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Ranking the most entertaining Stanley Cup Finals matches of the 2010s | Silky N’ Filthy podcast

Where does the blog with the West Coast Bias rank the 2011 Finals?

Boston Bruins Vs. Vancouver Canucks At Rogers Arena
The Bruins Patrice Bergeron and the Canucks Alexandre Burrows mix it up at the end of the first period. The Boston Bruins visited the Vancouver Canucks in Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals at the Rogers Arena.
Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

I apologize in advance for this episode everyone.

My co-host Kyle Bhawan would agree that merely discussing the entertainment value of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final is too soon for many Canucks fans.

Regardless, I tried to put my bias aside and rank all 10 Stanley Cup Finals of the 2010s in terms of entertainment value. I know that can be hard for many Canucks fans with Boston and Chicago frequenting the list with regularity but hey, I’m just a fan of good hockey.

Before we get to that on the episode, we talked about the ineptitude of the Buffalo Sabres, and predict when they will once again return to relevance. We also get into a hub city debate between Vancouver and Toronto, which evolved into so much more on the latest episode of Silky N’ Filthy.

Here’s a rundown of the episode this week:

  • Who will have the better career, Jack Eichel or Elias Pettersson? (4:00)
  • Jason Botterill gets canned and the Sabres are still a mess (7:45)
  • A word for our brothers in Buffalo (11:00)
  • Who has the hub city edge between Vancouver and Toronto, and should hockey even happen? (17:30)
  • Ranking the most entertaining Stanley Cup Finals matches of the 2010s (31:00)

10. Los Angeles def. New Jersey 4-2 (2012)

A letdown series after the seven game battle between the Canucks and the Bruins the year prior. The hockey wasn’t all that great despite three close games that went to overtime, and the Game Six blowout was a letdown.

9. Los Angeles def. New York Rangers 4-1 (2014)

Uhh, let me copy and paste my previous sentence, because it pretty much fits here.

The hockey wasn’t all that great despite three close games that went to overtime, and the Game Six blowout was a letdown. Five overtime victory was partially redeeming.

8. Pittsburgh def. Nashville 4-2 (2017)

Each victory in games two through five were decided by three goals or more. Game Six was also a letdown aside from Patric Hornqvist’s late-game heroics.

7. Pittsburgh def. San Jose 4-2 (2016)

Certainly wasn’t a bad final with a couple overtime games early, but it felt like it was over by the time Pittsburgh won Game Four to take a 3-1 series lead. That still felt true even when San Jose won Game Five during a contest that Pittsburgh dominated. The drama and entertainment just didn’t match the other series.

2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five
Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates with the Stanley Cup as he walks into the locker room after his team defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in Game Five of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on June 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Capitals won the series 4-1.
Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

6. Washington def. Vegas 4-1 (2018)

Ahhh, now we’re getting into another tier of entertainment from here on out. Despite this final going only five games, there was a ton of entertainment throughout this series. Aside from the Game Four blowout, this was a tightly contested series with huge moments like Braden Holtby’s save in Game Two, and the crazy Caps comeback in Game Five.

Plus, Alex Ovechkin lifting the Cup and partying for weeks on end will go down as one of the most legendary Stanley Cup celebrations of all time.

5. Boston def. Vancouver 4-3 (2011)

I’m genuinely curious where hockey fans, and Canucks fans, would rank this series. All of the Boston wins were blowouts on the scoresheet, but the physicality and feistiness was enough to keep some fans engaged. However, Games One, Two and Five provided heart-pounding entertainment, and even Game Seven was tight, until it wasn’t.

Still, the blowouts do take away from some of the drama, which is why I have this at number five on the list.

4. Chicago def. Boston 4-2 (2013)

I’m sure Canucks fans once again wouldn’t rank this series highly. Hell, even in 2020, 2011 seems fresh for some people.

Bias aside though, this was a heavyweight tilt between two recent Cup champions. Three of the first four games went to overtime, and the other three games were all close contests. Of course, the last-minute drama in which Chicago dramatically won the Cup was the stuff of legends.

2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Seven
Alex Pietrangelo #27 of the St. Louis Blues holds the Stanley Cup following the Blues victory over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on June 12, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

3. St. Louis def. Boston 4-3 (2019)

This was a fantastic series between two similarly built hockey clubs. Both teams had few holes, played physical, but also had a ton of skill.

The Blues, who had never won the Cup, showed some serious resiliency too. After a Game Three blowout, the two teams put on a show in two straight St. Louis wins. Then, after a Game Six blowout that went in Boston’s favour, it felt like they had all the momentum in Game Seven.

So what happens? The Blues dominated on the road and won the Cup, of course.

2. Chicago def. Philadelphia 4-2 (2010)

It’s easy to forget just how entertaining this Cup final was, since it’s the oldest one on this list. However, this pitted two teams who hadn’t won in decades against each other, with budding young stars on both sides.

Not to mention, the goaltenders Antti Niemi and Michael Leighton were extremely beatable, which led to a lot of goals.

This was a close series, but when you throw in the goals and a couple of dramatic overtime results, you have yourself a hell of a Cup Final (despite the melodramatic, fluky Cup winner).

1. Chicago def. Tampa Bay 4-2 (2015)

Not sure how many people would agree with this pick but in my mind, this was the series that changed the game for the better.

Prior to this, we had four straight Stanley Cup finals that featured heavy, bruising hockey from the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings. When this series came around, the hockey looked drastically different from what we saw in the years previous.

Both teams were loaded with quick, skilled players, and their talents were on display throughout the series. Oddly enough, there weren’t fewer goals scored on average despite all the skill, but that didn’t take away from the entertainment. Each of the first five games were one-goal victories, and the decisive Game Six was also a one-goal contest until Patrick Kane’s late market that sealed it.

Goal scoring and save percentage rates stayed relatively flat the next season, but they’ve increased in every year since. I believe this Cup final, and it’s extreme entertainment value, played a small part in helping the game evolve to become more about speed and skill.

Do you agree with the list? Let us know in the comments, or at @NucksMisconduct on Twitter.