Some thoughts on the Stanley Cup Final through four games:
- This series between Chicago and Tampa Bay has been incredibly close. All four games have been tied or within one goal entering the final five minutes of regulation.
- This series may very well be decided by whichever superstar breaks out first. Chicago's Patrick Kane and Tampa's Steven Stamkos have both been far too quiet so far.
- That being said, I don't think we've seen the best of Chicago yet. Mind you, I, like many others, never seem to give Tampa their due. They very well might get their due by next Wednesday night.
- I feel bad for Kimmo Timonen, who for years has been one of the best kept secrets in the NHL as an excellent defenseman. After a year lost to a blood clot, the 40 year old's swan song is here in the brightest spotlight possible, but it is clear he is done. He deserves a better ending.
- On the other end of the spectrum is Victor Hedman, who has been arguably the best player in the Stanley Cup final. Hedman, of course, was drafted second overall in 2009 behind John Tavares. If Hedman's career curve continues like this, history might suggest that that ranking is a lot closer than most of us have thought so far.
- Chicago's use of four just four defenseman is starting to wear them down, especially Duncan Keith. He continues to log ridiculous minutes, and remains arguably Chicago's best player. But he has not been the same offensive difference maker as he was in the first three rounds. He is either tiring, finally, or is due for a breakout. Chicago hopes for the latter.