1) We'd have to say that on a scale of 0-10, 10 being the most exciting Semi-Finals ever, and 0 being a good sleep aid, we'd have to say that thus far through 2 games a piece the NHL Conference Finals have been a snooze fest! Both series are now 2-0, and barring a miracle we now know who will be playing in the Finals in about a weeks time.
2) In Detroit the Stars forgot to show up for game 1 and were thoroughly outplayed. The score could probably have been far worse than 4-1 final score indicated. Disappointingly, no 'message' was sent at the end of the game to let us know Dallas would be back. To their credit though Dallas played much better in game 2, although they were still outplayed by the Wings and Turco kept them from a similar fate/score as game 1. There was little real intensity in this series. Sure things got interesting towards the ends of both games with Steve Ott trying to lure a Wing into dropping their gloves but none obliged. The Osgood/Ribeiro silliness does not connote 'intensity as it was a Billy Smith-esque reaction by Osgood, butt ending the Star forward and the subsequent reaction by Ribeiro, but it probably won't lead to anything as far as suspensions and a reaction in Game 3. Two games, 2 Detroit wins, NO major penalties, and very little reason to believe that Dallas can come back. Lets see what they can do at home. They better come out and be ready else this series may be over before this weekend!
3) Meanwhile in Pittsburgh, its slightly better, but not by much. The anticipated blood bath never materialized with both teams trying to goad the other into taking bad penalties but other than a Scottie Upshall- Tyler Kennedy scrap early in Game 2, there have been no fisticuffs. Even the level of play in both games could best be described as 'sloppy'. Neither of the games looked like these were the 2 best East teams playing for a chance to play for the Cup. They easily could have been pre-season or October matchups. The Flyers potentially may have lost their top 2 offensive defensemen in Timonen (bloodclot) and Coburn (eye injury). If both are lost for the series you can forget about any comeback. We hold out hope that game 3 in Philadelphia will bring what we expected in the first 2 games, intense/high quality hockey. Like the West, we don't expect a comeback as it appears the Pens are playing as well a they have to to win (that won't work next round) but we hope that the Flyers don't go out meekly and fight (literally) to the end. Else, we'll all go back to sleep until the Finals.