Legendary National Hockey League analyst Don Cherry may have been pulled off the air at Sportsnet and Hockey Night in Canada but that hasn't seemed to impact his love of the game at all. Cherry continues to analyze the game and share his opinions on the game through social media and over the weekend the NHL's most infamous curmudgeon decided to share his thoughts on the Conference Finals in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Cherry's comments were published just this morning but he made them prior to the Las Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars playing in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final, so do keep that in mind when listening to what he had to say regarding the games. I suspect that watching just how lethargic the Golden Knights appeared to be against the Stars in Game 1 may have influenced his pick had he benefited from hindsight.
Western Conference Final: Golden Knights vs Stars.\
Unsurprisingly given my preamble about Cherry's picks being made before Game 1, his pick is the Golden Knights.
"That Vegas team, when they want to play and they are mean... they are a tough team to play against," said Cherry on his podcast. "And that Reaves," he said while trailing off into another thought
Cherry appeared to believe that the physical style of the Golden Knights would prove to be the difference maker and that may still prove to be true when forward Ryan Reaves, who Cherry specifically mentioned by name, returns to the lineup. It did not look that way in Game 1 with the Stars bringing some very physical play of their own, but Reaves was of course suspended in that game as a result of a hit on Vancouver's Tyler Motte in Game 7 of that series.
Eastern Conference Final: Lightning vs Islanders.
Cherry had very little to say on this series but he did loudly proclaim his pick when asked about it during his podcast, seeming quite enthusiastic or confident with his pick.
"I'm picking Tampa!" exclaimed Cherry with a ton of energy in his voice.
Cherry did not elaborate at all on why he was picking the Lightning or why he was so confident in his pick, so in that regard your guess will be as good as mine. Cherry did heap a ton of praise of Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman earlier during the podcast however so that may be one factor influencing his pick.
Only time will tell if his picks prove to be on the money.