Thursday, May 18, 2006

NHL Playoffs

Conference Finals Predictions

Ouch. I went 1-3 in my last round of predictions, which drops my record to an embarrassing 4-8. Despite that, here are my second-to-last round predictions.

Western Conference

(6) Anaheim vs. (8) Edmonton

I've gone against Edmonton twice now, and twice they've moved on to the next round. They've played well enough that some people have suggested that the 2005-2006 Oilers are not different than the 2003-2004 Calgary Flames--two Cinderella teams. I've never been much for fairy tales, and I still don't believe in the Oilers.

After 27 tries, Dwayne Roloson got his first career playoff shutout in last night's win over San Jose. The goalie Roloson is matched up against, Ilja Bryzgalov, has three career playoff shutouts in eight games. Bryzgalov is younger and better than Roloson.

Anaheim wasn't supposed to compete with Calgary. They did. Anaheim wasn't supposed to have such an easy time against Colorado. They did. This round, it'll be Anaheim in six.

Eastern Conference

(2) Carolina vs. (4) Buffalo

New Jersey and Ottawa never knew what hit them in the last round. Carolina kept on rolling with Cam Ward in net. And Buffalo did what most teams have in them to do and that is beat the Ottawa Senators in the playoffs.

These are two fast, hard-working teams with goaltenders that are playing well. It'll be close, but Buffalo will take the series in seven.


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