Kings forward Derek Armstrong, who set career highs with 33 assists and 44 points while leading Los Angeles with a +13 plus/minus rating, has been the Stanley Cup Playoff analyst for LAKings.com throughout the entire chase for the Cup.
And don’t forget to catch former Kings forward/current TV analyst Jim Fox on NHL Radio through out the playoffs. To find out how to hear NHL.com, visit www.nhl.com/radio
. In addition, Fox during the post-season will be serving as a guest analyst for Yahoo! Sports, breaking down playoff action and discussing general NHL topics. Check them out online at www.yahoosports.com
Armstrong went 6-2 in the first round, only missing on the Dallas-Vancouver series (picking Dallas) and in the Calgary-Detroit series (picking Calgary). In round two, LAKings.com expert Armstrong posted a 3-1 mark, misfiring on the San Jose-Detroit series, again picking against the Red Wings. So after being burned twice by the Wings, Armstrong finally picked Detroit to best Anaheim in the Conference Finals. We all know how that went. He did, however, redeem himself in the Eastern Conference, picking the upset in Ottawa over Buffalo, bringing his playoff mark to 10-4.
Find out what Army says below...
STANLEY CUP FINALS PREVIEW
Western Conference Champion Anaheim Ducks vs. Eastern Conference Champion Ottawa Senators
"Both teams match up well and deserve to be in the Finals. Anaheim has a great checking line as we saw in Game 1, with the Samuel Pahlsson line dominating the Spezza-Alfredsson-Heatley line. That is going to be a great match up there. Spezza is going to have to find a way to get his line to score.
The Ducks will have to stay disciplined as Ottawa is exceptional on the power play. Anaheim is big and strong and Ottawa did not come out hitting the way they should have. That Brad May shift that everyone is talking about, really changed the game as Anaheim got more and more physical and wore down the Senators. That is one of their downfalls, they tend to give up leads, but it is still going to be a great series.
Giguere is dynamite, he has a great swagger to him and he is very confident right now. Goaltending is usually the most important part of any series, but I don't think so here. Both teams can and will score goals and both teams can skate. There are going to be goals scored, so I guess it will come down to who makes that big save at the end of the game.
The Senators will win if... Spezza's line keeps scoring and the defense stays solid. It will probably come down to power plays. Throughout this series, the Senators are going to get frustrated with the way Anaheim runs around and plays defense and they will have to take advantage of when the Ducks commit penalties.
The Ducks will win if... Pahlsson's line continues to shut down Spezza's, no one has been able to do it all post season. Pahlsson's line did a great job in each series, shutting down the Sedins in Vancouver, Gaborik and Demitra in Minnesota and Zetterberg and Datsyuk in Detroit. That is why they are a great checking line, they love checking and they can also score goals and that is a key. A lot of times, you have a checking line that can shut down the opposing team's top line, but can't score. That is a big advantage."
Army says: Ottawa in Seven.
VERSUS will have playoff telecasts most every night beginning throughout the playoffs followed by its wrap up show "Hockey Central." Versus will broadcast the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals.
VERSUS finished the 2006-07 Regular Season averaging 203,686 viewers per telecast which is up 25 percent from last year's 162,713 average, which is equal to NHL's ratings on ESPN2 from three seasons ago.
VERSUS also added more than 8 million households, giving them a total distribution of 72 million households.
NBC will have playoff broadcasts most Saturday and Sunday afternoons during the first 3 rounds of the playoffs and have games 3-7 of the Final in primetime.
NBC's first playoff 2007 broadcasts are this Saturday at 3pm (NYR vs. ATL / OTT vs PIT) and Sunday at 1pm ET (DET vs. CGY)
NBC finished the 2006-07 Regular Season with about the same average audience as last year which is a positive considering most sports are losing their audiences year to year.
NBC and the NHL extended their deal for next season with an option for 2008-09.