That was fast and easy. After 10 of the previous 12 playoff series went 6 games or more, both Conference Finals were quick and painless.
PHILADELPHIA 4, MONTREAL 2 (Flyers win series 4-1)
Mike Richards had a goal and two assists. Jeff Carter scored twice. Montreal needed Halak to be miraculous in this series. He was human. A very good goaltending human, but still human. And Cammalleri finally cooled down, scoring only 1 goal, 0 assists, and was -5 in the series. And thank God. I couldn't stand to see Les Habitants celebrating. Hopefully a few dozen of them ended their lives last night.
So it's Philadelphia vs. Chicago. The NHL should be happy. There hasn't been a matchup between TV/hockey markets of this size since 1997 (Detroit/Philadelphia). Both teams are fast, get goals from multiple sources. There's not the star-power of an Ovechkin, or Crosby, but maybe this is the introduction of a new star. Patrick Kane perhaps? Mike Richards maybe?
We'll have a Stanley Cup Finals preview sometime this week. There's plenty of time. The Finals don't commence until Saturday.