Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Third Round Predictions

So I'm back with Part III of Kyle's Playoff Picks 2007. Just as a recap let's look at the past Two Rounds...

First Round Picks: Results:
Buffalo Buffalo
New Jersey New Jersey
Atlanta New York
Ottawa Ottawa
Detroit Detroit
Anaheim Anaheim
Vancouver Va
San Jose San Jose

Second Round Picks: Results:

Buffalo Buffalo
Ottawa Ottawa
Detroit Detroit
Anaheim Anaheim

Thus going into the third round I currently hold a record of 11-1... tied for first place with TSN.ca analysts Darren Dreger and Darren Pang. I'd also like to point out that ringer analyst Jeremy Roenick sits at 8-4 (one better than his VERY closely related primate friend Maggie).

But enough of this or that... without further ado let's look at the Conference Finals shall we?

Eastern Conference - Buffalo (1) vs Ottawa (4)

There are so many similarities between these two teams that it almost hurts my head. Goaltending that can be outstanding, or shaky. Immense breakout speed and potent offence, we're talking the league's two highest scoring teams here. So what does it come down to? Defense. At the day's end Ottawa has 2 (sometimes 3 if Redden and Mez wake up for the game) effective defence pairings, when it comes to their depth in defence other playoff teams are more than jealous. Will defence win it for Ottawa? Not single handily, but they will be the difference.

Ottawa advances to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Western Conference - Detroit (1) vs Anaheim (2)

Again two very similar teams can be found in the Western final. Both have very solid, proven, goaltending in Hasek and J.S. Giggy. Both have defensemen that could easily be found on a Wheaties box... even if that box is a few years old... in Lidstrom & Chelios of the Wings and Pronger & Niedermayer of the Ducks. Both teams even are/were coached by Mike Babcock! And with Detroit having a bit tougher road this post-season (Calgary & San Jose VS Nashville & Vancouver), Anaheim is just a little healthier, a little more rested, and a little more physical, and that gives them the edge.

Anaheim advances to the Stanley Cup Finals.
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