Well, I for one was surprised how quick each series ended, and really thought that the Rangers Penguins series would have been a bit closer. The San Jose Dallas series did go 6 games after Dallas got a quick 3-0 series lead, with a record 5 games being decided in the extra frame. Well lets get to what is currently at hand.
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Western Conference Finals
1. Detroit Redwings vs 5. Dallas Stars
I correctly predicted the Redwings to advance to the conference finals, but nobody knew that Johan "The Mule" Franzen could have carried this team almost by himself as he equaled the goal total of the avalanche in the series. Dallas has been the darkhorse as I chose both Anahiem and then San Jose to beat the stars. Both teams have had their star players perform in the playoffs, whether its zetterberg and morrow putting the puck in the net, or their stud dmen helping lead the rush in the form of lidstrom and zubov. Both teams have had unsung heroes in the form of Franzen and Robidas, but the key to both teams success will ultimately come down to goaltending. Osgood came in part way through the nashville series and faced a depleted avalanche team that did not have much offensive punch. Turco has consistently been lights out, and has the upper hand in facing adversity in the playoffs so far. Coaching will have a huge role in this series, as Dallas will have to slow down a fast Detroit team. This series will most likely go to 7 games, but it wouldnt be uncharacteristic of this years playoffs if one of the teams jumps to an early lead.
Winner: Detroit Redwings
Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Franzen have all destroyed the scoresheet and will continue to tear it up. As much as I like Morrow, Richards, Riberio and the physical aspect Morrow has brought, detroit has the "star" players in this series that will come through.
Eastern Conference Finals
2. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 6 Philadelphia Flyers
The Penguins are the real deal but so are the flyers. Both teams have offensive depth, in one form or another. Penguins have more of a skilled attack whereas the Flyers have more of a gritty attack. Both team have guys who can score the other way as Ryan Malone has shown the grit and Prospal and Briere have shown the skill. As good ol Don Cherry has said, teams have won a lot of games this playoffs from shooting from the points, and both teams have mastered that technique. Both teams are top 3 in goals per game so there is definitly no shortage of offense. What is amazing it Pittsburgh is number 1 defensively, but I think that number is a bit inflated due to the ottawa series. Nonetheless, credit must be given where credit is due. Biron was the reason the flyers made it to the finals. The flyers were outshot every game of the series, but unlike the Canadiens the Flyers were able to score on their limited chances and not hit the iron. Fleury has seemed to have a new confidence thanks to his white pads, and it was obvious that the rangers in the crease didnt but a dent in his game.
Winner: Pittsburgh Penguins
As much as I wish the flyers will win this series, the Penguins are the real deal. Should the Penguins get an early lead in the series they have shown they can close it out. The question will be can they comeback if they start from behind early on.
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