Friday, May 19, 2006

NHL : Stanley Cup Conference Finals

The Stanley Cup is now in the final four stage. The top two in the West will face against each other and so will the the top two in the East. Who will advance to the final?

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks swept the Colorado Avalanche in 4 games, a seemingly impossible thing to do considering the vast experiences that the Avs carry. But, backup goalie, Ilja Bryzgalov, now firmly established as the team's number one has been playing out of his mind and leading the Teal brigade, relegating Jean-Sebastien Gigure to the bench. Joffrey Lupul leads the team with 7 play-off goals followed closely by Teemy Selanne. The Ducks seem to be at the right kind of stage to win the Cup. They seem to be on a roll and winning games without breaking a sweat. This could serve them well. However, if they are not careful, they will find themselves as the third highly-rated team to fall to the Edmonton Oilers, who made it to the Conference finals for the first time since 1992. This team of hard-working skaters is surprisingly lead by Fernando Pisani in goals (7) and wall like defenceman Chris Pringer (32+ mins in the playoffs). The Oilers beat the Detroit Red Wings & then the San Jose Sharks by counter-attacking and playing smart defensively. Will they be able to make it to the Cuo finals? I hope so, since I will be rooting for them?

Carolina Hurricanes vs Buffalos Sabres - two teams that can roll out 4 forward lines and can expect goals from any of those 12 players at any time. Two teams that are relying on rookie goalies - Cam Ward for the Hurricanes and Ryan Miller for the Sabres. They both won their quaterfinals 4-2 and the semi-finals 4-1. In the semifinals, both teams beat out much fancied & favoured opponents. They wach have fast skating goal scoring players. Look out for Eric Stall, Ray Whitney & Cory Stillman to deliver the knockout punch for the Hurricanes, while Jasom Pomminville, Daniel Briere, Chris Drury & JP Dumont will be trying to do the same for the Sabres. Neither team has won the Stanley Cup before; Buffalo losing out to the Dallas Stars in 1999 and the Hurricanes going out to Detroit in 2002. The two teams were both predicted to struggle this season and not make the playoffs or just about scrap through. They have proved the critics wrong. So which two teams will make it through to the finals? I am betting on Edmonton vs Carolina for the final.

Babe of the week - JESSICA ALBA

Song for the day - "You Could Be Mine" - GUNS N'ROSES