I gotta get these conference finals predictions out before the games begin so here goes. I didn’t have a great round last round only getting the Pittsburgh series correct but there were all pretty close series that with a few bounces going differently the results outcomes would have been different as well.
Pittsburgh vs Carolina
I have been surprised by the play of the Hurricanes though I probably should not be. They are an experienced playoff team having won the Cup a couple years ago and they are riding a hot goalie in Cam Ward. That is a pretty good combination that can take any team deep into the playoffs. But now the Hurricanes will be going up against a much more potent offense than the Devils and a team more experienced than the Bruins. I think that means it will be the end of the line for the Hurricanes in these playoffs. The Penguins have something to prove and want another shot at the Cup after losing last year. Penguins in 7.
Detroit vs Chicago
In the last round Detroit squeaked out a series win over a determined Ducks team with great goaltending while the Blackhawks used a couple of third period comebacks to take the series over the Vancouver Canucks. The series against the Ducks shows that the Red Wings are not invincible, but that it will take an outstanding effort and a bit of luck to beat them. With the Blackhawks late game comebacks they have to be playing with a lot of confidence and won’t get down on themselves if they get down in the game early. For Chicago to win they will need outstanding goal tending by Khabibulin because their team defense isn’t as good as they probably would like. While Khabibulin can be a streaky goaltender, when he gets hot he can be as good as any goaltender in the NHL so I would never count out the Blackhawks and as much as I think a Blackhawks-Penguins final would be fun to watch, much like the Pens-Caps series, I think Detroit will pull out a win in this series. Red Wings in 6 to set up a rematch of last years Stanley Cup final.