Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's Cup Time!

It really is the most wonderful time of the year, even if your team isn't playing. This year could be a classic: the dominant, two-way Red Wings, and the youthful high-flying Penguins. On paper, it looks like all Detroit: 23 Cup wins on the team, the league's best defensman, a great defense, good-enough goaltending, solid scoring depth, and enough talent up and down the lineup to outskate any team on any night. But I don't count out the Pens. Their no-name defense has stifled everyone this playoff season, Marc-Andre Fleury is a budding star in net, and of course Crosby and Malkin. So who do I pick? Not just to spite the Caps and Rangers fans out there (you know who you are) I say...Pens in 7.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Conference Finals

Down to the Final Four, which means that seeing the Cup hoisted is only a month and a half away! Ah, hockey in June -- is there anything better?

PIT vs. PHI -- Well, I guessed right and the Flyers did indeed handle the Habs pretty easily. As did Crosby and Co. against the Rangers. Philadelphia will throw everything they have at the Pens, and this could be a high-flying, exciting series right from the first whistle. The difference as I see it comes down to two areas: Pittsburgh has two superstars (Crosby and Malkin), to the Flyers none (AND I think the Pens supporting forwards are much deeper than Philly's); and the Pens have a more mobile defensive corps (although I think both sets of blueliners are the weak links on these teams). In net, given Martin Biron's recent dramatics, I think the teams wash; Fleury isn't yet a star, but can win games when the offense sputters. So...PIT in 6.

DET vs. DAL -- I have a friend, a Wings fan, here in Lewiston who greets me every time by shouting "The DOMINATOR!" Not really relevant, I know, and yet... So, which Dallas team will show up? The one that stumbled down the stretch, or the one that handily beat the favored Sharks? Will Marty Turco remember who he is, or will he become the next great playoff goaltender? As much as I would like to not root for a team that (still) has players older than I am, I can't go against the Wings. The stars say that the Wings won't be stopped here, and there's nothing the Stars can do about it. DET in 6.