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Tag:Conference Semifinals Preview
Posted on: April 29, 2010 12:49 am
Edited on: April 29, 2010 10:41 am
 

Preview: No. 4 Pittsburgh vs. No. 8 Montreal

No. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 8 Montreal Canadiens

Wes Goldstein's Take

The Penguins will win if: They stay patient and don't fall into the trap of getting down early in games. The Canadiens proved they can hold leads, and that they can stymie power offenses with their smart team defense and ability to block shots. Avoiding unnecessary penalties will be critical for the Penguins as well because the Canadiens power play is deadly.

The Canadiens will win if: Jaroslav Halak continues to be the best goaltender in these playoffs, although he'd be helped a lot of the Habs limit Pittsburgh to oh, say about 40 shots per game. That's the level that brings out the best in Halak. Montreal has to find a way to produce more at even strength though and the defense needs to keep Pittsburgh's big guns to the outside they way it did against Washington.

 

How They Got Here

Pittsburgh: Defeated the Ottawa Senators, 4-2, in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals ... Finished the regular season with a 47-28-7 record for 101 points (2nd, Atlantic Division)

Montreal: Defeated the Washington Capitals, 4-3, in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals ... Finished the regular season with a 39-33-10 record for 88 points (4th, Northeast Division)

Complete Schedule & Bracket

 

Schedule
Date Location Time
April 30 at Pittsburgh 7 p.m.
May 2 at Pittsburgh 2 p.m.
May 4 at Montreal 7 p.m.
May 6 at Montreal 7 p.m.
May 8 at Pittsburgh * 7 p.m.
May 10 at Montreal * 7 p.m.
May 12 at Pittsburgh * TBA
* if necessary

 

Season Series
Pittsburgh wins, 3-1
Date Result
Oct. 28 Pittsburgh 6, Montreal 1 Recap
Nov. 25 Pittsburgh 3, Montreal 1 Recap
Dec. 10 Pittsburgh 3, Montreal 2 Recap
Feb. 6 Montreal 5, Pittsburgh 3 Recap

 

Stats Comparison
Statistic PIT MON
Goals For (Avg.) 4.00 2.86
Goals Against (Avg.) 3.17 3.14
Power Play 25.0% 20.0%
Penalty Kill 68.2% 97.0%



Posted on: April 29, 2010 12:42 am
Edited on: April 29, 2010 10:45 am
 

Preview: No. 6 Boston vs. No. 7 Philadelphia

No. 6 Boston Bruins vs. No. 7 Philadelphia Flyers

Wes Goldstein's Take

The Bruins will win if: They keeps things close, find a way to slow down games and get the timely scoring it did in the opening round. Goalie Tuukka Rask will have to respond as well. The rookie was great against Buffalo, but he'll face more offensive weapons from the Flyers and bigger, more physical forwards coming at him. Boston helped its cause by hitting the smaller Sabres hard and often. It is the right approach, but it will take more effort against the Flyers.

The Flyers will win if: Goalie Brian Boucher continues to confound the experts. The veteran netminder was a surprising star against New Jersey, but he tends to be streaky and that won't do in a series when his team is missing some of its top scorers. The big thing for the Flyers will be staying out of the penalty box. Philadelphia got away with taking too many penalties against the Devils, but the Bruins power play has gotten sharper since the postseason began and the return of Marc Savard makes it more dangerous.

 

How They Got Here

Boston: Defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 4-2, in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals ... Finished the regular season with a 39-30-13 record for 91 points (3rd, Northeast Division)

Philadelphia: Defeated the New Jersey Devils, 4-1, in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals ... Finished the regular season with a 41-35-6 record for 88 points (3rd, Atlantic Division)

Complete Schedule & Bracket

 

Schedule
Date Location Time
May 1 at Boston 12:30 p.m.
May 3 at Boston 7 p.m.
May 5 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
May 7 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
May 10 at Boston * 7 p.m.
May 12 at Philadelphia * TBA
May 14 at Boston * 7 p.m.
* if necessary

 

Season Series
Series tied, 2-2
Date Result
Oct. 22 Philadelphia 4, Boston 3 (SO) Recap
Dec. 14 Philadelphia 3, Boston 1 Recap
Jan. 1 Boston 2, Philadelphia 1 (OT) Recap
Mar. 11 Boston 5, Philadelphia 1 Recap

 

Stats Comparison
Statistic BOS PHI
Goals For (Avg.) 2.67 3.00
Goals Against (Avg.) 2.50 1.80
Power Play 27.6% 27.3%
Penalty Kill 87.5% 100%

Posted on: April 28, 2010 8:48 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2010 9:51 pm
 

Preview: No. 1 San Jose vs. No. 5 Detroit

No. 1 San Jose Sharks vs. No. 5 Detroit Red Wings

Wes Goldstein's Take

The Sharks will win if: They don't let the ghosts of playoffs past get to them. That might be easier said than done, particularly against an intimidating opponent like Detroit. A big series from goalie Evgeni Nabokov wouldn't hurt, but even beter would be finding a way to get the big line of Joe Thornton , Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley on track. They were dominant during the regular season, but combined for one goal against Colorado and were all minus players.

