NHL Playoffs Update - 04.21.08
Wild head home, Bruins and Caps' See Tomorrow
Hockey fans love April as the Stanley Cup Playoffs give us something to look forward to every night as each game gets bigger and bigger as the NHL Playoffs roll on. Pro Hockey Fans staff writer Kevin Chaves brings us his latest update on the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Game 6 – Detroit Red Wings 3 – Nashville Predators 0
It took six games, two goaltenders and a lucky bounce but Detroit advances to the Western Conference semifinals. The Wings won 3-0 as Chris Osgood recorded a 20-save shutout to record his second straight win, after replacing Dominik Hasek in Game #5. Nashville did all they could and their heads should be held high since there was nothing they could do to win.
Dan Ellis played extraordinarily in this series as he faced an average of 40 shots per game and still managed to steal two games. Tonight, Nicklas Lidstrom scored the game-winner, shorthanded, from the Detroit red-line that caught a horrendous bounce into the net. That pretty much sums up the series for the Preds’, who did not catch a break from a much better Detroit team.
Also, for the second straight game, Nashville’s captain, Jason Arnott did not play due to an injury. The Predator’s were not expected by many people to even make the playoffs. Not only did they earn the #8 seed in the West, they won two games against the league’s highest-ranked team.
No reason to break this series down statically, since Detroit dominated in every category. The Preds’ never stood a chance in this series, but come out of it with a little more learned experience. Hopefully they realized that to win, they need more than Martin Erat and Shea Weber leading the team in playoff scoring, while allowing 240 shots in six games.
I had Detroit winning this series in five and they ended up winning in six. Not bad. The Wings will now get some rest and will either host Calgary or Colorado in the next round. Hmmm, possible upset coming up?
Detroit Red Wings win series 4-2.
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Game 6 – Dallas Stars 4 - Anaheim Ducks 1
The hopes and dreams of Anaheim to repeat as champions came to end Sunday night as the Dallas Stars won the series in six games. Marty Turco proved my prediction wrong as he personally advances to the second round for the first time in four years. Watching my chosen cup-winning team get murdered by the Stars was a very hard. Watching the Ducks taking dumb penalty after dumb penalty was even harder.
Everything was going great for Anaheim in Game #6 as they took a 1-0 lead into the third period. That was until Ryan Carter took a holding penalty just 17 seconds into the period, setting a nightmare for the Ducks. Yes, the Stars scored on that power-play, followed by the game-winner by Stu Barnes a minute later.
Dallas had thirty-eight power-play opportunities in this series, scoring on over 25% of them. This is a disaster stat against the Ducks who defending their title very poorly. Corey Perry and Jean-Sebastien Giguere were the only two Anaheim players that came out to play this series. Scott Neidermayer and Todd Bertuzzi combined for four points, with Bertuzzi spending 14 minutes in the box. Completely unacceptable.
It will be interesting to see what GM Brian Burke does with the Ducks during the off-season. Big names may be released, traded or maybe he will consider the job opening in Vancouver instead.
The Stars played exquisitely in their wins and they had seven players scoring five points or more during this series. I think Turco played over his head, but he was clutch when he needed to be. Highly anticipated, Brad Richards, played up to his reputation with six points, 15 shots and great play on the defensive end as well.
I did not believe in the Stars before and I am still having a hard time in thinking they are contenders.
Dallas Stars win series 4-2.
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Game 6 – Calgary Flames 2 - San Jose Sharks 0
The Red Sea in Calgary played the important sixth man in this game, soaring the Flames to a win, forcing Game #7. Owen Nolan and Daymond Langkow gave Calgary a two goal edge and Mikka Kiprusoff saved all 21 shots he faced. San Jose’s snipers were all over ice the ice tonight, just no where near the net.
The Flames are going a great job of keeping trade deadline acquisition, Brian Campbell, off the Sharks' scoring sheet. He only has two points thus far with a slack effort of nine shots on net. Ryan Clowe has been the star for this team with his eight points and dedication to hard work.
Calgary has had success this series with the unknown names on the team with their grinding efforts. Wayne Primeau’s aggression added with the speed of Matthew Lombardi has caused trouble for the Sharks' defensemen. These two fore-check like crazy and cause turn-overs that lead to decent opportunities.
Game #7 goes back to San Jose where they will have the 6th man advantage in the Shark Tank. We will all see which goalie can handle the pressure better; according to history, it is Kiprusoff.
According to my earlier predictions, everyone should know who I will be cheering for.
Series tied 3-3.
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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