Goldie & Moller's Playoff Blog: Stanley Cup Finals
/ Florida Panthers
We will have a new (first time) Stanley Cup winner this year! At least in the new era NHL. Anaheim and Ottawa will be a classic final series! The Ducks surprised many experts getting by Detroit in 6 games. I agree with Goldie, the play of JS "Giggy" Giguere has been the story so far, out-playing future hall of famer Dominik Hasek and the Canucks' Roberto Luongo in the previous two series. Defense, size and team play are the strengths the Ducks possess. Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger are virtually impossible to play against, and Rob Neidermayer surprisingly leads the Ducks in offense. But Anaheim has not faced an offensive machine like the Senators, so far. The best line in hockey: Spezza, Alfredsson and Dany Heatley have torn through the Eastern Conference like a knife through hot butter. Goaltender Ray Emery has been the playoff MVP so far, Ottawa will wear down the Ducks with their 3rd and 4th lines, which are the best in the league. The government of Canada will take pride with Lord Stanley's Cup coming home to the nation's capitol. And they will probably try and "tax" the Senators for their efforts too! Vive la Canada! Duck l'Orange on a plate, Ottawa wins in 6 games.
It’s California vs. Canada in the Stanley Cup finals as Anaheim meets Ottawa. The Ducks, the pick here before the playoffs started, eliminated Detroit in six games while the Senators will have had nine days off between games after quickly beating Buffalo. The Ducks have the goalie advantage with J.S. Giguere, although Ottawa has done a super job in front of Ray Emery. The Senators are back to playing strong team defense, thus their 12-3 playoff record.
Captain Daniel Alfredsson is being lauded as a great team leader now that Ottawa has reached the finals. Ironic, that for years the underrated Alfredsson was criticized for not being “the Guy” on and off the ice. Perhaps he has changed his game a bit but it’s the team’s success that has brought him personal accolades. Alfredsson has always been a super player and good guy in the room.
Giguere, meanwhile, is a finals win away from being the playoff MVP. Heck, he may win it even if the Ducks lose the series in a tough 7 gamer. The fact is, Giguere outplayed Roberto Luongo and Dominik Hasek to reach the finals. Forget about Ryan Miller, Martin Brodeur and Henrik Lundqvist. They are all excellent goalies but Gigure takes the honor right now as the NHL’s top goalie. The unrestricted free agent to be is seeing his bank account rise as he carries the Ducks to the finals.
Former Panther Rob Niedermayer has been playing great hockey for Anaheim. The veteran has popped in big goals and laid out big hits. It was his hit that set up the series clinching goal against Vancouver. Brother Scott along with Chris Pronger lead the blue line for the league’s most complete team.
Ottawa will have 9 days off when the Cup finals start Monday and one wonders if it will be a case of rest or rust. Much to the chagrin of the Canadian media another non-traditional U.S. market wins the Stanley Cup. Following Tampa Bay and Carolina it will be Anaheim hoisting the big prize. Party time in the O.C. Ducks in 6. Don’t call them mighty just call them champs!