The Red Wings will win if: If they keep doing what they have been for the last two months, which is dictate the pace and flow of their games. The Red Wings have been nearly unbeatable since the Olympic break, and they came into the playoffs healthy and better rested than in years past. It is a cliché to say a team's best players have to be their best players at this time of year. Detroit's tend to be exactly that, and judging by the way things went against Phoenix, they should be the same against San Jose. Sharks player might take note.

 

How They Got Here

San Jose: Defeated the Colorado Avalanche, 4-2, in the Western Conference Quarterfinals ... Finished the regular season with a 51-20-11 record for 113 points (1st, Pacific Division)

Detroit: Defeated the Phoenix Coyotes, 4-3, in the Western Conference Quarterfinals ... Finished the regular season with a 44-24-14 record for 102 points (2nd, Central Division)

Complete Schedule & Bracket

 

Schedule
Date Location Time
April 29 at San Jose 9 p.m.
May 2 at San Jose 8 p.m.
May 4 at Detroit 7:30 p.m.
May 6 at Detroit 7:30 p.m.
May 8 at San Jose * 10:30 p.m.
May 10 at Detroit * 7:30 p.m.
May 12 at San Jose * TBA
* if necessary

 

Season Series
Detroit wins, 3-1
Date Result
Nov. 5 Detroit 2, San Jose 1 (SO) Recap
Jan. 9 Detroit 4, San Jose 1 Recap
Feb. 2 Detroit 4, San Jose 2 Recap
Feb. 11 San Jose 3, Detroit 2 (SO) Recap

 

Stats Comparison (through Round 1)
Statistic SJ DET
Goals For (Avg.) 3.17 3.71
Goals Against (Avg.) 1.83 2.57
Power Play 19.2% 23.5%
Penalty Kill 86.7% 81.8%

Posted on: April 28, 2010 8:16 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2010 9:52 pm
 

Preview: No. 2 Chicago vs. No. 3 Vancouver

No. 2 Chicago Blackhawks vs. No. 3 Vancouver Canucks

Wes Goldstein's Take

The Blackhawks will win if: They are willing to pay the price by doing the little things like blocking shots, finishing checks winning battles along the boards and in corners. The grit factor wasn't always there against Nashville, and that should be a concern for a team that is very good and knows it. Complacency endangered Chicago against Nashville, with the Blackhawks ultimately winning out because their talent was superior. In reality, though, they survived the Predators more than beating them, and chances are they won't get away with that again, especially if goaltender Antti Niemi isn't steadier throughout.

The Canucks will win if: Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin do what they did against Los Angeles, which is put up a lot of points, and Mikael Samuelsson keeps scoring the way he did. That won't be easy against a more talented team, though, so Vancouver will need its secondary scorers to contribute a lot more than they did against the Kings. The penalty kill will have to be a lot better than it was against Los Angeles, which connected on nine of its first 16 chances. Roberto Luongo will have to be on his game from the outset because Chicago is a tougher team to rebound against.

 

How They Got Here

Chicago: Defeated the Nashville Predators, 4-2, in the Western Conference Quarterfinals ... Finished the regular season with a 52-22-8 record for 112 points (1st, Central Division)

Vancouver: Defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 4-2, in the Western Conference Quarterfinals ... Finished the regular season with a 49-28-5 record for 103 points (1st, Northwest Division)

Complete Schedule & Bracket

 

Schedule
Date Location Time
May 1 at Chicago 8 p.m.
May 3 at Chicago 9 p.m.
May 5 at Vancouver 9:30 p.m.
May 7 at Vancouver 9:30 p.m.
May 9 at Chicago * 8 p.m.
May 11 at Vancouver * 9:30 p.m.
May 13 at Chicago * 8 p.m.
* if necessary

 

Season Series
Series tied, 2-2
Date Result
Oct. 21 Vancouver 3, Chicago 2 Recap
Nov. 22 Chicago 1, Vancouver 0 Recap
Jan. 23 Vancouver 5, Chicago 1 Recap
Mar. 5 Chicago 6, Vancouver 3 Recap

 

Stats Comparison (through Round 1)
Statistic CHI VAN
Goals For (Avg.) 2.83 4.17
Goals Against (Avg.) 2.50 3.00
Power Play 17.4% 25.0%
Penalty Kill 96.3% 61.5%

 
 
 
 
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