It’s been a long wait for both Senator and Duck fans, but it all begins tonight (May 28th, 2007). This battle should be a good one and the physical prowess of both teams will be shown early on. The epic face off has the Senators big 3 (Alfie-Spezza-Heatley) going up against two Norris Trophy nominees and future Hall of Famers, what more can you ask for? Here’s how I see this one going down.
The Ducks will try counter against the big 3 with their highly regarded checking line of Niedermeyer-Pahlsson-Moen. Although the Ducks three have done a fantastic job thus far, it must be cited you they shut down. With the likes off Gaborik, then the Sedin Twins and finally, Datsiuk-Zetterberg it is apparent they have not faced anything like the Senators top line before. The Ducks defence will be formidable opponents for the big 3 however. Whenever you have the like of Niedermeyer, Pronger and Beauchemin it’s going to be a test for the other team to get close to the Anaheim net and muster up offence. On the Senators side, they boast probably the deepest, most talented 6 defencemen in the league. Then theirs Ottawa’s secret weapon of Christoph Schubert, who fills in on penalty kills.
In the nets the story is somewhat different. It’s being said JS Giguere has returned to form where he brought the Ducks to the Stanley Cup final before. On the other hand, critics are saying that Ray Emery has yet to be tested and has only been as good as the defence in front of him. With numbers like a 12-3 record, 3 shutouts and an over .900 save percentage that’s debatable. Giguere on the other hand boasts exceptional numbers and could put the ball in the Ducks court.
In looking at the overall scenario I forsee the Senators depth eventually wearing down the three lines and four defence of the Ducks. With the way Ottawa’s fourth line has played this post-season the Ducks may have the troubles in keeping up to the Ottawa speed. The line of Perry-Getzlav-Penner are going to have to play above and beyond expectations to give the Ducks a chance. These three are a very talented bunch with exceptional skill, the only question his their youth and experience. Both teams have great checking lines. I see this one coming down to the big 3 in the end, if they can retain the pace that they’ve shown all playoffs it could be over quickly.
Prediction: Sens in 6
PS. Of course I'm a little bias.