[Niklas Wikegård is one of Sweden’s most iconic hockey profiles. Started out as assitant coach 1986-87 for Väsby IK and succesfully brought them up to Elitserien, the top league in Swedish ice-hockey. Last he was heach coach for Djurgården between 2002-2005. Today Niklas Wikegård works as Swedish TV commentator and is loved by a whole nation. Niklas is an ambassador of Expekt.com and will frequently provide you with blogs, videos and betting tips.]
We will witness a high tempo and a very physical game throughout the whole final series. Chicago are a small favorite in my eyes, they have a more skillful team including more potential match winners. Many people aren’t surprised to see Chicago in the final this year, me included, but to see Flyers in the final is definitely a surprise, especially after their start in the playoff. They have been the hard-working playoff team that never give up – and nobody want to meet!
Chicago have a very complete squad and a very qualified coach in Joel Quenneville, who has built this team from scratch for a couple of seasons. They were the worse team in the league a few seasons ago but Jonathan Toews has stepped up as the big leader every team needs. They have plenty of skillful players, both offensively and defensively, but I want to single out one player that has been very important throughout this playoff: Dustin Byfuglien! Eight goals so far and very useful for the Blackhawks. He weights 115 kg and is 193 cm tall, and is a nightmare for all the defenders and goalkeepers.
Chicago have so many tools to use in different scenarios and that’s why they have reached the final – and that’s why I see them as the favorite against the Flyers.
Philadelphia Flyers have just been better and better after every game in this year’s players, especially after both Gagne and Carter has returned back from injuries. Goalkeeper Leighton, who replaced Boucher in the series against Boston, has been amazing and saved the Flyers on numerous of occasions.
Their alpha male is Mike Richards, who is a copy of Peter Forsberg; tough, hard and reckless! He set the standard for the rest of his teammates. They also have, like Chicago, a lot of players to mention, but I will just mention two of the: Chris Pronger, the giant in their defense who I criticized during the Olympics earlier this year, has been the player he is paid be – ice time around 30 min per game is normal for him. The other player is Danny Briere (18 points in 17 matches so far) who is finally producing after numbers of seasons with injury problems.
Chicago Blackhawks to win the series 4-2!