Buffalo versus Carolina:
I’d love to be able to guarantee this isn’t a spite pick. I agree with Stan Fischler that Cam Ward hasn’t been as good as advertised, especially when more than one line pressures him. Ryan Miller has. For that reason, I think Buffalo has the advantage. What’s odd is that Carolina reminds me of the kind of veteran, mercinary trade-deadline stocked team that has won the Cup in the last 15 years. They don’t fit the mold anymore. I’m taking Buffalo in 7.
Anaheim versus Edmonton:
Anaheim has three scoring lines. Selanne/McDonald, Perry/Getzlaf, and Penner/Lupul. They also have an excellent shut down line with Niedermeyer and Pahlsson. Niedermayer is the best defenseman in the NHL, and the rest of Anaheim’s blue line has been playing solidly. This series also features a matchup of the playoff’s two best goalies in Roloson and Bryzgalov. Edmonton can’t match the Ducks’ depth, but they can make up a lot of the difference with the heart they’ve played with. The problem is, the Ducks aren’t short in that department, either. The clock is about to strike midnight and Rexall will turn into a pumpkin. The Ducks have had a week to rest and get healthy, and they won’t be caught flat-footed after witnessing what that did to Colorado. Ducks in 6.
We’re both 7-5 after going 2-2 in Round 2.