Thursday, May 08, 2008


After posting twice, twice!, the other day I had to take abed, feeling like Truman Capote must have after a weekend of Cosmopolitans and felching. I was just exhausted!
So third round and I am 8 and 4, big whoop, but not much different from everyone else. Few picked Dallas either round and Philly has also surprised but even when I was picking the Avs I knew it was dumb. Oh well.
Both conference finals could go either way as far as I am concerned. Philly and Dallas have the hot goalies right now but of course all it takes is a game to cool a guy off. Dallas is terrific up the middle but they have too many passengers on the wing offensively. Detroit has three of the best players in the league and then three more terrific defencemen plus six forwards who either hit the twenty goal or forty point mark or both. Hudler has nine points these playoffs and while there is talk of Dallas being more physical I would say the Wings are past being intimidated and for that matter Dallas frankly is not that intimidating. Ribiero has answered the bell, guy has become a player, and Morrow and Lehtinen round out a terrific line. Having said that does anyone see that line having its way with Henrik, Pavel and Lidstrom Detroit wins that matchup and pretty well every other one except maybe in net. If Turco is otherworldly the Stars have a chance but I say Wings in six.
Out in Pennsylvania it may be a great one. You look at Philly up the middle and its quite impressive - Richards, Briere, Carter. Then you look at Pittsburgh and see Crosby, Malkin and Staal and you realize that the Penguins have something special. The Flyers are deep up front with Knuble, Hartnell, Umberger, Upshall, Prospal and Lupul on the wings plus a decent fourth line but the Penguins have a lot of strength on the wing as well, including Hossa who is a head above the lot of them.
Philly is going to play their game but I don't see the Pens getting intimidated, not with Roberts and Laraque to act as deterrents, not to mention Hal Gill. I think its a good series but in the end talent will win out - the Habs outplayed the Flyers for the most part and the Penguins talent level is far beyond that of Montreal. Penguins in six, maybe seven.


Jonathan said...

Dallas wins that matchup and pretty well every other one except maybe in net.

I think you mean Detroit ;)

Black Dog said...

Damn, thanks.

As you can tell by the time of the post I'm needing sleep. That's my excuse.

Bruce said...

re: Dallas-Detroit, I'll take the Zebras in three.

doritogrande said...

Has Knuble played a game since the first round? I think he's injured. God, that team with Knuble and Gagne in the lineup would have been scary good.

I picked Philly to win this one, but that was before they lost Timonen. That's a huge loss for the Flyers, and I don't think they've got the horses on the back end to stomach his loss.

Black Dog said...

Knuble game back in game 4 against the Habs, dg.

With Timonen the Flyers had a shot, without him they're done. Everyone gets bumped up and that's 25 minutes quarterbacking the PP and playing the toughest minutes gone. Hatcher and Smith have to pick up the slack and then Randy Jones, Kukkonen and so on have to play more and the Pens have two terrific lines to try and stop.

He is irreplaceable.

Bruce said...

With Timonen the Flyers had a shot, without him they're done. ... He is irreplaceable.

BDHS: Good call. The double blow of losing Timonen and then Coburn drained whatever suspense right out of the series. They had done a great job on OV and Kovalev. Even before the series there was talk of splitting those two up so that one could focus on each of Crosby and Malkin, so they were in trouble already.

But with both those guys on the sideline the Penguins' talent is skating circles around the likes of Derian Hatcher, who is -4 in the series and has watched 2 more Pittsburgh tallies from the penalty box. Looks good on Hatcher and the Flyers, but it really hasn't been a fair fight and that's unfortunate.