NHL Conference Finals: My Thoughts So Far

Eastern Conference

In the first two games, the Philadelphia Flyers dominated the Montreal Canadiens with two straight shutouts. Michael Leighton, an NHL journeyman goaltender, was solid in both those starts for the Flyers and got the job done. Solid goaltending helped get the Flyers to where they are now and will continue to help them if it’s consistent.

Even though the Canadiens were shut out in the first two games, Game Three showed what has yet to come. The Canadiens battled back to win that game 5-3 and will not make life easy for the Flyers for the rest of the series. The Canadiens already know what it takes to eliminate the NHL’s best teams and this series will be no different from their past two series against Pittsburgh and Washington. The Flyers have been streaky this season and Montreal will have a chance to turn the tide if they win Game Four on Saturday afternoon.

Western Conference

The Chicago Blackhawks proved they are a talented team by going into San Jose and taking Games One and Two from the Sharks. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have proven to be leaders on this club and the Blackhawks have lots of momentum going in their favor. The Sharks have not played like the team we saw during the regular season and that hurt them when they were at home.

The Blackhawks are up 3-0 in the series now but cannot take the Sharks lightly. San Jose has a good veteran core of players with Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley and Joe Thorton and those veterans will not go down without a fight. If Evgeni Nabokov can stop the puck from going into the net and help the Sharks maintain a lead, San Jose will have a shot at getting back into this series. If defense continues to be a struggle for San Jose and if the Blackhawks don’t give up leads like they were in the regular season, the Sharks will be heading to the golf courses and the Blackhawks will be heading to the Stanley Cup Finals.

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~ by jeffrsabo on May 22, 2010.

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