Round two of the Stanley Cup Finals came to quite a dramatic conclusion Thursday night, did it not? With the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins looking on with the rest of us to see which team they’ll face off against in the Conference Finals, the Bruins, Canes, Wings and Ducks treated us to a pair of down-to-the-wire game sevens.
The Penguins, of course, made short work of Washington Wednesday night in their game seven and earlier in the week the Blackhawks had beaten the Canucks with their Kane in game six of that pairing.
Now, before we move forward to discuss who you might like in these matchups, I can’t let this moment go without commending the Anaheim Ducks in their efforts this post-season. In the opening round, they dispatched the Presidents Cup winning San Jose Sharks in six games…remember, the Sharks had lost only five times at home in the regular season and the Ducks came away winners in games one and two in the Shark tank. San Jose’s only home win being a 3-2 overtime job. They then came three minutes away from dispatching the 2nd-seeded Red Wings into, what for them would have been, an early summer vacation.
Jonas Hiller kept the Ducks in many of the games and for the playoffs he posted a very impressive 2.23 GAA and .943 SV%.
As for the Hurricanes, they entered the hunt for Lord Stanley’s Cup as a six-seed. They ousted a very good New Jersey Devils squad by winning the final two games after falling behind three games to two. They did so in dramatic fashion in the deciding game of that series by scoring a game-tying…then game-winning…goal in the last minute-twenty of the third period. Then in round two, they were facing the prospect of choking away a three games to one lead against the big, bad Bruins…who forced a game-seven in Beantown. There, they won on Scott Walker’s overtime tally with 1:14 left in first OT session.
Caniacs just have to be worn out today with frazzled nerves! But they’ll get a little bit of a breather until Monday night when their series begins in Pittsburgh.
So…Canes vs. Pens and Hawks vs. Wings. Who ya likin’ here?
It’s tough to bet against The Big Red Borg…but these Blackhawks just seem to be too young to know they shouldn’t win. And these are the same kids that put 21 goals past Roberto Luongo in six games. The Wings have been quite stingy in the playoffs, giving up only 2.18 goals per game, (Boston actually ended the playoffs better with 2.00 GA/G)…so Chicago is gonna have to bring the “O”!
The heart wants to see Chicago win…the head says don’t be a fool, go with the Red Wings.
The head wins…Detroit in six.
I’m picking Carolina in six as well over Pittsburgh. Logic should dictate that Pittsburgh is the one to go with here…but I am siding with these guys if for no other reason than because right now I’m living vicariously through their fans this spring. The Caniacs have absolutely rocked their barn in the six games played there so far and the electric atmosphere just explodes through the television.
Plus…Carolina is going into the series with a 2.29 GA/A, which is only higher than Boston and Detroit’s this post-season. I’m a firm believer that defense is the key once the playoffs begin, and Carolina is playing well in their end of the ice.
(For the record, both Chicago and Pittsburgh have goals-against averages of 2.91).
Oh, and Pens fans, don’t get angry with me. I picked Philly and Washington both to oust your team, so my picking against them should come as good news to you.
Playoff Viewing Party At TJs Sunday
And now that we know the schedule for the Conference Finals…I can announce that the Playoff Viewing Party will be this Sunday at 3:00. We’ll be enjoying game-one of the Chicago – Detroit series that afternoon.
Tim will have available tickets to an upcoming Braves game to raffle off as well. So come join the fun.