Wednesday, April 23, 2008
With Philadelphia's impressive 3-2 OT win over Washington Tuesday night, the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals match-ups are set. Philly at Montreal Thursday and New York at Pittsburgh on Friday.
I like Montreal in 7 games. However, I give Philly a definite chance in this series - they showed some serious resilience (they won game 7 on the road!). Everybody's pick seemed to be Washington (I admit, I got sucked into the Washington hysteria), but Philly managed to grind out a hard fought victory in that best of seven series. Don't sell the Flyers short!
As far as the Rangers and Penguins series, I'll be a little biased here and go with the Rangers in 7. Yes, I know it's Sid the Kid & Co, but I think King Henrik Lundqvist will out duel Marc-Andre Fleury in the end. The NHL has got to be real happy with the fact that Sid the Kid will be on Broadway. I believe that this is the marquee matchup the hockey purists were looking for. It certainly will give a huge boost for the NHL, it's fans, and it's TV ratings. I can't wait for it to start!
In the Western Conference Semi-Finals I have to go with Detroit (YUCK!) over Colorado in 6. I don't like Detroit, but Colorado isn't the Colorado of old. I believe they overachieved this year and Joel Quenneville did a great job with his team. I could be wrong here, but I'll stick with Detroit.
The more interesting series (to me at least) in the West is San Jose and Dallas. Dallas showed the hockey world what they are all about; discipline, good defense, and a great all around game plan as they really dismantled the defending Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks. This will be a toss up, but I will go with San Jose only because of the home ice advantage. If they fail in defending their home ice, I believe Dallas can get them.
It's a great time of the year, most of the top seeds are still around and the hockey should be electric and physical. Talk to you all soon!