May 26, 2007

The Stanley Cup finals are here!

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

With the Stanley Cup finals starting on Monday night —inexplicably skipping over an entire weekend where games could have been played and brought in some ratings money— what better time to run a preview of the series then on this fine weekend? Alright, I could’ve run it earlier, like when the Western finals ended earlier this week but I figured, “Why?” So let’s break down the series in an easy to digest form… match ups!

Goalies: J.S. Giguere vs. Ray Emery.
I don’t like Emery, I really don’t. I drafted Martin Gerber in my fantasy league because I figured there was no way Emery could take his job. I was wrong and Emery is good; he’s playing some great hockey as well. But he’s not Jiggy-in-the-playoffs good. That good can be scary at times.
Winner: Ducks

Defense
Can you honestly argue against Pronger and Neidermayer? I thought not. Even if the Sens kept Chara in the off-season I’d still give this match up to the Ducks. No contest here, but the Sens defense shouldn’t be too over-looked.
Winner: Ducks

Forwards
While the Ducks play a good, more physical game with a strong checking line and some solid finesse players like Teemu Selanne, Ottawa has the big 3 line that can dominate a game. Heatley, Alfredsson and Spezza are quite the handful and have looked very hard to stop so far. The only way Anaheim might be able to is by throwing the hits at them non-stop. It’s going to be a long series for both side of this battle.
Winner: Senators

Coaching
While I’m sure Randy Carlyle is a great coach, it’s tough to top the fact that Bryan Murray used to be GM of the Ducks before taking the Sens head coaching post.
Winner: Senators

Intangibles
Hardly anybody in Southern California is going to care about hockey at this time of year while most other hockey fans hate the Senators. Is there a winner here? I don’t think so.
Winner: Not the fans

So with a final score of Ducks 2, Senators 2 with one draw, this article is seemingly inconclusive. But I’ll have to stick with my pre-playoffs pick that Anaheim will take it all and if it happens, the Intern will have actually been right too. I am stunned.
Pick: Anaheim in 7

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