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Conference Finals

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I'm back into watching playoff hockey after the Thrashers quick exit. In the second round I watched nearly every minute of the Red Wings-Sharks series and about half of the Buffalo-NY Rangers series. Very little of the Anaheim and Ottawa series.

I have to say that while I am happy to see Detroit advance, but I am surprised. In the first three games the Sharks jumped out to 2-0 leads and to my eyes at least San Jose simply looked like the better team and Detroit was trying to hang in there. By the end of the series San Jose looked like they had zero confidence and Hasek was a work beater instead bewildered. So much for my prediction of a San Jose-Buffalo Stanley Cup finals--the Sharks always seem to disappoint.

Looking ahead to the Conference Finals the Ottawa-Buffalo series would seem to be the one to watch. They had a wild playoff meeting last year. They are both fast and can score goals in bunches. They hate each other and had a big rumble this year. And both have goalies who can be either great or less-than-great. Miller and Emery are probably having nightmares because on paper this looks like it could be a high scoring season. If either starting goaltender gets hot their team will likely advance to the SC Finals.

just shut down the other team's offense and Anaheim relies on a good power play. It could be a very low scoring series. There certainly are some marquee Out West it could be a bit of a snoozer. I think Anaheim is the best team left in the playoffs, but I also find them boring to watch sometimes. Pronger and Niedermayer really shut down the opposition's offense and they just rely on their power play or Selanne + young kids up front to score to win games. There are some great matchups if you think about it: Hasek versus Giguere. Pronger versus Lidstrom. Zetterberg versus Selanne. Holmstrom versus Travis Moen (OK I jest).

Analyst: Buffalo and Anaheim advance
My Heart: Buffalo and Detroit please!