hospitality Hill Challenge -

Monday, November 24, 2014

‘Dragon Age: Inquisition’ is epic and moving -

Monday, November 24, 2014

For-profit colleges are driving student debt -

Monday, November 24, 2014

SLIDESHOW: Project X Student Showcase -

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Martha Graham Dance Company gives traditional, yet innovative and strong performance -

Monday, November 24, 2014

UMass international students prepare for Thanksgiving in America -

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lammily doll defies life in plastic, and it’s fantastic? -

Monday, November 24, 2014

Do you have a social allergy? -

Monday, November 24, 2014

UMass basketball outlasts Florida State 75-69 -

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Minutemen ride strong bench play to 75-69 win over Florida state -

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Micheletto apologizes to fans, aims to regroup following 11-1 loss -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Vermont throttles UMass hockey 11-1 -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass guard Trey Davis: ‘There’s a lot coming at me right now’ -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass ‘big four’ neutralized by Notre Dame in 81-68 loss -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass basketball can’t corral Grant, Irish in 81-68 loss -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Frustration haunts Minutemen in 5-3 loss to Boston College -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass hockey drops 5-3 decision to No. 12 Boston College Friday night -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass hockey prepares for nationally ranked Hockey East foes BC, Vermont -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

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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