1) We are now down to the NHL's version of the Final Four. With the Red Wings elimination of the Sharks in SJ the Conference Finals are set. We at The FAUXRUMORS Group, LLC, are proud of our playoff predictions thus far. We are a perfect 6 for 6 in the East! What we envisioned a month ago; An Ottawa-Sabres Conference Final will come to fruition.
2) The other conference is another matter. The Sharks have screwed up our perfect record twice now. We originally(correctly) believed that the team lacked the intestinal fortitude to win in the playoffs. They won round one when they beat a team(Nashville) that amazingly had even less fire/desire to do what it takes to win than the Sharks. We give the Wings full credit for using their grit and playoff experience to roll over the whithering, yet more talented Sharks in 6. Setting the stage for what we originally believed would be the West final; The Ducks-vs-The Red Wings.
3) This series should prove to be quite interesting for all who like "thinking man’s hockey." It’s going to be all about investing physically, attention to detail, defensive responsibility, and being prepared to win the little battles. Sure to this point Detroit have not gotten any respect from us, but we do admit they have done a good job in beating two very good teams to get here. They’re going into the series against the Ducks with significant wear-and-tear, and that could be a concern for the 'Geezers' from Mo-Town.
4) Anaheim has lived up to their expectations, beating as expected a very good and admittedly underrated Wild team and then also as expected relatively easily beat the Canucks. They are big, mean, and fast. That’s pretty tough to counteract. They can play a skating or an 'in your face' style. If the series is what we expect it to be, Anaheim has to be the favourite. They are more physical, fairly solid systematically and defensively, and are better equipped for a long series due to their aggressive style, age, and health going in. Detroit will battle, and their combined experience as well as Hasek's heroics will make this a more competitive series for the Ducks, but in the end Anaheim wins. Ducks in 6
5) Ottawa looked like they were supposed to in years past in ousting the Devils, but it must be said that they played against a team that was a bit over rated in our opinions. Marty Brodeur played the worst playoff hockey of his long storied career. As good a GM as Lou Lamoriello is, he simply isn't that good of a coach.(John McClean was the real coach) Ottawa did what they needed to do to win, and their top line of Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza, and Daniel Alfredsson helped carry the well balanced squad. Ray Emery wasn't the negative difference as many expected. He’s made the big save when needed, but hasn’t really been pressured too much in the playoffs, which he almost certainly will be against Buffalo.
6 )For the second straight year it’s Buffalo and Ottawa. This has the potential to be a great series, and as its a round later than last years match up there's a lot more at stake! Buffalo is the Presidents Trophy winner, and Ottawa has looked like a more complete and hungry team for the first time...ever. The Sabres seemed to come together after making some of the same mistakes they did against the Islanders; Taking them too lightly. It seems that every year for the past 6-7 the prognosticators has been picking the Sens as a potential Cup favourite only to 'choke on the way.
7) This is not an easy pick, but after going back and forth a few times we're going to stick with our pre-playoff Cup pick, the Sabres. We like their leadership, they have better depth and with 4 scoring lines are difficult to shut down. If Emery plays ordinary it could be a short series. If he matches Miller save for save it will be a long one. Either way Sabres win, but It won't be easy. Sabres in 7