Memorial Cup Preview
There will be a new Memorial Cup victor this year. The London Knights were swept by the OHL Champion Peterborough Petes in 4 straight one-goal games (2 in overtime). Gilbert Brule (VAN) and the Vancouver Giants dominated the WHL playoffs and were the first team to win their respective league. The QMJHL crown is still up for grabs but the teams contending for the championship are the Moncton Wildcats and the Quebec Remparts who will both be in the Memorial Cup as Moncton is the host city. I will preview all the teams involved and let you know about the key players.The Petes have only lost 3 games during their playoff run. Their signature all around team play contained the powerful London Knight attack to take the championship. The Petes’ playoff attack were led by forwards Daniel Ryder’s (CAL) 31 pts and Steve Downie’s (PHI) 21pts. The Petes were also getting timely points from the blue line in Lubomir Stach and Columbus Prospect Trevor Hendrikx. David Shantz has been solid in net for the Petes posting a .925 save %. This team is my pick to take the Cup and their tourney starts on Friday May 19 against Moncton.
The Vancouver Giants had a cake walk through the WHL playoffs. While they were a contending team, they handled the favored Moose Jaw Warriors with ease. They swept the Warriors with a combined score of 20-10. Gilbert Brule put up an impressive 30pts in 18 games to lead all WHL scorers in the playoffs. The attack also got help from defensmen Cody Franson (NAS) and Paul Albers. As always with any great playoff run is a goalie and that is the undrafted Dustin Slade. He boasts an impressive .938 save % and a miniscule 1.31 GAA. This team is on fire and will likely make some noise during the cup tourney. Vancouver will start their quest for the cup against Quebec on May 20.
The host city Moncton Wildcats are lead by blackballed Jack Adams winner, Ted Nolan. He has primed this team into one efficient unit. They are still battling it out for the QMJHL title with the Remparts but they have established themselves as a contender for the Memorial Cup title. Centre Phillippe Dupuis (CLB) leads all Wildcat scorers but he is getting a lot of help from wingers Martins Karsums (BOS) and yet another Blue Jacket prospect Adam Pineault. Coyote defensive prospect Keith Yandle has been a pillar on defense and has given goaltender Josh Tordjman a clear line of sight.
What can be said about the offensive juggernaut Alexander Radulov (NAS) and the Quebec Remparts other then this team finds ways to win every time. After a grueling 7 game series against the Titans, they have clawed back from a 2-0 deficit against the Wildcats to a current 2-2 tie as of Friday. Radulov has been magnificent and to any of those Preds fans who are reading this, this kid will make you smile for years to come. He has posted an amazing 53pts so far in the playoffs. While still taking 30 mins in penalties which is generally his weakness as he takes those penalites at the worst times, he has more then made up for them with his offensive efforts. The Remparts are also getting a tonne of production from blue liners Marc-Edourad Vlasic (SJ) and Michal Sersen (PIT). I am confident Patrick Roy can lead this team to the Memorial Cup finals.
After watching these playoffs, I do not believe the participating teams have been so close in talent in years. It is truly anyone’s cup this year and it will be an exciting tournament to watch. Catch all the games on Rogers Sportsnet.
Member Paul_dc10 had this to say
With the Memorial Cup fast aproching who will win
The memorial cup is just a week away and i thought id tell you the schedule and my predictions.
Friday, May 19 Peterborough VS Moncton 7:00 p.m. EST
Saturday, May 20 Quebec VS Vancouver 7:00 p.m. EST
Sunday, May 21 Moncton VS Vancouver 4:00 p.m. EST
Monday, May 22 Quebec VS Peterborough 7:00 p.m. EST
Tuesday, May 23 Vancouver VS Peterborough 7:00 p.m. EST
Wednesday, May 24 Moncton VS Quebec 7:00 p.m. EST
Thursday, May 25 Tie Breaker if Necessary 3:00 p.m. EST
Friday, May 26 Semi-Final 7:00 p.m. EST
Saturday, May 27 Off day
Sunday, May 28 Final 4:00 p.m. EST
I think all the games are on Rogers Sportsnet
Me living in Vancouver i want the Giants to Win but they look so strong with the amazing goaltending and arguably the best player in the CHL (Gilbert Brule), but the petes look strong to, infact all teams look amazing expect a very entertaining Memorial Cup.
Now what do you think will happen at the Memorial Cup