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NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 5 Preview

-Alex Pickel 

Ben Bishop's health is a crucial factor of tonight's game 5. He sat out game 4.  Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Ben Bishop’s health is a crucial factor of tonight’s game 5. He sat out game 4.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Game five starts tonight and it could not come at a better time. The two days off just makes us diehard fans miserable. The first four games have solved nothing, seeing as the series is tied 2-2. Each team has given up a home loss,making tonight’s game five crucial. With Ben Bishop likely getting the start; Toews and the Black Hawks most get pucks to the net early. Bishop has not skated since game three and according Tampa Bay Lighting head coach Jon Cooper this was always the plan.

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Al’s Stanley Cup Preview

– Alex Pickel

Guest columnist Alex Pickel has joined the Hard Foul Team to cover this year’s NHL Stanley Cup final. Be on the lookout for Alex’s column throughout the series.

The final round of the Stanley Cup Finals has arrived, and it is full of top storylines. The Chicago Blackhawks will face the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in Tampa starting at 8 p.m. on NBC Network. Chicago is going after its’ third Stanley Cup in six years, while Tampa Bay is pursuing their first cup since 2004. Will Tampa’s young stars be able to stop Chicago’s veteran packed lineup? Key players to watch for on the Lightning roster are: Captain Steven Stamkos (91), Tyler Johnson (9), Nikita Kucherov (86) and Victor Hedman (77). Key players on the Blackhawks to watch for are: Captain Johnathan Toews (19), Patrick Kane (88), Marian Hossa (81), Duncan Keith (2), Patrick Sharp (10) and Brent Seabrook (7). Continue reading

NHL and NBA Staff Pick ‘Em

– The Hard Foul Sports Team

NHL Picks
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Mike Tolsma

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This has the potential to steal the show of the two final series in the NHL and NBA. That’s right, the NHL actually may be able to steal the show. Now, granted there won’t be any dueling television nights, but the bottom line is this series will have sports fans buzzing. The Hawks have the star power. We all know what Toews and Kane brings on the front end and what Keith and Seabrook will provide the back end. Look for Patrick Sharp to try and continue to raise his trade stock (the Hawks are in serious cap trouble come this offseason) and Marian Hossa to show he still has gas left in the tank. Tampa is extremely skilled, but if Steven Stamkos doesn’t show up for a game or two, you are now relying on too much youth and inexperience to lead this team.

Who wins: Chicago in 6 Continue reading