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The St. Louis Blues' Pat Maroon (7) celebrates his winning shot over Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop (30) during the second overtime period in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. The Blues advanced with a 2-1 win in double OT. (Tom Fox/Dallas Morning News/TNS)

This article contains opinion. Stats current as of May 8.

 

The teams are set for the NHL conference finals, and there are some odd names in the bunch, but that’s the way it’s been all season. 

The four teams left have been without perfection, but they’ve all pushed through those blockades to make it where they are now.

The storm is surging in Carolina. These bunch of jerks have first defeated the defending cup champs to sweep a team that just swept the Penguins. 

The past two games have seen three players missing from the regular lineup:  Saku Maenalanen, Petr Mrazek and Trevor van Reimsdyk. But even without them in the lineup, they managed to clinch the team’s position in the conference final against the Boston Bruins. But in order to take on a strong Boston team, Carolina is hoping its starting goaltender will return soon.

Columbus was hopeful for a longer playoff run when it swept the best league in the league in round one. But that wasn’t the case for the matchup against Boston. 

Regardless of the Blue Jackets winning two games, Boston wound up shutting them out in game six to secure their spot. Despite picking up talent like Matt Duchene and keeping other playoff stars Panarin and Bobrovsky, both teams had the talent to win, star goaltenders and plenty of flair to score goals. But Boston’s stars were able to find the right pucks to the net and right timing regardless of penalties or suspensions.

After falling behind in the series 3-2 to Dallas, the Blues managed to force a game seven. But like the trend has been, this game seven wasn’t going to be settled within the regularly timed 60 minutes. 

Each team scored a goal in the first period, and it stayed that way until the second OT game winner. After the first period in game seven, Dallas had fewer than five shots on goal. But the talent of Ben Bishop kept the Stars in fighting distance though the game, even the entire series. 

The rising pride of the Blues has been a contender throughout all playoffs, and it proved it in this series. Now, they look forward to starting the fight in the San Jose Shark tank.

The Sharks fought an uphill battle through the first round, upsetting the Las Vegas Golden Knights and then taking on the matchup of Colorado. It was a back-and-forth battle, with each team winning every other game forcing these two to a game seven. 

Even though the Avalanche was confident in their goal scorers, the Sharks goaltender Martin Jones was unbeatable at the net, but unlike the Stars or Islanders, they just didn’t have beefy goaltending. 

Opposed to those other teams, the Sharks were able to bury the puck in the back of the net more times than their opponents, which helped get San Jose to the Conference Final to begin at home against the St. Louis Blues.

The four teams in the conference finals are ones statistic analysts may not have predicted at the beginning of the playoffs, but they’ve earned every win to make it where they are and have earned the chance to fight for the cup. 

The final four have been chosen. Two of these teams will be soon fighting for the cup, and one of them will be walking away with it.

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