1 Buf vs 4 Ott - Ott in 7 - Didn't take as long as I expected, as the Sabres bowed out in five. I called the goaltending a wash...maybe I said that cuz I was cheering for the Sens. Miller is the better goalie, but not by as much as a lot of people are still thinking. However, Miller was inconsistent in the first two rounds. Of course, in this series, he was the only reason it was even competitive. Alfredsson, of course, was a beast again, as were his seemingly superhuman linemates Heatley and Spezza. And Volchenkov is like another goalie out there...
Why did I pick Gaustad as my player to watch for Buffalo? He did nothing at all, and his line wasn't even checking Alfredsson & Co. Miller was obviously Buffalo's best player, and Kalinin was obviously their worst. Good God, is it possible to turn the puck over more? At least my player for Ottawa, Alfredsson, delivered.
1 Det vs 2 Ana - Ana in 6 - Bang on, although Detroit coped a little better than I thought they would. Anaheim was just too fast and too tough for them, and didn't lay down like the Sharks and Flames did. The most devoted Wing fan would agree with me that San Jose and Calgary didn't play to the level of which they were capable. Cleary really impressed me in this series, and had the Wings played all the time like in the 3rd period of Game 6, they would have won this series. But they just didn't have the feel of a Cup-winning team to me.
Datsyuk, my player for Detroit, actually played pretty well, getting through Pahlsson, my guy for the Ducks, a little better than I thought. As far as his hands go, top 5 in the league easily. If he can stay healthy, 100 points next year is very possible. Pahlsson wasn't disappointing though, as his goal was the series winner, and he now has 10 points in 16 games. He'll have his hands full with the Pizza Line, the best line in hockey. Selanne turned it on in the last few games against the Wings, though McDonald hasn't done much.
The second line was incredible in Game 6, and is the key to this team overall. You know Pronger, Niedermayer, and Beauchemin will log 90 minutes between them each night and be solid. Giguere is technically as sound as they get. But if the second line can't get anything going, the first line is going to have a lot of trouble, being the only real threat.
I might have given away some of my next post, which will of course be my finals prediction.