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The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - Conference Finals

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Contributor:
Scott Newman
Scott Newman

The Stanley Cup playoffs have just experienced one of the best rounds in history.  Three series went to the seventh game! Two ended in a heart-breaking fashion. One ended in a blow out. The other series had a big surprise. The last round showed how hard it is to get to the conference finals. What it takes to get to the Stanley Cup Final. Here is my Finals analysis.

Semi Final Analysis

I said: Detroit Red Wing in 6, Vancouver Canucks in 5, Boston Bruins in 6, Pittsburgh Penguins in 7                     actual: Detroit Red Wings in 7, Chicago Blackhawks in 6, Carolina Hurricanes in 7, Pittsburgh Penguins in 7

Detroit vs. Anaheim

This was a very close series. The Goaltending was sound from both goalies and the depth of the Red Wings scoring lines showed timely scoring throughout. The Ducks battled physically and took their chances well. Forced the seventh game at the Joe. Pushed the Red Wings right to the wire. A really great series.

Vancouver vs. Chicago

This was a case of who wanted it more. The young Blackhawks proved they are title contenders by outscoring the Canucks. Vancouver played defensively and through injuries to key players. The Bulin wall continued being great to keep the hawks in it. The experienced Canucks will be disappointed as this should have been a Win.

Boston vs. Carolina

The Hurricanes have been the most amazing team of the playoffs. Defying all odds. Cam Ward has still yet to lose a playoffs series! The Bruins will be very disappointed to have such a great season (Like the San Jose Sharks) only to be ousted by a team playing great hockey. The Canes are scoring from all lines & are a huge threat to go all the way.

Washington vs. Pittsburgh

The most eagerly watched game of the series. It lived up to expectation both Alexander Ovechkin & Sidney Crosby were huge in the series. The Caps were up to the task with their rookie net minder. The Pens were always going to be a handful with their deep scoring lines and special teams. Also having been playing so well as a team recently.

 

The Conference Finals

Western Conference Final

Second Seed DETROIT RED WINGS vs. Fourth Seed CHICAGO BLACK HAWKS

This is an original six match up that will have all the tension and rivalry you can ask for in a western conference final. They had some big games against each other this season. Both teams score off all four lines and have a good balance of special teams, goaltending and defence. The Red Wings have home ice and history on their side. The Chicago Blackhawks have a very good opportunity to upset the Red Wings.

Detroit Hot Players: Johan Franzen 15pts Henrik Zetterberg 14pts Nicklas Lidstrom 11pts Chris Osgood 2.06 GAA .921 SV% 1 SO

Chicago Hot Players: Martin Havlat 13pts Patrick Kane 12pts Jonathan Toews 10pts Nikolai Khabibulin 2.76 GAA .896 SV% 0 SO

Prediction: DETROIT RED WINGS IN SIX (Detroit to return to the Stanley Cup finals to play for the fifth title in the last 12 years?)

 

Eastern Conference Final

Fourth Seed PITTSBURGH PENGUINS vs. Sixth Seed CAROLINA HURRICANES

The Hurricanes know all about playoff hockey even if they have a short history. They have always made it this far in each post season! Paul Maurice has turned the Canes up a notch and put them into Stanley Cup contention. Their season has been a remarkable turnaround likewise the Penguins. There was a time where both these teams were not going to make the playoffs. They have been the most dominating and this series promises to be a beauty.

Pittsburgh Hot Players: Sidney Crosby 21pts Evgeni Malkin 19pts Sergei Gonchar 10pts Marc-Andre Fleury 2.72 GAA .901 SV% 0 SO

Carolina Hot Players: Eric Staal 13pts Jussi Jokinen 10pts Ray Whitney 9pts Cam Ward 2.22 GAA .927 SV% 2 SO

Prediction: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS IN SEVEN (Pittsburgh to possibly make the finals again against a familiar opponent. I have a feeling that the Caniacs may upset the Pens. Cam Ward has a HUGE job!)

 

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