The Eastern conference finals are set with the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators set to play for a shot at the Cup. The Sabres won one of the best playoff series in years against the Rangers. It was a 6 game thriller with the final 5 games decided by a goal. In game 5 New York led 1-0 with less than 10 seconds left. Buffalo's Chris Drury scored to tie it and the Sabres won in overtime. The winner of game 5 in a tied series wins the series 80 percent of the time and this was no exception. Game 6 was a thriller with the Sabres winning 5-4 at Madison Square Garden.
Ottawa enters the finals on a much different level as they breezed by the Devils in 5 games in the 2nd round. The Senators seem to be clicking in every facet of the game but their road has been filling with small speed bumps and nothing more. In the opening round Ottawa beat a defenseless Penguins and then took out the goalless Devils. Now, the Senators are stuck with the well balanced Sabres. Buffalo is on a mission after losing game 7 of the East finals last year. Ottawa has had its share of playoff failure over the years but they won't go down because of poor play this time around. The Sabres have the clutch Chris Drury and he will be the difference with a game 7 power play game winner! Sabres play for the Cup, beating Ottawa in 7.
The party continues in Southern California as the Ducks are in the West finals for the 2nd straight time. It was a 5 game wipeout of Vancouver as Anaheim clearly outclassed the Canucks. Game 5 went into double overtime before Scott Niedermayer beat Roberto Luongo from the blueline to end the series. It was former Panther Rob Niedermayer's big hit that allowed brother Scott to get the shot away. Despite most of the games being close I never got the idea the Canucks had a shot to win the series. Only Luongo's play in game 7 avoided a first round collapse against Dallas after Vacouver led 3 games to 1. The Canucks not only don't score goals, they averaged less than 2 a game in the playoffs, but they don't even TRY to score for long stretches. The Ducks on the other hand are loaded and appear to be the favorite to win the Cup. Years of quality drafting has produced a team full of quality young players up front. Ryan Getzlaf, Dustin Penner and Corey Perry, just to name a few, play the game the right way. Add veteran sniper Teemu Selanne, Niedermayer and Chris Pronger on defense and JS Giguere in goal and it isn't difficult to see that Anaheim is loaded.