Friday, May 11, 2007

2007 Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions - Round 3

Most the other hockey bloggers in my circle of friends are really starting to get disinterested in the Stanley Cup playoffs when it should be the reverse. Here we are getting down to the final four teams remaining and neither team is easy to support. I too have this problem. San Jose was my last chance, but they took another dive. Reports out of "silicon valley" have mentioned that Ron Wilson lost the team by antagonizing the team Captain Pat Marleau. Not good. Does Marleau stay or do the franchise throw all their hopes on Joe Thorton now?

Notice how this year we have the top seeds rising to a crescendo at tournaments end instead of taking an early crashing exit? That was one of the criticisms of last year, weather the best teams were truly playing for the Stanley Cup.

My record last week was a bewildering 2-4 (.500) bringing the post-season predictions record to 4-12 (.333).

Some things to think about for Round 3:

Western Conference

Detroit v. Anaheim
I do not understand how Detroit is surviving. I guess I am really underestimating the veteran leadership on this team. Anaheim matches up well with their vets, but a Gretzlaf and a weaker set of experienced forwards is the Achilles heel for this team. The Ducks are as inspiring as their new team jerseys this season. The leagues most-successful championship franchise will again find themselves playing for Lord Stanley's Cup.

Prediction: Wings in 6

Eastern Conference

Buffalo v. Ottawa
Ottawa may finally have it figured out. The pressure on them is tremendous, but they have so far risen to the challenge. Buffalo has just had the survivor mentality with their "outwit, outplay, outlast" style and work ethic on the ice. But these two teams have built up a really bad feud this season with questionable hits by Chris Neil. Will the two coaches finally exchange blows rather than words? At some point tensions will rise because there is just too much at stake in this series. Look for Vanek to step up in the clutch with consistent scoring. The Senators defense will have them figured out.
Prediction: Sens in 6
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