Friday, May 05, 2006

Pikz that Killz

I never really paid much attention to the Western Conference first round match-ups. The Flames/Ducks matchup in game six was the only full game I watched. I did watch the last five minutes of the great Red Wing rotisserie.

Overall, I guess I was Hurricane-fixated throughout the first round. The Carolina team that stumbled into the playoffs worried me greatly. Took 'em two games to get oriented, but just like the Devils, they finished the Habs off in four straight. We'll the boys are not yet "deep" into the playoffs, but the matchup with the Devils has a familiar feeling to it.

Here's my round two pikz that killz:

Sens/Sabers
I don't think the Sabers waterbug forward will have their way with the Sens top-notch defenders the way they did with Philly's all-Ent blueline. The Sens score like Matt Leinart working a Vegas club. Heatley, Havlat, Spezza, Alfredsson coming at you all game long. They are big, fast, and skilled. They also have the market cornered on Euros with attitude in Havlat, Chara, Volchenkov, and Vrada. I think the Sens physical play will knock the Sabers off stride. Ray Emery is a bit of an unknown. He's also a bit wacky. Idiot or savant, who knows which you will get. Ryan Miller has been solid, but you'd have to have the same reservations about him that you do with Cam Ward. If Emery crashes, I don't put much faith in the AHL-caliber Mike Morrison. If Miller crashes, I would have more faith in Martin Biron. If the Sens control the flow and put the Sabers on their heels, you won't have to worry about Emery.
Sens in six.

Ducks/Avs
Jose Theodore will gag. If he does, the Avs are down to Peter Boo-Tai..err Budaj. Ilya Bryzgalov might gag, but J.S. Giguere would love the opportunity to step in and save the day. Ducks just won a cage match. The Avs got to watch some of that cage match after making short work of a flat Dallas team. The Ducks are young, big, fast, and deeper beyond the first line. If Sakic, Tanguay, or Hedjuk aren't on the ice, the Avs are all a bunch of Ian LaPerriere clones. The Ducks can send Andy McDonald (wicked quick with great hands), Corey Perry (wicked large with speed and hands), Ryan Getzlaff (ditto Perry, but with a mean streak) downstream in a variety of combinations. The Ducks also have the world best hybrid blueline centerman in Scott Neidermeyer. Even Jeff Friesen has ditched the bad attitude and brought his game. Oh yeah, and Teemu Selanne is playing out of his mind, almost like he cut some sort of Faustian deal during the lockout.
Ducks in five

Oil/Sharks
The Oil keep their opponents in games, while the Sharks tend to bury them. I dont think the Oilers have an answer for the two-headed monster of Thornton and Marleau. Toskala and Nabokov give the Sharks the goaltending edge. Roloson has kept the Oilers in games, but he's no Cam Ward, errrr Brodeur. That being said, if I were putting together a team, Ryan Smyth would be one of the first guys I'd go after. Today, the next might just be Chris Pronger. The Oil play with a ton of heart and emotion. This can work to their benefit or detriment. Where the Sharks top players play like cold blooded assasins, the top Oilers always seem in the midst of a Banzai charge. The Oil's southern brethren fought like tigers and then flamed out when it mattered most. I see Edmonton doing the same.
Sharks in seven

'Canes/Devils
'Canes in six. Gerber makes a triumphant return. Deja Vu, 2002.

Why bother breaking it down any more than that when it's impossible to be objective. To borrow a line from her majesty, "screw analysis, I want a cup!" What can I say? Don't see a hell of a lot of "analysis" from DLee either. I guess he's drinking the Kool Aid too.

Ok, ego makes me do a little crackpot analysis. Shut down Elias and that little bug Gionta, get in Scott Gomez and Colin White's grills until they do something dumb and we'll be in good shape. We beat Brodeur in '02 with two mercurial goalies, we can do it again.

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