Sunday, June 04, 2006
Here we go.
The layoff is not going to be that big of a deal. Historically teams have had long layoffs and lost and they have had long layoffs and won. The two teams who had long layoffs and were beaten this playoff year were inferior to their opponents. San Jose had quite a bit of time off before meeting the Oilers and won two straight and fairly easily at that. I think someone put it nicely - if given the choice between well and a little rusty and sharp but sick and exhausted the Oilers will take the former.
Both teams have a lot of experience so I don't think we will see anything like San Jose or Anaheim whose youthfulness turned out to be a negative, imo.
Ward has been good but the Oilers have already run two nice playoff goaltending stories out of the rink - they score dirty ugly goals, just the type you need in the playoffs. I think Ward is next.
The Oil will have to be more disciplined then they were against the Ducks - I think a lot of those calls were due to tiredness. In any case I think special teams will be a wash. Bad news for the Canes as their top two scorers have the majority of their goals on the PP.
I think the Canes' D struggles with the Oilers who are fast but also have more size then Buffalo, Montreal and Jersey.
Pronger, Smith and Peca will shut down Staal just as they have shut down Selanne, Thornton and the Wings.
To sum up - the Oil take this series and never mind their regular season. As has been discussed at length here and elsewhere , with good goaltending all season the Oilers are at least the third seed in the West. The Canes are good but their failure to put away a crippled Sabres team leads me to believe that they don't have what it takes. They have a deep team but not enough speed to compete with Edmonton. My Sabres buddy said that a few of the Canes (Weight, Recchi) just couldn't keep up. Add to this the Oilers' return to health, the most balanced offence in the playoffs and the dominant pair of Pronger and Smith and you get Oil in 6.
Oil in 6.
Posted by Black Dog at 8:45 AM