NHL Stanley Cup Conference Finals 2009
Eastern Conference Finals
4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs 6 Carolina Hurricanes
I thought about just writing Sidney Crosby and ending my preview there but I’ll give you a little more information than that. There hasn’t been a more consistent player throughout the playoffs than Sidney Crosby. He has a league best 12 goals and 21 points in 13 postseason games. After Ovechkin laid a knee-on-knee hit to Sergei Gonchar it looked like his postseason was over. Gonchar played in game 7 and played 15 minutes, which could have been more if not for the Pens big lead. The Hurricanes only chance of beating the Penguins is if Cam Ward can keep form and be the MVP of this series. I think the Penguins are too talented and thye have their own stud in goal with Marc-Andre Fleury. As long as Fleury doesn’t complete collapse it will be the Penguins in 6.
Western Conference Finals
2 Detroit Red Wings vs 4 Chicago Blackhawks
The Red Wings went 4-2 against the Blackhawks this season but the 2 losses were to wrap up the regular season when the Wings had the 2 seed locked up. The Wings and Blackhawks both have deep lines and that is what has carried them into the conference finals. THe Blackhawks got goals from all four lines in the series against the Canucks. The Blackhawks scored first only once in their 6 games against the Canucks and if that happens against the Red Wings the Blackhawks will have trouble getting the lead in any game. In October 1991 Niklas Lidstrom played his first NHL game. Blackhawks star, Patrick Kane was just 2 years old at the time. Tomas Holmstrom did not record a point in the second round and I don’t think that will continue. Everyone has underestimated the Blackhawks this postseason and they have surprised everyone. I think the Blackhawks will be contenders for the Cup next year but this year the he experience of the Red Wings will carry them to victory. Red Wings in 6.