Well, Maggie and I tied again in Round Two. Maggie and I both pulled off a 3-1 record. Maggie missed out on the Vancouver-Anaheim series, while I missed out on the San Jose-Detroit series. The macaque and I trail all the TSN experts, but I am quite impressed with both Darren Dreger and Darren Pang. They lead the way at 11-1. Maggie and I currently sit at 7-5. Again, I picked emotionally rather than intellectually in Round One, and I accept my losses there. I should have listened to my head rather than the sentimental feelings, but since I wasn't on TV, I went with who I wanted to see rather than who I knew would advance. Thankfully, I don't have to write an entire blog devoted to Maggie because she didn't defeat me. In any case, here are my Round Three predictions.
If the Barney Rubble Hairpieces play as soft as they did against the Rangers, this series will be short. I have all the confidence in the world in Chris Drury and Daniel Briere that they will appear on the scoresheet. How often? Good question. The Senators have been, by far, the best defensive team in these playoffs when it comes to shutting down opposing forwards. Yes, they still give up goals, but they play for today. I know I said that San Jose had to do that in the last series, and it appeared that they stopped doing it once Detroit won Game Four. They became hesitant and afraid. Well, I can honestly say that the Senators are the best team in the East right now. No slight to the Hairpieces, but they will have to be a lot better against the Senators, and I don't think they will be. And despite all the drama that the media is building due to the Chris Neil hit on Chris Drury, I think these teams will play clean, fast hockey.
Prediction: Ottawa Senators advance in six games.
Detroit is a team who is battered and bruised. Mathieu Schneider is done, out with a broken wrist, and that is a huge loss for the defensive line that Detroit so desperately will need. Hasek has to be the Hasek of five years ago in this series. Kronwall is still not ready, and Lebda will be returning. Lidstrom and Chelios are already averaging over 20 minutes a game. Can they do 30? 40? The Ducks will throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the Red Wings. This series will be won down low and along the half-boards, and on special team play. I can only hope that the oldest team trying to get to the Finals won't breakdown too badly against the high-flying Ducks' youngsters.
Prediction: Anaheim Ducks advance in five games.
There are my predicitons for the Conference Finals. They start Thursday with Ottawa visiting Buffalo. Friday sees the Ducks in Joe Louis Arena. These should be good series! Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!