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Conference Finals

May 10, 2007

So my batting average took a hit during the conference semi’s going a mean 2-4 (with 1 series called correctly on the number of games), but that was then, this is now.  On to the conference finals!

Eastern Conference

(1) Buffalo Sabres vs. (4) Ottawa Senators

    The conventional wisdom is that Buffalo hasn’t played up to their ability, except perhaps game 6 of the Rangers series.  They’ve been fairly content to play the other teams game and do it just better enough to win, or get down a couple of goals and turn on the Buffalo style and score a couple quick ones to win.  I don’t think that strategy will work against Ottawa.  Both teams are very deep, Ottawa’s stars stack up a little better against Buffalo.  Buffalo’s third and fourth lines are a little better than Ottawa’s.  Goaltending is a wash, though if Emery struggles for some reason (or heaven forbid is hurt) having Gerber in the cupboard is much better than having Ty Conklin waiting to give away the game.  This one comes down to 1 game.  Game 7, home Ice, in Buffalo.  Buffalo has been there in a game seven and had it gone the other way (no whining now…)  they won’t let it happen again.

       Sabres in Seven

Western Conference

(1) Detroit Red Wings vs. (2) Anaheim Ducks

    I’m riding the ducks here.  I’ve been spot on about them each series even down to the number of games (though I did think Minnesota would win at least 1).  Detroit, who I thought was a soft fluffy team in an easy division, showed me something against the sharks.  They are a tough tough team.  I think the loss of Schneider will hurt them more than they know even with Linstrom and Chelios back there.  In all honesty if this one goes to 7 games I think the Red Wings have the Edge purely because of home ice advantage.  That being said the Ducks realize this and will push more to steal a road split in the beginning.  Personally I think this one comes down to goaltending (cliché).  Hasek has been awesome, but his tendency to roam and handle the puck hasn’t bit the Red Wings yet, and I think at some point it will.  Giguire has been great and has a better defense in front of him.  Ducks have to stay out of the box plain and simple.

       Ducks in Six

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