2) Thus far through 2 rounds and 12 series we at FAUXRUMORS are 8-4. Not quite as impressive as the 11-1 we were this time last season, but not too terrible nonetheless
- Montreal vs. Philadelphia. We, for the second consecutive time underestimated the Flyers (Or did we over estimate the Canadiens?) We predicted a short series win for the Habs, but we saw a short series win for the Flyers! While we don't underestimate the price effect, is there any word on whether anyone has found Kovolev or Higgins? They were MIA all second round. We have blamed BG for trading away Huet, but the entire Habs team deserves some blame for not showing up against a very ordinary Flyers team and making Biron look like Bernie Parent. Hint, he's NOT!
- NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh. We pretty much nailed this one. We saw the Rangers perhaps giving the Pens a tad more fight, but we figured the Ranger defense would be over whelmed by the Pens onslaught. We are impressed with Marion Hossa. Last season with the Thrashers he was a no-show against the Rangers. This year he scored important goals and was dominant. Ranger fans should take solace that their young players (other than Jagr) were their best players. We see them improving and taking the next step up next year.
- Sharks vs. Stars: Much like the Flyers we either underestimated the Stars or over estimated the Sharks. (Again)http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2007/05/final-four.html#links As we discussed Tuesday, big-joe Thornton was again a non- factor in the playoffs. Another disappointment for a Ron Wilson led team. However, marty Turco as we discussed Monday was a huge difference. He's earned his pay this post season already.
- Red Wings vs. Avalanche: Not a big surprise other than how over matched the Avalanche appeared to be. We figured this series would last 6. The way the Wings manhandled the Av's they could have played 10 more games and Detroit would have still swept. The boys from Mo-town appear to be firing on all cylinders.
3) Which brings us to this round:
- Pittsburgh-vs-Philadelphia: The 'Battle of Pennsylvania', should prove to be the better/more exciting of the 2 semi final matchups. Both these teams hail from the Atlantic division so they know eachother well, and the near-hatred is pretty clear whenever they faced off. We hope we see a few scraps! You can bet the Flyers, who won five of the eight matchups against Pittsburgh during the regular season, will try to quickly establish the tone of the series as physical. Will they try to run/rattle Fleury like they effectively did to Huet then Price? The Flyers simply can NOT win a skating game with the Pens so their best chance is to try to intimidate the Pens and hope they continue to get timely scoring and good goaltending. Speaking of goaltending, we have been bashers of both tenders at times in the past, but both up to this time have earned their pay. The Flyers can't continue to be the most penalized team in the playoffs and win. The Penguin Power play will bury the Flyers if they continue that trend. We see this as being an exciting, for the most part close series, that won't be short, but in the end the team with the most talent should prevail. Key players from both teams. For Philadelphia:Braydon Coburn. For Pittsburgh: Jarkko Ruutu. Penguins in 6
- Detroit-vs-Dallas: Another seemingly 'turn back the clock' series matchup from the late 90's. Hopefully this time, unlike the last Detroit series it will be a competitive matchup. First we have to give the Stars credit for getting this far. Dallas has beaten the defending Stanley Cup champs and then hottest team heading into the playoffs, the Sharks to get here. WE love how Brendan Morrow has carried the Stars. Showing clearly why he is the team captain. Can he do it again? Having said that, we believe the Stars' Cinderella run will hit a RED wall in this series. The Red Wings, as mentioned earlier appear to be playing as well as they can (or are they?) If its possible, they look even stronger than during the regular season. The emergence of Johan Franzen is one of the stories of these playoffs. We already previously discussed Marty Turco, but overlooked by many is the goaltending of Chris Osgood. Since coming in to replace Dominick Hasek against Nashville he has only won and played well. (When will he get the recognition he deserves?) Overall we'd have to say that this Detroit team which is healthy, rested and deep, will be too much for the Stars to handle. If Turco plays like the first 2 series, it won't be easy. Key players from both teams: For Dallas: Marty Turco. For Detroit: Tomas Holmstrom Redwings in 6