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Article:In the Crease: Conference Finals

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Well I successfully picked three out of the four semi final winners, I may not have gotten the number of games right, but whose counting. Here is my attempt at the Conference Championships.

#6 Philadelphia Flyers vs. #2 Pittsburgh Penguins

I love rivalries. And a cross state rivalry doesn’t get any better. The Flyers pulled off the shocking series win over the Canadians (YES!) but this story does not get to go any further. The Penguins have a lot of weapons as we all know and they have great goaltending. Crosby and Malkin can take over a game and Hossa is another excellent player in the Penguins line up. The feature speed and scoring ability, the Flyers just do not have the defense to match up to them. The Penguins also come at you with a great defensive line up in front of Marc-Andre Fleury. With Sergei Gonchar and Hall Gill back on the points and Jarkko Ruutu draped over Danny Briere the Flyers are going to have a tough time generating any offense.

The one way the Flyers can win this series is to play even better than they did against Montreal and Washington. They need to pressure Crosby the same way they Pressured Ovechkin. The only problem with that is the Penguins have Malkin and Hossa who also demand double team coverage. Marty Biron will steal a game or two for the Flyers, but that’s as far as this one goes. Sorry Flyers the great run is over, Penguins in five games.

#5 Dallas Stars vs. #1 Detroit Red Wings

The Stars spoiled my second round picks by knocking off #2 San Jose; and they spoiled most people’s first round picks by knocking off the defending champs. Now they get Detroit. The Red Wings had their wings full with the Predators working six games to dispatch them and they took care of Colorado in a quick four games. The Red Wings have weapons all around, which off sets the goaltending carousal of Hasek and Osgood. Pavel Datsyuk will demand the constant pressure of Sergei Zubov and surprisingly the Star’s will have to find an answer for Johan Franzen who recorded nine goals in four games against the Avalanche.

The stars have a few weapons of their own. As Brendan Morrow knocked the Sharks out of the playoffs with his goal in the fourth overtime of game 6, he will require special attention as does Mike Modano and Brad Richards. Just like the Red Wings the Stars have many offensive weapons. In order for the Stars to capture this series goaltender Marty Turco has to be a star, in more than one way. I think Turco stands on his head but it wont be enough as the Red Wings are just to quick and have to many weapons both on offense and defense. Red Wings in seven games (overtime?).


also on www.sammonroe.net

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