I wanted to do a more in depth analysis of the Stanley Cup finals but having been without internet access for almost a week (whatever you do, do not ever consider using 3web for your internet service – They are incompetent, won’t help you at all and excuse filled. The only thing they were good at was cancelling my account which they never did get working) I haven’t been able to do the research required to do a full analysis. But, here are some of my thoughts.
Keys for Edmonton: Pronger and Roloson have to continue to be dominant forces. Edmonton has very good depth on their team but the main reason they have made it to the finals is Pronger’s excellent play and leadership and Roloson’s outstanding goaltending. If they want to win this series, both players must continue to play at their high level of play.
Keys for Carolina: The key for Carolina is continuing their success on their PP. Coming into the finals the Hurricanes have had the best PP in the playoffs (25.9%) but Edmonton has had the best penalty kill of the playoffs (88.6). Working in Carolina’s favour is the fact that dmonton also has been short handed more than any other team in the playoffs (6.7 times per game). If Carolina can break down the Edmonton penalty kill, this could be a short series.
Prediction: It seems some hockey analysts have finally jumped on the Edmonton bandwagon and are predicting an Oilers win but I really think this is going to go Carolina’s way. I’ve liked the Hurricanes experience and depth all the way through the playoffs and I think that is going to continue. Staal, Stillman, Brind’amour, Recchi, Weight, Williams, etc. will be just too much offense for the Oilers to handle. The Oilers will come out a bit sluggish tonight after a lengthy layoff and I am afraid they won’t get back in the groove they were in through the first 3 rounds. Carolina takes the Cup in 5 games.